Digestion Healing Foods
Fiber functions primarily to ensure proper and complete digestion of the nutrients from our food and most importantly to eliminate the waste from our digestive process. Most AMA doctors consider one bowel movement (BM) per day optimum, with two or three per week marginally okay.
But Western holistic practitioners, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, and the Weston A. Price Foundation all have a different standard than mainstream medicine. They consider two to three BMs per day optimum.
But that’s not all. Fiber helps slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes and help prevent diabetes. Soluble fiber especially offers prebiotic functions to help intestinal probiotics flourish. Obstructing LDL or “bad cholesterol” absorption is also a fiber function.
Not everyone is currently convinced of the idea that bad cholesterol is the major source of bad heart health. But those who have bought into it claim this is how fiber enhances heart health.
Cooked meats and processed flour foods have no or low fiber contents. These are basic SAD foods. High fiber foods are unprocessed plant-based foods that host either soluble or insoluble fibers.
Soluble fibers tend to be high in starchier foods. They dissolve in water to form a gel. This gel has a more gentle action in the digestive system than the harsher insoluble fibers that are more like brushes in the gut. Soluble fibers also help maintain probiotic gut populations.
They are both important. Nevertheless, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) victims especially need to focus more on soluble fibers or eating them before eating insoluble fiber foods. Example: A rice or potato dominated main dish (soluble fibers) followed by the insoluble raw salad instead of the customary salad starter.
Six high fiber sources
The recommended daily value (DV) of fiber intake is around 25 grams for women and 30 grams for men. Here’s a list of gram contents for many popular foods. (http://www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/high-fiber-foods.php)
(1) Beans (legumes) of all types. It’s better nutritionally and more economical if you purchase bulk organic dry beans and soak them overnight before cooking the next day. Lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking. Their fiber is of the insoluble variety.
(2) The perfect insoluble fiber counter-balance for serving beans comes from rice, although the fiber content is less. Combining rice with beans provides most of the amino acids needed to form protein. A little culinary creativity with rice and bean combinations will satisfy most tastes.
Using rice and beans as a staple will provide high plant-based protein that doesn’t require lots of proteolytic pancreatic enzyme activity for processing meat proteins. Proteolytic enzymes are able to penetrate cancer cells. Save some for that activity.
(3) A couple of slices of whole grain, pumpernickel, or whole wheat breads supply four to seven grams of fiber. These fibers are of the insoluble variety.
(4) Bran cereals contain five to ten grams of insoluble fiber per half-cup. Bran cereals include organic steel cut oats. Slice up a banana into the steel cut oats to balance out the insoluble fiber with three grams of soluble fiber.
(5) Green leaf and cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber, with broccoli on top at four grams plus per half-cup. These are insoluble type fibers. Most nuts and flax seeds are high in insoluble fibers as well. Serve with rice or potatoes to balance the insoluble with soluble.
(6) Potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes, pumpkin, avocado, and beets all provide healthy amounts of soluble fiber. Rolled oats oatmeal, quinoa, and barley follow on this soluble fiber list.