The F word
Yes yes, Fiber. Sexy.
It conjours images of cardboard, bran cereal and maybe, sawdust?!! Wonderful.
We used to get TV commercials of fiber looking like a broom - sweeping our our insides!
Well, it doesn't really work that way and it is a big deal for many reasons.
For decades we have known that FIBER IS GOOD. The science was crude and now we are getting incredible insights into the magic fiber.
I want to give you a topline understanding of FIBER, it's functions and how to (an how not to) bring it's magic into your life.
Before we start - DISCLAIMER - we are Fiber Freaks. We invented the world's first Fiber Chocolate, The Sexy Dark Swiss Prebiotic Range. That's how obsessed we are.
So here is the deal. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate, one of our main fuel sources.
But we can't digest fiber - so those carbohydrates never turn into calories that are used by us.
They have another set of jobs. IMPORTANT JOBS.
1. They are THE food source for gut bacteria (PREBIOTICS is the fancy name for fiber.)
2. They bulk up our food - this makes us feel fuller.
3. They slow down sugar being released into the blood stream(hello diabetes, heart disease and being F A T).
4. They soak up water making it easier to poop.
Bad news though...
97% of Americans do not eat enough fiber. So... pretty much EVERYONE.*
We need approximately 40 grams of the goodies a day for us to not be getting symptoms of fiber deficiency. And the average person is getting 25 to 30.
So where can we get the extra prebiotics?
Each of our Prebiotic Chocolate bars has a whopping 11 grams of fiber! So for most of us, the great fiber gap is filled. YUM! It is the same amount of fiber as a bowl of Special K cereal - but we have ONE THIRD of their sugar!
Avocados are also and excellent source of fiber, so are legumes, fruit and veges like cabbage, sprouts, prunes and cucumbers.
When you increase fiber you will need to maintain good hydration and as you increase the food for your microbiome, there is a result of that, called GAS.
It is normal to have a temporary increase in gas when you increase fiber, it's a good sign that your bacteria are now more active and should not be uncomfortable or cause you cramps. If you are getting cramps, something else is going on.
Please do try to include fiber as food - fiber is processed as food so supplements like psyllium husk need to be included with food if you want their best effect. We have a recipe on how to do that here.
FUN FACT - Human breast milk has oligosaccharides as it's 3rd largest element. Oligosaccharides are FIBER and babies consume approximately 25 grams of fiber per day. This is used exclusively to build their bacteria colonies.