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The Essential Piece Of The Wellness Puzzle

March 8, 2011 by  

The Essential Piece Of The Wellness Puzzle

There are many elements that are required to achieve optimal health. We all know that ample sleep, exercise, water, stress reduction and diet are the basic components. Within each of those categories are found sub-categories and specific recommendations.

Within the realm of diet, weight loss alone is not the answer. One must eat the correct food to support health and avoid the carcinogenic, fattening and processed food to prevent illness. Fiber is a food that holds a special place among diet and wellness.

Fiber is interesting because although it is a food and we eat it, we don’t digest it. In other words, it doesn’t enter into our bloodstream and instead just passes through our digestive tract until it is excreted. Yet, fiber is special in that it both promotes wellness while also reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Dietary fiber is an essential piece of the wellness puzzle. It provides bulk, suppresses appetite, binds with cholesterol, lowers blood sugar and speeds removal of toxic wastes from the bowels, thereby reducing the risk of constipation, high blood sugar, hemorrhoids, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease and some cancers.

Found in many natural and whole sources like fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables, dietary fiber is found in two types: soluble and insoluble. When taken together, mixed fiber intake is essential to good health and must not be passed over for processed simple carbohydrates that are so utterly bad for you. Let’s now take a look at the fiber types, their function and where to find them.

Soluble Fiber forms into a gel-like substance when combined with fluid. If you have ever stirred some Metamucil into a glass and left it alone for a minute you saw what this looks like. What’s good about this gel is that it creates bulk which not only binds fatty acids but also stabilizes blood sugar, slowing down the time it takes food to empty from the stomach and its sugars to break down. This is good news for diabetics, hypoglycemics and anyone looking to lose weight naturally. As such, soluble fiber reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Insoluble fiber does not form into a gel but passes through your digestive tract largely intact. It works to provide bulk to move toxic waste through your intestines, thereby aiding in digestion, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Its bulk controls and balances pH (acid/alkaline balance) in the intestines, which helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. Insoluble fiber also helps bind cholesterol in the digestive tract, thus lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, diabetes and colon and rectal cancers.

Where To Get Dietary Fiber
Now that we know how vital it is to eat more dietary fiber, we need to know the best places to get it. No, breakfast cereals and fiber bars are not the best place. When thinking of diet in terms of health promotion and disease prevention, going to the whole source is always best.

Sources of soluble dietary fiber include oatmeal and oat bran, nuts, flax seed, psyllium husk, barley, dried beans and peas, carrots, berries and grapes. It is also found in pectin in the skins of fruits like oranges, apples and pears.

Sources of insoluble dietary fiber include dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, whole grains (and their products), wheat and corn bran, celery, carrots, seeds, nuts and brown rice.

Clinical Trials Prove Fiber’s Essential Value
According to the results of a clinical trial, “People who eat more dietary fiber have a lower body weight than people who eat less fiber. Potential mechanisms include greater feelings of satiety, reductions in food intake, changes in blood glucose, insulin, or gut hormones.” [1]

According to a university study, “For every 10 grams of fiber consumed, the risk of heart attack or other coronary heart disease (CHD) decreased by 14%. The risk of dying from CHD dropped 27%. But they also found… that the relationship between fiber consumption and healthy hearts is strongest for fruit (a 30% drop in deaths for each 10 grams of fruit fiber) and grains (a 25% drop in deaths), but indiscernible for vegetables.” [2]

Most Americans eat a diet low in complex carbohydrates, and thus low in fiber. It’s no wonder we are among the least healthy countries despite spending more than any other country on health care. We keep chasing for cures to things that make us ill instead of changing our lifestyle and dietary choices to prevent them; pain, illness and disease from taking hold in the first place

Consuming 20 to 35 grams of mixed dietary fiber daily is recommended for optimal health. Currently, it is estimated the average American only consumes 15 grams per day.  Couple this with eight to 10 glasses of water each day to keep the fiber moving along and hydrating the body, and good health is on its well.

–Dr. Mark Wiley

 

References:
[1] http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00889993
[2] http://www1.umn.edu/news/features/2004/UR_17371_REGION1.html

Dr. Mark Wiley

is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. The Wiley Method provides a revolutionary way of providing recovery and prevention of chronic pain, illness and disease. Grab your FREE COPY of Dr. Mark Wiley's "The 3 Secrets to Optimal Health" HERE.

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  • s c

    Dr. Wiley, it’s hard for me to understand why or how any MD can ignore the value of fiber. You seem to ‘get it,’ but there are still quite a few MDs who don’t – or won’t.
    It makes sense to get cleaned out daily. Otherwise, people would have to switch to a diet that is based on quality (instead of quantity), or face the prospect of a stomach that promotes disease.
    You’re right. This is another piece of being well, and offers benefits that can prevent being on a short leash to a healthcare professional who might put money before lives.

  • http://donthaveone Beberoni

    The best advise a doctor ever gave me, was to get plenty of liquids and greens, so I drink a 6 pack and golf 18 holes a day, and it keeps me healthy. Thanks Doc.

  • peter robison

    Good information Doc. It is unfortunate that the people who need this information the most will probably not see it.

  • karolyn

    “Most Americans eat a diet low in complex carbohydrates, and thus low in fiber. It’s no wonder we are among the least healthy countries despite spending more than any other country on health care. We keep chasing for cures to things that make us ill instead of changing our lifestyle and dietary choices to prevent them; pain, illness and disease from taking hold in the first place.”

    AMEN, AMEN & AMEN! If everyone took care of their health, we wouldn’t need a health care plan!

    • Bruce D.

      I agree with you on that Karolyn. More often than not people are the cause of their own problems.

  • http://com i41

    When I was about 7 I went with my Dad to check yards of cattle and pigs that were on feed. His instruction was to grab a clear glass jar, as we stopped to chec a feed trough he told me to grab a couple of hand s full of feed and put in the jar. He put a bunch of water on it and shook it up and took out a tape measure to measure depts of the feed strata, he said if there was too much fines and not enough roughage calves would get sick. All animals on feed usually got their feed monitored. If fattening to make meat more tender roughage was cut to 20-25%. If a growing ration it was 40-60 percent roughage. When I was telling my Mom I wondered what we ate as roughages, Mom pulled out the flour can and scooped some out. She did the same sediment test to show me what our bread was made of. There was ground spring wheat, winter wheat, some rye, barely and some oats, all grown on our place or 50 miles awayy on my grandads place. We used the same feed grinder as livestock feed was run through only with differnt screens for partical size. Since it was years ago, I think it was 25% spring wheat since it had 14-17% protein, 25% winter wheat or about 10-12% protein, 25% rye which had about 16-19% percet protein but changed to the flavor,15% barely had about 8-12% protein but gave a sweet flavor and 10% oats for roughage. Grains were corse ground and made the best bread, I think it was 75% course ground material and maybe 20 finer material and 5% real fine powder. Mom said if we didn’t get enough fiber or roughage we would get sick as well as have other problems. So the fingers need to be pointed at the Dept of Ag. created by FDR and his registered communist Sec of Ag.. Moving people to cities and making wilderness areas and parks out of food producing areas only harms people and puts food production in a few government hands with beltway slubs deciding what producers can plant and how many acres can be grown.

    • libertytrain

      Thanks i41 – that was an enjoyable read.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    1www.medicinenet.com/fiber/article.htm

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    You need fibre,for example, two slices of white bread contain 1.5 grams of fibre, whereas two slices of wholegrain bread contain 2.9 grams. Rather than snacking on a bag of chips, you can get three grams of dietary fibre in just 25 almonds.

  • http://com i41

    Thank you libertytrain, any one who doesn’t know what it is like to grow your own food and process it, is misssing a lot of great times.

    • libertytrain

      I think a lot of people missed out on a lot of good times because of the need to help out within the family, actually learn real self-reliance and the extreme self-satisfaction that rides along with that self-reliance. These things are not taught in school -

      • http://?? Joe H.

        libertytrain,
        my girls and I have been growing a garden here for about 20 years!!! They may not like pulling weeds and cultivating, but they love the fresh produce, so they do it!!!

  • Christin

    Good article, Dr. Wiley, as usual.

    Not too sure about the cereal picture.

    And thank you for the list of fiberous foods as often I forget what some are. I need to print this article and put it in my cook book… and I will send it on to some friends and family… thanks.

  • Namiko Omeara

    That is all fine, Dr Rubin books on bran in the dies were very popular about 25 years ago.

    But it amuses me that *Anglos* worry so much about digestion; one reason is they are constipated, but why, perhaps they are bso uptight ?

  • Namiko Omeara

    CORRECTIONS:

    - Dr. Rubin*s
    - in the DIET
    - SO UPTIGHT

  • Nicholas

    Really helpful article. Fiber is try essential in our diet but its hard to get form the routine food in required quantity so I am using supplement called FiberUp it tastes great and give me sufficient fibers.

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