Fruits and (certain) veggies provide the body with all kinds of great things, and you do need them. For instance; the good ones provide fiber. This fiber keeps the digestive system full and moving while feeding the bacteria in our digestive tract. These beneficial bacteria help to keep us healthy by fighting off bad bacteria. Fruits and (certain) veggies are also filled with essential vitamins and minerals. They also can reduce the risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, and are a great source of the well-known and much-needed antioxidant vitamin C.
The body is fascinating and there is always something cool to learn about. For example, I find it really interesting that by eating fruits and (certain) vegetables, and when all other systems are operating like they are supposed to, your body can create its own aspirin, further reducing inflammation in the body. This is because benzoic acid (a substance found in fruits and (certain) vegetables) helps the body produce its own salicylic acid – the well-known anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. This is important because chronic inflammation usually turns into a chronic disease.
The point I want to discuss today is fiber because that has become quite a popular topic in recent years. However, there seems to be some confusion. Let’s clear that up!
There are actually a couple of types of fiber. There is soluble and insoluble fiber. They both play a role in our health. However, many see or hear the word “fiber” and just run with it. That is probably not the best thing to do.
More often than not, when people see or hear fiber, insoluble fiber is what they are thinking about. This type of fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. This is the stuff that adds bulk to your stool. It is also what I call a pusher because it pushes food more quickly through the stomach and intestines. However, this is not always a good thing. This is especially true if you are trying to repair your intestinal tract or already have loose stools.
The fiber that you should become more familiar with is soluble fiber. This type of fiber attracts water and turns into a gel during digestion. This type of fiber is what I call a gooer. Soluble fiber slows digestion and helps feed beneficial bacteria, making it easier for them to do their job – which is to help you absorb the nutrients.
Soluble fiber also acts as a prebiotic. For clarification, PREbiotics are simply foods that feed beneficial bacteria (Gardner, 2015). What you want to do is consume enough soluble fiber with a solid diet to feed friendly bacteria – especially if you are seeking to optimize digestive health and maintain or even repair the gut lining (Kresser, 2012). Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as peas, squash, pumpkins, avocados, bananas, apples, blueberries, etc.
The best part of soluble fiber is the slew of health benefits that come from it. For instance, this type of fiber can help manage your weight because it helps keep you feeling full without adding calories to your diet; soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol and moves it out of the body, which can help your heart, and it can keep diabetes under control because it is not well absorbed and does not contribute to blood sugar spikes (Zelman, 2015).
The topic of insoluble fiber is an easy one. If your diet is solid, you will get plenty. Eat right, feel right. And when it comes to veggies, remember; many of the veggies that are good for you are actually fruits.
With all that being said: beware of the GMO! GMOs are genetically modified organisms. While this subject could literally be a book by itself, I wanted to provide a couple of things to consider so that you are warned about the possible negatives regarding the consumption of such foods.
Aside from the fact that oversight of such modifications is lacking (to say the very least), the safety of such foods should be a question in all of our minds. Thankfully it is questioned in those who study such things.
Furthermore, out of all the things I have ever read, the Institute for Responsible Technology summed it best when they explained that “The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses” (Smith, 2011). This rabbit hole gets so much deeper.
So, let’s think about it. Do you eat cereals, cookies, crackers, snack bars, or soy milk? Do you eat things with corn syrup? How about processed foods made from corn? Then the chances are pretty good that you are consuming genetically modified organisms. Oddly enough, these are also the convenience foods we know we should avoid. For me, I buy organic and urge others to do the same. Not because of some agenda, but because nature has a design and I will trust nature over a company any day of the week.
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This article was originally published as a chapter in the book Natural Health Made Easy: The Briobiotic Protocol (2016)
This article was written from a Health Science perspective. Dr. Robertson is a health researcher and educator, not a physician. The information provided here is not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or service to you or any other individual. The information provided is for educational and anecdotal purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation, or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. Dr. Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or additional information, services, or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.