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Are you getting enough fiber in your diet?

by December 24, 2014 Health

Everyone has heard time and time again that a diet high in fiber is important to your overall health. How do you know if you are getting enough fiber? A good indication is the size and frequency of your bowel movements.  Now I understand that your elimination patterns are not exactly water cooler conversation even I draw the line there but given the fact that you are probably reading this from the privacy of your own home (or on your blackberry on the train), we can be frank here. I’m talking Dear Lord that thing came out of me size logs here, not a few tiny little pebbles you’ve strained over for a half hour. Freakishly large in this case is good.  Easy to pass is good.  Straining tiny pebbles bad.  That would indicate that you are indeed constipated, which aside from being an unpleasant situation, contributes to the onset of many preventable diseases.

Why is proper elimination so important? This is our body’s way of removing toxins from our system. Fiber plays an essential role in that it adheres to and softens the waste as it moves through the intestines, allowing for complete and easy passage at the end of the line. It cleanses the colon and promotes healthy bacteria. A high fiber diet is known to reduce the incidence of some cancers by up to 60%. It prevents appendicitis, diverticulitis, colon cancer, constipation and hemorroids.

Let’s take diverticulitis as an example here. Years of eating a low fiber diet contribute to the onset of this condition, which can be quite painful and land you in the hospital. The lack of fiber causes constipation, which leads to constantly straining over elimination. This causes pouches to develop along the intestinal tract. Tiny cuts can develop in these pouches and get infected and inflamed resulting in severe pain, fever, chills and nausea. A high fiber diet will prevent this condition from developing in the first place, which typically strikes people over age 50.