That’s true, but fiber’s important jobs go way beyond more regular calls from Nature.
And unfortunately, many people’s sources of fiber aren’t ideal…and can actually do more harm than good.
Let’s look at fiber’s career history, all the ways it helps make a healthier you, and the best ways to make sure you’re getting enough.
The birth of the fiber craze
Back in the 1970's researcher Dr. Denis Burkitt observed that rural Africans eating their traditional diet had almost no colon cancer, constipation, diabetes, diverticulitis, heart disease or IBS.
On the other hand, Africans consuming a modern Western-type diet suffered from all of those problems.
He saw a similar situation when comparing hospitals in India and America.
In a hospital in India, he found that there were virtually no cases of hiatal hernia, yet hiatal hernia affects nearly one out of three Americans over age 50.
Plus the rate of appendicitis in the American hospital was 50 TIMES what it was in the Indian hospital!
Dr. Burkitt concluded that the large amount of fiber in the African and Indian diets was the reason for the dramatic differences…and lo and behold, the fiber craze was born.
A whole lot more than keeping you "regular"
In the decades since Dr. Burkitt's research, we've learned a lot more about the health benefits of fiber.
Keeping you "regular" is just the beginning. In addition to helping prevent constipation, fiber also:
- Helps ease Crohn's disease, hiatal hernia, IBS and peptic ulcer
- Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer (especially colon cancer)
- Helps normalize your cholesterol levels
- Reduces the incidence of colon polyps and bowel diseases
- Helps prevent obesity by slowing the release of insulin and stored glucose in your bloodstream
- Helps prevent appendicitis, hemorrhoids and even varicose veins
- Binds with toxins and heavy metals in your intestines and helps them get eliminated with your bowel movements, instead of being reabsorbed into circulation
Fiber actually refers to three different types--Insoluble, soluble and semi-soluble. Each has its own unique health benefits as shown below:
Insoluble fiber is like a broom to your gut. Your body doesn't digest it, but it helps "push things along" and keeps your colon very healthy. This type of fiber is typically what is responsible for improved BMs and fewer symptoms of bowel issues like Crohn's.
Insoluble fiber is found in the outside layer of grains, in the skins of most fruits and vegetables and in the long, stringy strands found on celery.
Soluble fiber is in the "meaty" part of fruits and vegetables as well as in beans, legumes and psyllium seeds. It's the kind of fiber that is associated with lower cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.
Your digestive enzymes don't actually break down soluble fiber--the friendly flora in your gut does that job.
You get an added benefit here too--when your beneficial gut bacteria break down soluble fiber they release short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids help keep your colon wall strong and can also help protect against cancer.
Semi-soluble fiber is part of the cell wall of carbohydrates from plants like asparagus, chicory, leeks, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, flaxseeds and psyllium husks.
Semi-soluble fiber can help latch onto and remove dangerous heavy metals from your body that you take in from food and the environment.
It also can be a source of nourishment for your friendly flora.
We're falling WAY short
Back in the 1800's the average American ate 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day naturally from their diet, and at that time conditions like diverticulosis were unheard of.
Now? We're lucky if we get a meager 14 to 15 grams a day.
No wonder we're blocked up, bloated and are the leaders of the free world in gut problems. At least one out of every four Americans has a digestive disorder and those numbers continue to climb.
We need more! But what and how much?
Clearly it's no secret that we need fiber. But deciding where to get your fiber is where people can run into trouble.
Trouble spot #1: “Fiber in a jar”
Fiber can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
But some people would rather stick needles in their eyeballs than to eat a fruit, vegetable or a "grain" other than white bread.
Still others don't want to be bothered taking the time to prepare fresh foods.
So what do they do instead? Take Metamucil® of course! That should do the trick, right?
Well, not exactly.
Metamucil® (and similar products) is a psyllium husk-based laxative. Each dose contains 3 grams of fiber (about the same as an apple) which is far below the recommended daily intake of 25-30 grams.
And regardless of its fiber content, it nonetheless is a laxative which can not only be habit-forming but also make your intestines sluggish and eventually make it difficult to have a bowel movement without it.
Trouble spot #2: “Fiber in a box”
General Mills and Kellogg's hit the mother lode when the fiber craze began.
After all, it gave them a very profitable angle to use in marketing their processed breakfast cereals by actually making them appear healthy in another way besides the added-in synthetic nutrients, because now they could use the “good source of fiber” angle too.
Here’s the truth: Cereals such as these are not only loaded with refined carbs (which contribute to insulin resistance and obesity, are nutrient poor and feed harmful microbes in your gut), but they only contain about 3 grams of fiber—again, about the same as an apple and far less than what you need.
The best source of fiber
The importance of fiber can't be questioned...but it's essential to get yours from real foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. They're loaded with fiber and nutrients in their natural form that are best absorbed and utilized by your body.
And they come with their own naturally occurring enzymes to help the digestive process along too.
If you're ready to begin your journey of getting the fiber (and the nutrients) your body needs, the Great Taste No Pain system is just what you need.
Great Taste No Pain shows you what foods to eat (and what foods to pair together) to help encourage smooth digestion and efficient nutrient absorption.
Plus it's loaded with delicious recipes featuring fiber-rich real foods that you'll absolutely LOVE.
The vast majority of people using Great Taste No Pain report seeing signs of health changes like more regular BMs, less gas and bloating and even weight loss, and are they ever excited when that happens!
Make sure you're breaking down your fiber too
Like I said above, your friendly gut flora breaks down soluble fiber.
But if you don't have a strong or healthy enough population of beneficial bacteria to do the job, you may not get all the benefit of that fiber--and instead may end up with gas!
The good news is that there is a lot you can do to help make sure your intestinal flora is healthy and strong.
First and foremost, a diet of real foods like fresh vegetables is a must. Your friendly flora is nourished by foods like these.
And a top-notch probiotic like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula can help too, especially if you’ve had a diet of refined foods for quite a while.
Super Shield's 13 high-quality strains of beneficial bacteria help to repopulate your friendly intestinal inhabitants and crowd out harmful microbes, as well as help enhance your digestion and nutrient absorption, encourage more regular BMs, support your immune system, and...
Break down fiber!
Fiber is an undisputed health dynamo that you can't afford to be without.
And when you get the natural sources of fiber that your body so desperately needs and can actually use that fiber, you can reap the long list of health benefits for many years to come.
PS: You’ve asked for it and we’ve listened--our new multi-vitamin formula Super Core is coming soon!