Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The daily requirement for women is 25-30 grams; and 35-40 grams for men. It is interesting to note that the average American is getting less than 12 grams daily.

The following health problems and serious diseases are created by inadequate fiber:

Anal Fissures, Appendicitis, Cancer: Breast, Colon, Ovarian, Prostate, Constipation, Depression, Diabetes, Diverticulitis, Fistulae, Gallstones, Heart Disease, Hemorrhoids, Hiatal Hernia, High Blood Pressure (Hypertension), High Cholesterol, Hypoglycemia, Varicose Veins and Weight Problems

The information regarding the above was researched and clinically accepted by the U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. National Cancer Institute, The American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and many University Medical Research Departments.

Most people who develop the above problems have probably had a life long history of difficulty with eliminations. In most instances, they have suffered from chronic habitual constipation. Some people were not taught to eat properly at a young age; their under-laying problem may be aggravated by a diet that is lacking in fiber. Many are not aware of fiber’s importance, years may have been spent experimenting with laxatives or natural substances that act as laxatives obtained through health food stores, such as, powders, teas and other supplements.

Using laxatives (or other unknown remedies) as a lifelong solution is extremely dangerous. The much maligned colon becomes so dependent on laxatives for eliminations that after decades of this treatment older people become totally reliant on these unnatural products. Keep away from products containing senna leaves, or other “natural” sources. Most laxatives come from natural sources – and all can be detrimental, if used regularly.

The primary cause of chronic constipation is a lack of adequate dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is generally obtained from plant foods and consists of that portion of the plant which is not digested by human consumption. While the sugars, starches, minerals and vitamins are broken down into nutrients and are absorbed by our intestines; the cell walls of plants are not digested and go on to form an important component of the stool, the bulk or roughage. An example of dietary fiber is cellulose, and an example of a food high in cellulose is lentil beans.

The key role of fiber is keeping the intestinal tract open by keeping the chyme (food) moving, which stabilizes glucose and cholesterol. Fiber is not a temporary solution…getting adequate fiber is a lifetime pursuit.

Many authorities recommend oat and wheat bran, but these are not beneficial. It is better, when we ingest natural raw foods that have not been processed. Foods that contain a high proportion of fiber are known as high fiber foods. High fiber foods are vital for intestinal health. They help the intestines better absorb nutrients, aid in weight loss – and move the chyme (food) along.

Many of the high fiber foods that are being recommended – can also cause problems. For example, blackberries and raspberries. These berries have seeds, which are very irritating to the small and large intestine. Blueberries and strawberries are healthier choices. Bran from Grains, including corn, are irritating to the colon and require a great deal of fluid in order to keep them moving. Dr. N.W. Walker’s book Colon Health stated that popcorn was a very pernicious food. His idea of foods that were healthy for the intestinal tract were raw carrot and spinach juice. He wrote that these stimulated peristaltic action in the lower bowel.

Some other foods that are recommended that could cause problems are the cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. They have a substance in them called thiorhea, which slows down the thyroid. If you eat them, do so infrequently.

There are other high fiber foods, such as, beet greens, spinach, swiss chard and turnip greens. They all have oxalic acid, which interferes with the assimilation of calcium. Spinach contains the least amount of oxylates. Some people think that cooking lowers the oxylate count, but raw spinach is a wonderful source of folic acid and other nutrients, I eat it raw almost every day and it agrees with me. Cooking spinach would not be as beneficial.

Most foods that people are eating contain little fiber. The following is a typical low fiber American Diet:

Breakfast

  • Processed cereal
  • Coffee
  • Juice
  • Eggs
  • Bagel
  • Meat

Lunch

  • Sandwich (meat, chicken, tuna)
  • White bread
  • Pizza
  • Hamburger
  • French Fries

Dinner

  • Fish or Chicken
  • Starch
  • Vegetable (corn)

Almost all such meals contain a minimum of fiber, possibly a daily total of 5 – 11 grams.

My optimal diet could include:

Breakfast – (Amount) Fiber Grams

  • Hemp Powder (1 oz) 11 g
  • (Trader Joe’s Vanilla Protein Powder)
  • Hemp Milk (6 oz) 0 g
  • (Trader Joe’s Vanilla Hemp Milk)
  • Bananas (12 oz) 8 g
  • Water (10 oz) 0 g

Lunch

  • Apples blended (12 oz) 10 g
  • Water (8 oz) 0 g
  • Almond Butter (1 oz) 3 g
  • (Barney Almond Butter)

Dinner

  • Spinach (9 oz) 6 g
  • Carrot Juice (12 oz) 0 g
  • Avocado (4 oz) 4 g

TOTAL: 42 grams

The above represents my daily menu. I am also using supplements, such as, organic egg shells, raw virgin coconut oil, Omega 3 Capsules, Black Currant Oil Capsules, Vitamin D3 (sublingual spray,) Vitamin B12(sublingual spray), C Complex and more.

The following are foods you may want to incorporate into your dietary regime:

Fruits Amount Fiber

  • Apple medium 4 grams
  • Apple large 5 g
  • Applesauce 6 oz 3.6 g
  • Applesauce 12 oz 7,2 g
  • Avocado 4 oz 8 g
  • Banana medium 3 g
  • Banana large 4 g
  • Blueberries cup 4 g
  • Guava cup 9 g
  • Pear medium 6 g
  • Orange medium 4 g
  • Persimmon medium 6 g
  • Strawberries cup 3 g

Beans

  • Garbanzos cup 12 g
  • Lentils cup 12 g
  • Split peas cup 12 g

Greens

  • Beets, cooked cup 4 g
  • Collard greens cup 5 g
  • Mustard Greens cup 5 g
  • Swiss Chard cup 4 g
  • Turnip Greens cup 5 g

Vegetables

  • Acorn Squash cup 9 g
  • Crook Neck Squash cup 3 g
  • Jicama cup 6 g
  • Spaghetti Squash cup 2 g
  • Summer Scallop Squash cup 5 g
  • Yam medium 4 g
  • Nut/Seeds/Powder
  • Almonds 1 oz 4 g
  • Almond Butter 1 oz 3 g
  • Brazil Nuts 1 oz 2 g
  • Flax Seeds 1 oz 8 g
  • Hemp Powder 1 oz 11 g
  • Pumpkin seeds 1 oz 3 g
  • Sunflower Seeds 1 oz 3 g

For a more complete list of foods, there is a little condensed book entitled The T-Factor Fat Gram Counter, which also gives additional information on % Calories from fat, Cholesterol(mg), Calories, Sodium(mg), and Fiber (g). It sells for less than $5.00

It would be beneficial for you to know how much fiber you are ingesting on a daily basis. Keep a record for 7 days to ascertain the amount of fiber in your diet, if you are having problems with constipation.

A healthy human has more than one elimination daily. The ideal is a bowel movement after every meal. A healthy human has more than one elimination daily. Natives around the world who eat a natural unprocessed food diet have more than three eliminations daily. American couch potatoes might not even have one on a daily basis. Thousands of boxcar loads of laxatives are being sold in America, because people are not getting sufficient fiber and bulk in their foods.

Americans are in 40th place in regard to life expectancy. If you want to live long and healthfully, you need to be aware of information such as this and put it into practice. I keep a daily food journal, because it is the only way to make sure that I am eating right on a regular basis.

Amazon has food journals, which are relatively inexpensive. If you buy several, the shipping is free, I also have a food scale, so I can determine how many ounces of fruit and vegetables that I am eating daily, It keeps me on the straight and narrow.

I believe in being pro-active, so I don’t have to rely on doctors who don’t know that the right foods prevent disease and that the wrong foods create disease. Hopefully I can help you become more knowledgeable nutrition-wise and more proactive, too.

Holistically Yours,

Barbara Charis

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