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Anyone who’s ever cleaned out a juicer is familiar with the pile of pulp that remains once a glass of liquified kale and celery is filled. These cellulose strings are called plant fibers. Also known as roughage, fiber is a component in plants that cannot be broken down through human digestive enzymes. Though this means it can’t be digested, the journey it makes through your body is essential. Fiber is perhaps the single most important compound in your diet, and you’re likely not getting enough. A stunning 97% of Americans lack proper fibrous fuel. Our paleolithic ancestors once consumed upwards of 100g of fiber everyday, from a rainbow of different sources. In the modern landscape of processed, fake, convenience foods, that number ranges from just a tenth of what it once did.
In its fullest expression of vitality, a body relies on getting enough diverse plant fiber, which is why our meals pack an average of 39g of fiber in a single day, nearly quadrupling the nation’s average. The abundance aids in disease prevention and supports critical functions as varied as digestion, fertility, skin clarity, reducing PMS, and weight maintenance. It keeps your libido fired up and your elimination pathways free and clear. Bottom line: it’s the beauty and detoxification tool your body craves. Get the full download below on why you need to prioritize fiber, how it’s the catalyst for thriving health, and why plants will always win out over the shelf-stable fiber crackers stowed in the cabinet for a get-things-moving emergency.
3 Reasons to Flood the Body with Fiber:
It Activates a Healthy Immune System: Fiber isn’t just responsible for supporting a healthy microbiome; it’s at the crux of creating it. As a refresher, the microbiome is made of 39 trillion (yes trillion) microbes, composed of symbiotic organisms like archaea and bacteria, as well as pathogens, viruses, and fungi. The “good” bacteria that supports everything from your energy to mood and memory to calorie absorption must eat prebiotic fiber found in plants. It processes it all in the colon and metabolizes it. Then, Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) are released. This step is key. SFCAs reverse and heal intestinal wall issues, reduce inflammatory microbes and parasites, and cross the blood-brain barrier which protects the brain from circulating pathogens. SFCAs block and mitigate harmful bacteria from proliferating and hindering body systems, ensuring that intestinal T cells, or immune cells, rest in homeostasis. Since fiber produces these all-important SFCAs, it remains a top nutritive tool to balance immunity. Not only does fiber give internal systems the power to work more smoothly, Sakara founder and co-CEO, Whitney Tingle, credits fiber as the answer to fixing her decades-long battle with cystic acne, wiping out parasites and harmful pathogens which inhibit clear, glowing skin.
It Frees You From Carb Fear: This is real among diet devotees, with worry mounting about its connection to obesity, chronic lifestyles diseases, diabetes, and beyond. The real concern, however, should be with the food industry’s “ultra processing” practices that change the carbohydrate molecules and strip the food of its nutritional value and, you guessed it, fiber. The beauty of choosing a diverse range of organic plants in their whole-food form, is that you secure the glucose necessary for cognitive function as well as the soluble fiber that will regulate your blood sugar. In turn, this dials down your net carb count and cracks the code for weight maintenance. The fiber also slows down the digestion process, gastric emptying, and what is known as postprandial blood glucose response; this slowdown actually improves glucose metabolism, leaving you satiated longer and avoiding “empty” snacking altogether.
It Protects Your Hormonal Rhythm: Insoluble fiber acts as tiny scrub brushes that cleanse the GI tract, liver, and colon; ridding the body of unnecessary toxins, metabolic waste, chemicals, and excess estrogen. Most hormonal conditions are linked to poor estrogen metabolism, where it stays too long in the bloodstream without proper excavation. Fiber is a critical ally in this, as it clears the pathway in the elimination deluge and prevents or alleviates hormonal imbalances like fibroids, PMS, PCOS, or endometriosis. Fiber also nurtures insulin sensitivity, another hormone that years of processed foods, stress, and external toxins can prey upon. Several studies reveal a high-fiber diet helps to reduce signs of insulin resistance, which are linked to thyroid issues, chronic disease, and unwanted weight gain. Not to mention, these tiny scrub brushes are responsible for the smooth bowel movements that indicate high health.
It is perhaps the single most important compound in your diet, and you’re likely not getting enough.
3 Ways to Welcome More Fiber Into Your Day:
One Final Fiber Note: With a newfound passion for upping your fiber, you may be inclined to stock the pantry with fiber crackers, fortified fiber supplements, or soluble laxative powders, marketed to up your fiber count in a pinch. But these actually strip the body of important minerals, dehydrating your detox pathways and ultimately tax your body rather than flood it fiber aimed at creating homeostasis. Instead, punch up your plate with whole, clean plants and add some Beauty Water Drops in your water bottle. This will re-wild your H2O with 72 ionic minerals and rehydrate your organs and cells, providing ample nutrition insurance to your diet.
MORE THOUGHTS ON BUILDING YOUR BEST BODY:
Break Out Of Your Greens Rut
Electrify Your Plate with Every Color
Collagen, Omega-3, Vitamin D: Get It All From Plants
By Hannah Shanken • September 25, 2020
Photographer: Elizabeth Coetzee