We live in a time when most of our food sources are composed of convenient, fast, and processed foods. In addition to the chemicals and preservatives added, this has resulted in food with less nutritional value. One of those nutritional values is the lowered amounts of natural fiber. One of the disturbing health concerns that has resulted from this is that we have had an enormous increase in the number of people, especially young people, wh are overweight or obese. Excess weight leads to other physical health concerns and also emotional health concerns, i.e. self image and esteem.
People without excess weight concerns consume about 33% more dietary fiber than people who suffer weight issues. There are good reasons that people who consume more dietary fiber do not experience weight concerns. When soluble fiber combines with water, it swells the stomach giving a greater feeling that hunger has been satisfied without adding excess calories. Fiber slows the digestion process resulting in feelings of hunger occurring less frequently and providing our bodies with the time needed to properly absorb nutrients. This eliminates the feeling of hunger and feeling the need to continue eating which leads to excess weight. Fiber reduces the occurrence of spikes in blood-glucose levels which possibly leads to insulin insensitivity and food cravings. Fiber may also reduce the absorption of fat. Fiber also lowers cholesterol levels which is a serious concern for people with excess weight. High cholesterol in bile is responsible for the formation of gallstones that lead to pain and gallbladder surgery. Fiber lowers cholesterol as effectively as statin drugs, which carry the risk of harmful side effects.
Most of us consume half of the dietary fiber that we need. Lack of dietary fiber is associated with health concerns such as hemorrhoids, cancer, diabetes, varicose veins, heat dissease, appendicitis and chronic constipation. Chronic constipation is a huge complaint of many people, especially older people, and accounts for millions of visits to a doctor and is among the most frequently given reasons for the purchase of prescription or patient, synthetic drugs with their possible harmful side effects. Antacids often contain aluminum and synthetic painkillers and antidepressants may actually cause constipation. Fiber contributes greatly to the healthy function of our digestive system by removing sludge, mucus, heavy metals and fat and relieving constipation and/or diarrhea which is essential for weight loss. Fiber protects against diverticulosis by keeping waste soft and easy to eliminate. Straining hard to eliminate waste contributes to diverticulosis and also hemorrhoids.
Since many of our processed and fast foods contain little fiber, we can increase our fiber intake with the use of supplements that contain additional amounts of fiber and also contribute in many other ways to our health as well as assisting us in reducing and maintaining our weight.
Oat bran fiber contains a great deal of soluble fiber that forms a gel which produces a soft easy flow of the contents of our stomach and small intestine. This helps decrease constipation distress. The gel delays our stomach emptying giving us a longer feeling of our hunger being satisfied helping with weight loss. Oat bran fiber is also very effective in lowering cholesterol levels by attaching to cholesterol and eliminating it. People who consume oat bran fiber are far less likely to become overweight.
Apple pectin is a fiber that can be obtained in supplement form. It is a powder obtained from dried apples. Apple pectin lowers cholesterol levels, helps prevent hardening of the arteries, diabetes and may inhibit cancer metastases. Apple pectin corrects constipation and promotes digestive health including promoting the health of intestinal flora. Apple pectin is tolerated by most people with allergies.
Green foods can be obtained in supplement form and contain good amounts of fiber. In addition, green foods provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, active enzymes, bioflavonoids, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients necessary for cellular metabolism, repair and protection, enhanced digestion and absorption of nutrients, and detoxification. All this is vital for health and weight loss. Most of us do not get a good amount of green foods that we need because of our modern eating habits.
Flaxseed oil is one of the best choices of high fiber food. Mucilage is the unique soluble fiber in flaxseed that absorbs moisture and forms mucilagenous substance that cleans and soothes intestinal walls and relieves many intestinal discomforts. Flaxseed oil contains many vitamins, minerals and other elements that contribute to balancing blood sugar levels as well as other benefits. Balancing blood sugar levels is very important for weight loss and energy as well as a feeling of well being. Flaxseed oil lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. It helps satisfy hunger with few calories and reduces the absorption of fats.
Many of us have experience the benefit of using fiber to lose weight.. We come to know the use of fiber for weight loss as “fiber trimming” or “fiber thin”. In addition, we have experienced many other very important health benefits from fiber beyond weight loss. The way foods are being processed for convenient consumption, little preparation and for long shelf life makes it difficult for us to obtain proper nutrition and health benefit without using natural health supplements. This is also true of our obtaining a healthy amount of fiber in our diets. Green foods, oat bran, apple pectin, and flaxseed oil are easily obtainable in supplement form. The cost, economically and emotionally, of obtaining natural health supplements to gain and maintain good health is far less than the cost of illness and medical care where we risk the possibility of harmful side effects from prescription, patient, synthetic drugs and medical procedures. Fiber each day, keeps the doctor away. Prevention is far less expensive in so many ways, than repair. We can lose weight, improve our health and feel far better about ourselves with the use of supplemental dietary fiber.