Fiber: A moving experience

By Wendell Fowler

Your last two or three meals may spend three hours in your stomach but up to three days traversing the dark recesses of your colon. Today, Americans consume too much dead, lifeless food and trust me on this one, the less time it loiters in the dark recesses of your colon the better.

What happens in the digestive track after a typical meal of steak, potato, overcooked veggies, white flour rolls and iceberg salad? If you covered these foods in a glass dome and left it at 98.6 for three days, it will begin decomposing and bacteria and mold would begin to form. Undigested plant food, proteins, carbohydrate and fats would begin to rot, go rancid, ferment and smell like something crawled up and died inside you.

I’m as weak as the next guy, so after I eat too much, I consume two tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds with water or sprinkled on my food; therefore, the meal only lingers about 12 appropriate hours.

Fiber promotes bowel function, lowering your risk of digestive toxicity. Dietary fiber, a.k.a. Roto-Rooter, thwarts constipation, heart disease, obesity, Crohn’s, embarrassing flatulence and type 2 diabetes. Fiber holds nutrients in the intestinal tract, thus slowing absorption and reducing “up and down” blood sugar levels.

Dietary fiber from plant foods, not unnatural pharmacy rubbish, gently purges your intestinal ecosystem, scouring its walls of sticky waste matter and thus reducing GI problems. Heart disease studies show a diet high in soluble fiber reduces cholesterol by 24 percent, reducing the impact of cholesterol on your arteries. Water-soluble fiber may prevent reabsorption of bile acids made from cholesterol. Fiber binds with them and escorts them out of the temple as the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood. Water-soluble fiber lowers total cholesterol and LDL without affecting HDL. Water-soluble fiber is found in oat bran, legumes, psyllium, ground flax, chia, nuts, beans, pectin and various fruits and vegetables. It forms a bulky gel in the intestine that regulates the flow of waste materials. Psyllium in particular improves blood sugar levels in diabetics. Oat bran is most favorable.

Insoluble fiber won’t dissolve in water. Our temple cannot digest the undissolvable parts of plant walls found in some cereals, bran and vegetables. The function of insoluble fiber is to collect water which increases stool bulk, promoting bowel movement.

Eat more fiber to get your internal river flowing like White River in spring and you’ll have a moving experience. You are a lovable miracle.