Fiber: Your Liver Loves It!
As important as your liver is, it can't function properly without a high fiber diet. The reality is that most people have insufficient amounts in their diets. And as we know...if the liver becomes overworked, toxins and cholesterol levels in the body may increase.
You can increase the amount of fibrous foods in your diet by consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and numerous other plant foods.
Fiber is classified as either insoluble or soluble. Insoluble remains intact in water, whereas soluble dissolves. You can obtain insoluble fiber from such sources as bran, whole-wheat flour and vegetables. Soluble fiber sources include oats, peas, beans, and psyllium.
You will be excited to know that all fiber inhibits the absorption of fats and sugars. Some fiber, such as pysllium, have prebiotic effects. This means that they provide nourishment for the good gut bacteria. This bacteria is the bacteria that helps remove toxins and eases the workload on your liver. Diets low in fiber can lead to a build-up of toxins and fats in your liver.
A high fiber diet will help your liver to remove waste from the body, but a lack of fiber could cause toxins and fats to be re-absorbed back into the bloodstream and returned to the liver to be cleansed. This could result in poor liver function.
The fats and toxins won't all be removed from the blood leading to the accumulation of fatty deposits in your blood vessels. To make matters worse your overworked liver may not be able to produce enough good HDL cholesterol to rid your blood vessels of the bad LDL cholesterol.
So by keeping the liver healthy, that high fiber diet helps keep off unwanted weight, allows for regular bowel movements, controls cholesterol, and helps normalize blood sugar values. Not to mention more beautiful skin and hair and eyes! Oh, and how about a higher energy level? And all of this will lead to a much better mood with less anxiety!
BRING ON THE FIBER!
But there's more...
did you know that a high-fiber diet can ease menopause symptoms and reduce the risk of breast cancer?
During menopause, the ovaries’ production of estrogen is reduced, but their production of progesterone stops
completely. This can result in a hormonal imbalance in which estrogen is dominant.
What problems are caused by excess estrogen? Check it out:
- It has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Increases the risk of blood clots.
- Strokes are more likely.
- Blood pressure may increase to unhealthy levels.
- Gallstones and liver problems are more likely to occur.
- What about those mood swings?!
- It can also suppress thyroid function.
That's just to name a few of the biggies. The great news is, dietary fiber binds to and helps the body eliminate excess estrogen. That's why it is no surprise that diets high in fiber have been associated with a decrease in breast cancer and other cancers along with reducing the risk of gallstones which has become quite the epidemic these days.
Food High in Fiber
Here are a few extremely high fiber, liver-loving foods to start adding to your daily diet right away:
- Berries, such as rasberries, blackberries, and bluberries
- Lentils and Beans
- Apples and Pears
- Oatmeal (not instant) and Barley
- Vegetable Soup
Start planning your meals at the beginning of each week to incorporate plenty of high fiber foods into your diet every day.
DO NOT RELY ON FIBER SUPPLEMENTS! Taking a fiber supplements is ok, but don't think that this is a significant contribution to your daily totals.
There is no additional nutritional value to fiber powders or tablets. One orange provides the same 3 grams of fiber provided by a fiber pill, but with a whole heck of a lot more nutrition and antioxidants. Think of your fiber supplement as a small contribution to your daily fiber intake.
Before I wrap this up I would like to mention Brown Rice. Eat Brown Rice, not white.
Brown rice is far less processed that polished white rice. Milling of rice, that turns it white, removes 67% of vitamin B3, 80% of vitamin B1, and 90% of vitamin B6. Manganese and phosphorus is lost by half, plus 60% of the iron.
All of the dietary fiber is lost as well. Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese, selenium, and magnesium. Clinical studies have been performed showing the diets high in brown rice will reduce cholesterol, as well as your risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. One cup of brown rice provides 3.5 grams of fiber per cup.
Now how do you know how much fiber you are consuming? I would like for you to work your way up to 25-30 grams of dietary fiber daily.
So plan your menu and get started right now. This is one of the easiest ways to get started improving the health of your amazing liver!
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