Fiber! Eat a Varied Diet.
Fall is an excellent time to get to know pumpkins which I learned are an excellent source of fiber – Insoluble Fiber, that is.
Did you know there are different kinds of fiber? Most of us know that we should be getting plenty of fiber to make it easier for us to, um, eh hem…. eliminate waste. But there are different types of fiber which perform different functions in our bodies.
Think of this as a large broom sweeping through your intestines. Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water or be digested, so it passes through mostly intact and clears out your system. This fiber prevents constipation and reduces cardiovascular and Type 2 diabetes risks. It also helps to curb the appetite.
A good source of this fiber is found in wheat bran, brown rice, bananas, apples, pumpkins, berries, beans and leafy greens.
Think of this fiber as the liquid Drano through your gut. It is water-soluble and swells up, forming a gel that grabs and pulls bile out of the body. This helps to regulate blood glucose (sugar), eliminate toxins and support good bacteria which boosts our immunity.
Several good sources are beans, oats, oranges, pears, potatoes and flaxseeds. And no, we cannot forget prunes, which are also a soluble fiber.
Additionally, there is something called Resistant Starch which is not digested but feeds the good bacteria in the gut which produces cancer-fighting butyrate fatty acids. These sources are largely under-ripe bananas and cooked then cooled starchy foods like pastas, potatoes and rice. Cooling before eating is the key to forming resistant starch.
The bottom line (no pun intended)
Your body needs all types of Fiber for optimum health. So, mix it up! Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains to provide your body with the full spectrum of support from Fiber.
And drink plenty of water! Water further flushes the system and aids Fiber in doing its job!