Fiber 24 August 2009
Fiber has been shown to:
- lower cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL (the bad cholesterol)
- improve bowel function
- reduce blood pressure. It does this by improving endothelial dysfunction, increasing sodium excretion, decreasing inflammation (as seen by a reduction in CRP levels) improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity which can increase blood pressure. Studies have shown a reduction in blood pressure of nearly 10 mmHg with fiber supplements.
- bind fungal mycotoxins
- slow the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream and therefore prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes
- increase weight loss by promoting a sense of fullness and preventing the absorption of excess calories
- other studies have shown people with the highest fiber intake have a 40% lower risk of developing colon cancer than those with the lowest intake.
- accelerate the excretion of toxins and heavy metals from the bowel.
Fiber can either be insoluble or soluble. Insoluble fiber is the woody part of the shells and husks of grains and vegetables. It doesn’t dissolve in water so acts like a broom in the digestive system—accelerating transit and sweeping out toxins. Soluble fiber is found in the cell wall of grains and vegetables. It dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance which soaks up excess cholesterol and toxins in the gut. It also slows the entrance of glucose into the blood stream, decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels. Both types of fiber decrease the bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol.
The best way to get adequate fiber is to adopt a largely plant based diet- 75% fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It’s always a good idea in todays toxic environment to take extra fiber and I recommend either psyllium or slippery elm powder.