Fibre Rich Food such as bread, pasta and cereals are bad for you, right? After all, they are all carbs which means they make you fat which in turn puts you at risk of a whole host of life-threatening conditions. Should we simply ignore them and send them to the ends of the earth and just stay with meat protein and some green veggies. Surely not if we debunk many of the beliefs we've taken in the past to be true.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), they found that by eating more fibre rich foods such as wholegrain cereals, pasta and bread as well as fruit and vegetables and nuts and seeds will do wonders for your health and longevity. It will certainly cut the risk of heart disease and an early trip to the grave.
Your chances of premature death from a dread disease such as cancer and heart disease will be greatly reduced. It's also a known fact that people who eat more fibre rich food can easily reduce premature death by up to 30 per cent. Would you not want to live a little longer and at the same time a lot healthier? I have been trying to educate family, friends and anyone else for years who'd care to listen. Now I'm not saying you should let go of all the food you love and become a vegetarian such as I have for 45 years and counting.
But the way I see it, people are dying all around me mostly from cancer and heart disease. I told my sister-in-law at 61 years of age who has stage 4 breast cancer accompanied by extreme pain, is there anyone you know who doesn't have some kind of dread disease. The only answer she could give me was myself. I have been trying to tell people for years that they need to change their diet and by that - I mean their food and lifestyle. But you know the old story - You can take a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink.
Most people I have spoken to tell me that it's got nothing to do with their eating and that they all eat healthier. What I find is that while they say that the food they eat is healthy, they consume far too much unhealthy food thinking that it's healthy stuff. And the worst is that according to my sister-in-law, her health problems are simply stress-related. Now while some of this could be true, her food choices are in the red zone. Worst of all, these choices are passed on to her family and they too are eating foods passed down from one generation to the next. How can we possibly get out of this predicament if we don't take proper precautions and responsibility?
Sometimes in one's life, we have to take a step back and see what's going on here. We desperately need to step out of our comfort zone as well as the red zone if we are going to have any kind of real health benefits. Most of us are simply eating the wrong kind of foods. When was the last time you ate sea vegetable and I'm not just talking about the green stuff that the Japanese restaurants wrap around the sushi you sometimes eat?
That green sheet you see is called Nori and while it has some health benefits, there is plenty of other sea vegetables such as wakame and Dutch that have far-reaching health benefits. Seaweed or sea vegetables contain so many nutrients such as minerals and trace elements vital to our well-being yet so many of the people I have spoken to say they never heard of or eat seaweed and go on to say that it's not the kind of food our mothers would serve at the table. All the more reason to think out of the box.
It was for this very reason that at the age of consent or in my case 21 years of age. I just knew that there was something wrong with the foods we were told were good for us. Not so much with my family - Mom and Dad and seven children. We ate mostly vegetables and very little meat products simply because there wasn't a lot of money around our household. Even though we had more vegetables than any kind of meat on our dinner plate there are times when I want to thank my parents for that great start in life.
Unfortunately, my siblings went the opposite way almost all of them have some kind of dread disease from diabetes to cancers to heart conditions to strokes. While I try my best to help, they prefer to trust in God and their doctors. I have been advocating vegetarianism and macrobiotics for as long as I can remember and so far in the light of my family, it's paying huge dividends.
Knowing what is good to eat and what's not good to eat is like a journey of discovery. If you get a headache, you should know that something in the body is amiss but what do most people do, they take a painkiller and pray that that will do the job. Unfortunately, it can be seen as an alarm clock going off and what do we do when the alarm goes off, we simply switch it off. The same can be said with a headache. We simply switch it off with a pill.
Okay! Now that I've got that out of the way, I cannot stress (the good kind that is) how important it is to consume the kind of foods fit specifically for humans.
Did you know that by eating fibre rich foods you'll reduce your chance of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer between 16 and 24 per cent? There is strong evidence that a high fibre diet which for the majority of people is at least high-ish in carbohydrates, has an enormous protective effect.
A wide range of diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer benefits from a high-carbohydrate diet. It does, however, put a spanner in the works as far as those who promote fashionable low-carb diets. On the other hand, this doesn't give us the go-ahead to carbo-load without restriction. Let us break down the do's and don'ts of a fibre-filled diet.
Fibre, also known as roughage or bulk, is the part of plant foods not broken down by your body during digestion. There are two forms of fibre - insoluble and soluble - both are necessary if you want to reap the rewards.
Insoluble fibre is found in plant-based foods such as seeds and skins of fruit and vegetables as well as brown rice and bread made of whole grains. It passes through your digestive system in close to its original form and provides bulk to help other foods to move through your body.
Soluble fibre is found in foods such as oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples and blueberries. This type of fibre absorbs water in your digestive tract and swells to create a gel-like much. All good for you.
When it comes to digestion, fibre helps maintain healthy bowel movement by softening your stool and increasing its size and weight. A bulky stool is easier to pass decreasing your chance of constipation. Fibre helps to keep your gut healthy too. This is not only something you need but also something you would want considering poor gut bacterial health has been linked to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, allergies and depression.
Fibre can also help control blood sugar, which is especially good for people living with diabetes. Fibre helps to slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, thereby preventing large and uncontrolled spikes in blood sugar levels. Spikes in blood sugar can negatively affect your appetite, causing you to overeat later which can lead to increased inflammation in your body.
A shortage of fibre comes with a host of problems including bloating, gassiness, and even diarrhoea. When you don't consume enough fibre, food isn't digested as easily and this may cause gastrointestinal issues. A lack of fibre can also result in diet-related nausea and tiredness, low HDL cholesterol which is considered the good cholesterol and high levels of triglyceride which is associated with liver and pancreas problems.
You may want to ask how much fibre rich food do I need to create a healthy lifestyle for myself. As an adult, you should consume at least 25-30 grammes a day as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Getting enough isn't rocket science. By incorporating more fresh and unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily routine you'll automatically increase your fibre intake.
Simple enough! Eat more whole grains, the less processed the better. As an example, opt for whole wheat or rye bread instead of white bread and brown rice instead of white rice. Explore other whole grains such as quinoa. millet, barley, amaranth, oats farro and buckwheat. When possible eat the skins of fruit.
Eat as much raw fruit and vegetables and limit the amount of cooking time for those vegetables that are difficult to eat raw. As a rule, eat raw fruits and vegetables in the summer months and only cook vegetables in the winter months. If possible don't take fibre supplements as they offer little if any real health benefits.
Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.