“That is wonderful news!” exclaimed Annie as she read the results of LJ’s colonoscopy. “What gets the credit for your clean colon? Could it be your diet of fruits and vegetables that are fiber-rich and nutrient-dense?” she said in a beaming tone.
LJ smiled, “We’ve both been paying attention to what I eat, so you get props too. I give a lot of credit to dietary fiber, though. When we started eating more high fiber food, I knew it would produce these clean-as-a-whistle results. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not absorbed or digested; rather, its role is to support gut function by moving food through our digestive system. There are two main kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. So, when you eat an apple, for example, you’re ingesting its own type of soluble fiber, pectin that dissolves in water and turns into a gel during digestion. This slow process makes you feel fuller longer. Soluble fiber also attaches to cholesterol and takes it out of your system, helping to lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Lima beans are another source of soluble fiber. One cup has 7 grams. Brussels sprouts have nearly 4 grams. Kohlrabi 4 grams, Collard Greens, has over 3 grams. Pears, blueberries, and oats are other great soluble fiber foods.
On the other hand, Insoluble fiber bulks up stools and helps pass it through your intestines quickly. It also helps prevent and treat constipation. Insoluble foods such as roasted soybeans have nearly 14 grams of insoluble fiber per cup. Cauliflower is also rich in insoluble fiber; one cup of it contains close to 4 grams. Jicama has 3 grams, lentils nearly 15 grams. Macadamia nuts 10 grams, millet 14 grams, and peas have 15 grams.
“LJ, it seems that the more we discover dietary fiber, the more we realize its importance to our body and mind. Soluble fiber has valuable weight-loss properties. Insoluble fiber is critical to preventing disease-causing bacteria’s proliferation that can lead to serious digestive system issues, including constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, and colon cancer.
The National Institutes of Health recommends that Men 50 and younger eat 38 grams of fiber a day. Men over 51 should consume 30 grams. Women 50 and younger should eat 25 grams per day, and those over 50 eat 21 grams. Unfortunately, the average is a mere 15 grams per day. Because colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and sadly, the rate of colon cancer is rising among people younger than 55, the simplest way to make sure you’re getting enough of both types of fiber is to eat a variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and nuts every day.”
“Annie developing and keeping up the habit of eating a fiber-rich diet every day is not rough.”