Want to start pooping those 2-3 poops every day, lessening the amount of time that nasty gross putrefied food spends in your gut, feeling fuller during meals, stabilizing your blood sugar levels, feeding your healthy microbes that are responsible for your overall HEALTH and HAPPINESS, and naturally lower your serum cholesterol?
All you have to do is one small thing…
INCREASE YOUR DAILY FIBER!
Fiber has sooooooo many benefits that I can’t even bring myself to type them all out. Read about them here in this study.
The recommended amount of fiber to consume daily is 25-30 grams. I knowww. That sounds like a lot. And I know a lot of you are probably sitting all pretty over there thinking “I eat salad every day! I definitely get enough fiber! I eat flax and chia and leafy greens, I drink smoothies, I eat beans, I’m on the fiber train!”.
And it’s so great that you’re doing all that! But I do have some news for you….
FRUITS AND VEGGIES DON’T CONTAIN AS MUCH FIBER AS YOU THINK
Before you come at me, hang on a sec. I didn’t say they contain NO fiber at all, I just said they don’t contain as much fiber as we’d all like to think they do.
Yes they contain some, but unless you’re eating like 10 cups of spinach per day or 8 cups of blueberries every day, you are probably not getting your daily recommended 25-30 grams in from your fruits and veggies alone. And trust me ... no one is eating that much spinach or that many blueberries. In fact, check this out:
Fiber in grams per 1 cup of your favorite fruits:
Fiber in grams per 1 cup of your favorite veggies
Romaine lettuce: 1g
Sweet potato: 4g
Acorn squash: 2.1g
Lets say you’re eating a lot of these things. First off, that’s freaking awesome!! Good for you!! Keep it up and enjoy the all the incredible benefits of eating a very plant-based diet. Your body will reward you in ways you’ve never imagined.
Secondly, even if you are eating several high fiber containing fruits and veggies, you may want to consider adding a little fiber supplement to your daily regimen, just to make sure you’re getting that recommended 25-30g every day.
Psyllium husk is a great fiber source and something I recommend to my clients regularly. It helps give the stool it’s bulk. It attracts water in the colon, swells up, and acts like a scrubbing brush in the colon. It sweeps out the old stuff and moves the toxic waste products along by picking it up as it moves the length of the colon for easy elimination. This one is my favorite.
Lets take a little inventory here. Do you guys remember the old food pyramid image?
Remember it used to have pictures of different foods divided into sections, and it said how many servings you were supposed to eat of each food group every day.
Do you remember the bottom most portion of that pyramid with all the bread and grains and things?
And remember how it used to say get 6-11 servings of those things PER DAY?!
Like um…. Seriously who is eating that much bread each day?! (…well I definitely was while we were in Europe this past summer, but that’s neither here nor there … hah ((even your health coach colon therapist chicka likes her bread!!))
BUT the point is who is honestly eating 6-11 servings of ANYTHING every day?!
Even the fruits and veggies, who out there is honestly getting in your 4-6 servings of fruits and 4-6 servings of veggies every single day in and day out?
Unless you’re totally dialed in (some of you) and super diligent, you’re probably not.
This is not to make you feel bad, this is just to point out that getting the daily recommended amount of ANYTHING that isn’t 86% cacao chocolate and salted-caramel Nada Moo definitely takes effort.
What is fiber?
Fiber is actually a carbohydrate. BUT – and this is important for my keto folk out there – it’s not digested into a simple sugar molecule. It’s actually indigestible. Fiber is either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber turns into a gel like substance, retains water and is dissolved (ie: ). Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve, rather it maintains its structure for the most part and remains intact (ie: celery, the skins on your fruits and veggies, legumes
Fiber is also the food for our bacteria that live in our colons. They need to eat food and eliminate (ie: POOP! Read my most recent post on poop here!) just like we do. And the way that we feed them is by providing our bodies with fiber, that will travel its way down our GI tracts and end up in our large intestine where our bacteria will nosh on that fiber to their little hearts’ desires and make all kinds of sexy things for us like short chain fatty acids, butyrate, acetate and propionate that keep the lining of our guts healthy.
Fun fiber fact!! Did you know…
THAT YOU CAN CHANGE THE MICROBIAL COMPOSITION AND INCREASE THE DIVERSITY OF THE BACTERIA IN YOUR COLON IN AS LITTLE AS 24 HOURS WHEN YOU SWITCH TO A PRIMARILY PLANT-BASED DIET FROM A MEAT-BASED DIET?
24 HOURS. You guys. Bullets have left guns slower (Chandler Bing anybody? When Rachel goes on a date with Mark and Ross is all butt hurt about it even though he totally slept with that girl from the copy place?!).
Like seriously how incredibly amazing is that?! Who doesn’t have 24 hours to try something THIS POWERFUL on for size?!
A word about increasing your fiber intake (especially if you’re adding psyllium):
I think of fiber like the dishwasher detergent::: If you add the detergent to that little trap door on the inside, and you don’t add water, do the dishes get clean?
Does the soap bubble up and do its magical scrubbing action on all the gook and grim in there?
No. It doesn’t. Not even a little bit! It just sits there and doesn’t do a dang thing. The whole purpose is defeated if you don’t add water.
Think of fiber the same way. You MUST increase your water intake if you are increasing your fiber intake. Many people experience bloating, gas, cramping, abdominal discomfort, and nausea when they up their fiber but DON’T up their water right along with it.
In my experience, when people are consuming adequate amounts of water in concert with increased fiber intake, many of these effects are mitigated and the gut stays happy.
Also – remember what I talked about earlier: fiber is food for your bacteria. There are literally TRILLIONS of little guys in your colon who are having a damn FEAST on that fiber.
So the trillions of little dudes eating and having a merry ole time down there, are likewise eliminating, making short chain fatty acids, making babies, and basically having a fun bacteria bash down there.
It is not unusual nor is it a bad thing to be experiencing some … feels down there. Like gas feels. Or rumblings. Or things … ya know… moving all crazy like.
Some people can literally feel their gas bubbles moving in a line across their transverse colon.
It’s a weird sensation, not gonna lie. But its wonderful.
That is your incredible bodily wisdom doing its thang and providing you with benefits because YOU provided IT with high quality plant-based nutrition.
Now go give yourself a big hug and appreciate yourself for making powerful health choices.
On the flip side y’all, a diet that is low in fiber actually increases your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. It also increases your risk for cancers of the colon, liver and breast.
There is this amazing body of research done by a man by the name of Denis Burkitt who spent many years in Uganda observing people between the ages of 40-60. He found that the people in Uganda had less incidences of colon cancer, diverticulitis, appendicitis, varicose veins, hernias, diabetes, asthma, and atherosclerosis (diseases common in high-income countries), and he was able to attribute these diseases to the small amount of dietary fiber consumed in high-income countries mainly due to the over-processing of natural foods.
In the years following Burkitt’s death, his hypothesis and results have been widely replicated and verified in large scale epidemiological studies.
Check out this article here to learn more about his work.
Moral of the story::
EAT. MORE. FIBER.
Fiber is absolutely amazing and will provide your body with a multitude of benefits including feeding your gut microbes, helping stabilize your blood sugar, increasing satiety, giving bulk to your stool, and lessening the amount of time food sits in our colons.
Fear not, my loves! Fiber is there to help you in every way possible. I’m excited for you to experiment with more fiber and reap the insane health giving benefits.
How much fiber are you getting in on a daily basis? Where could you improve your fiber intake? Tell me in the comments!
Happy Fiber-ing, friends! You’ve got this!!