Search Harvard Health Publications. What can we help you find? Enter search terms and tap the Search button. Both articles and products will be searched. Maybe you exercise to tone your thighs, build your biceps, or flatten your belly. Or maybe you work out to ward off the big killers like heart disease, diabetes, and. How sleep benefits your heart, weight, mind, and more. 20 health benefits of turmeric, one of nature's most powerful healers. It has shown promise in treating cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's, psoriasis & more.
Health Benefits of Fiber You May Not Know. By Dr. Mercola. Public health guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise Americans to eat between 2. This isn't surprising, since fiber refers to the indigestible portion of plant foods, and in the largely refined standard American diet, healthful fibers are often processed right out. Unless you regularly eat whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you may be missing out on the healthiest forms of fiber available – and that could be a problem. That said, in spite of their fiber content, bulking up your diet with bran muffins and cereal is typically a big mistake, which I'll explain shortly. Why Is Fiber So Important? I've long been interested in the health benefits of fiber.
In fact, when I was in medical school 3. I was so convinced of fiber's many benefits that my nickname was Dr. I've since come to appreciate that the type of fiber in your diet, as well as your gut health, play a major role in harnessing fiber's health potential while avoiding its potential pitfalls. Before I explain, let's go over a bit of fiber basics. Soluble fiber, like that found in cucumbers, blueberries, beans, and nuts, dissolves into a gel- like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber may help with weight control.
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Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Health Benefits of Fiber.
Fast facts on chocolate. Here are some key points about chocolate. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. In the past, chocolate consumption. The Benefits of Flaxseed. Is flaxseed the new wonder food? Preliminary studies show that it may help fight heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. Public health guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise Americans to eat between 20 and 30 grams of fiber a day, but most. The fuzzy green novelty items may be the first thing you think of when you hear the word chia, but these tiny superfood seeds are the reason Chia Pets.
There's no shortage of research showing how fiber may boost your health. Some of its top potential benefits include: Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body's breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control.
Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high- fiber diet have a 4. Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven- grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 percent. Weight loss and management: Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people,3 likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness. Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes. Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 4. Hemorrhoids: A high- fiber diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS.
Gallstones and kidney stones: A high- fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar. Wait: Read This Before You Stock Up on Bran Muffins! Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University and an expert on Paleolithic lifestyles, humans are NOT designed to eat grains, and doing so may actually be damaging to your gut. Dr. That's the problem with the USDA recommendations. They think we're hardwired as a species to eat grains. You can get by just fine and meet every single nutrient requirement that humans have without eating grains. And grains are absolutely poor sources of vitamins and minerals compared to fruits and vegetables and meat and fish.
Ironically, since we're often told that whole grains are one of the best sources of fiber for our health, the high- fiber bran portion of grain – a key part that makes it a whole grain - - actually contains many of the anti- nutrients. Leaky gut can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps, as well as cause or contribute to many others symptoms such as fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, allergies, psychological symptoms, autism, and more. All grains contain glutinous proteins known as prolamines that can be very . Plus, while fiber may be good for blood sugar, grains are not and may worsen health conditions like diabetes. Further, if you eat a high- fiber diet with a damaged gut, it can lead to serious problems. If Your Gut Isn't Healthy, a Temporary Very- Low- Fiber Diet May Help.
If you have chronic digestive symptoms like diarrhea, flatulence, stomach pains, reflux, leaky gut syndrome, food allergies, or intolerance, you'd be wise to implement the GAPS program. GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome.
It also stands for Gut and Physiology Syndrome. The first part of the GAPS Introduction Diet is to remove fiber because it feeds microbes.
The human digestive system is not designed to break down fiber. Instead, it ends up undigested in your bowel, where the majority of your gut flora resides. If your gut flora is healthy, i. However, if your gut is filled with pathogenic bacteria and/or yeast and fungi, fiber will actually make your symptoms worse, as it is a non- specific growth factor for intestinal bacteria, and does not discriminate between pathogenic and beneficial bacteria. The digestive system of those with GAPS is predominantly populated by pathogens, which is why fiber must be carefully eliminated from your diet, for a period of time, to help starve out the pathogens (probiotic- rich fermented vegetables and soups with well- cooked, deseeded and peeled vegetables, such as zucchinis and squash, are allowed in the introductory phase). If you're interested in trying this out, I highly recommend getting Dr. Natasha Campbell- Mc.
Bride's book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which provides all the necessary details for the protocol. What Are the Healthiest Sources of Fiber? Assuming your gut is generally healthy, I believe most people need upwards of 5. Most Americans get nowhere near this amount. As the New York Times reported: 7.
Instead, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The following whole foods, for example, contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Chia seeds. Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Root vegetables and tubers, including onions and sweet potatoes. Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds.
Take Control of Your Health With My Nutrition Plan. If you’re looking for the best strategy to dramatically improve your health, then you’ve come to the right place. Many people today struggle with weight issues, diseases, and other health problems that impair their ability to enjoy life. Many resort to pharmaceutical drugs and other conventional methods to relieve their symptoms, but these are actually just Band- Aid solutions that typically result in more harm than good. What they don’t realize is that they can significantly improve their health by just changing their diet and eating habits. And this program will help you achieve exactly that. Fact: High- Quality Fat Is One of the Most Important Nutrients for You.
Conventional physicians, nutritionists, and public health experts have long claimed that dietary fat promotes heart disease and obesity. Today, the general guideline for dietary fat intake is that it should only be 1. I believe that this is one of the most destructive health recommendations that have pervaded the U. S. This is one of the basic principles that I have incorporated in my Nutritional Plan. So what is good fat and how can you distinguish it from unhealthy ones? We’ll discuss this more in detail as you go along this program. Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources are an important component of this program, as they provide you with a number of important health benefits and help in the proper functioning of your: Immune system.
Liver. Cell membranes. Bones. Heart. Hormones. Lungs. Genetic regulation. Saturated fats also promote satiety, reducing your hunger pangs so you avoid binge eating and unhealthy food cravings. By following this high- fat, low- carb diet, you will be able to optimize your weight and avoid virtually all chronic degenerative diseases. This Optimized Healthy Food Pyramid Will Turn Your Health Around. The original food pyramid created by the U.
S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) promotes a diet that has grains, pasta, and bread at its base (meaning they make up the majority of your diet) and fats at the top, or the smallest portion. But this can spell trouble, as grains break down into sugar in your body, driving insulin and leptin resistance.
I strongly believe that for optimal health, you should follow the opposite: increase your intake of healthy saturated fats and limit your grain and sugar intake. I’ve created my own Food Pyramid based on this ratio.
I also believe that you should always be conscious of what you eat – this means avoiding all processed foods that are loaded with additives, harmful chemicals, and genetically engineered ingredients that could put your health at risk. Following This Program May Help You Avoid the Hospital. The reason why I am so passionate about sharing information about healthy eating and exercise, as well as other lifestyle changes like stress management, is it can help keep you OUT of the doctor's office, or even worse, the hospital. Hospitals are actually notorious breeding grounds for medical errors and infections, and those with compromised immune systems can easily fall victim. And if you think taking prescription medications and antibiotics is a viable solution, think again. These drugs not only expose you to harmful side effects, but they also lead to the proliferation of antibiotic- resistant diseases.
To get a clearer picture of just how the modern American medical system has bumbled its way into becoming the leading cause of death and injury in the United States, watch the video below, “Death by Medicine.”Getting Started: Three Factors That Determine Your Level of Health. This Nutrition Plan is divided into Level 1 and 2.
Level 1 is for beginners, such as those who are new to this website and are not yet fully familiar with my health recommendations. However, if you are already implementing most of my health advice, then you can proceed to Level 2. This is also recommended for people with serious medical conditions who are looking for extensive measures to promote healing and health. So how will you know if you’re ready to move on from Level 1 to Level 2? It’s simple: use these three health indicators.
Once they are in their optimal ranges, you will feel comfortable and confident enough to move on to the next level. Insulin Resistance. If you consume a diet consistently high in grains, sugar and non- fiber carbohydrates, then chances are very high that you are struggling with this insulin resistance. This condition happens when your body becomes “sensitized” to the rapid insulin production caused by excessively high sugar intake. When your body becomes used to this large surge of insulin, it eventually causes resistance, which can then lead to diabetes. Before starting this program, have your fasting insulin level checked through a fasting blood insulin test.
This is relatively inexpensive and can be done by any commercial laboratory. Knowing your insulin and leptin ranges can help you assess how well you are progressing in the program. A normal fasting blood insulin level is below 5, but ideally, you should strive for below 3.
Most labs will have reference ranges, but you can safely ignore these as they are based on “normals” of a population that has highly- disturbed insulin levels. Once you’ve reached the normal level, you can reintroduce grains in your diet (but still keep your intake in moderation). Waist Size. Your waist size gives a good indication of the amount of fat you’re carrying, particularly around the stomach area, and is the best and simplest anthropometric measure of your total body fat. In fact, it is more efficient that body mass index (BMI), as it can factor in how muscular you are. Your waist size can also determine how much intra- abdominal fat mass – this is the dangerous type of fat that surrounds your internal organs, and is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, non- alcoholic fatty liver disease, and heart disease. To find out your waist size, take a tape measure around your waist and comfortably measure the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above your belly button. Use these charts to find out if you have a healthy waist circumference: For men, between 3.
For women, between 3. Ideal Cholesterol Ratio. I first opened my medical practice in the mid . But now, many people believe that they must keep their cholesterol levels as low as possible, otherwise your health will suffer.
In reality, you NEED cholesterol. It’s crucial in the production of hormones, cell membranes, vitamin D, and bile acids that help digest fat. Cholesterol also plays an integral part in memory formation and neurological function. So if you want to learn your risk for heart disease, take note of these indicators instead: HDL/Cholesterol ratio. HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. The percentage should ideally be above 2.
Triglyceride/HDL ratio. You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio.
The percentage should be below 2. Your fasting insulin level, as mentioned above.
Your fasting blood sugar level. Studies found that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 1. Your iron level. Having excessively high iron levels can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease, as iron can cause oxidative stress. Make sure to monitor your ferritin levels and make sure they are between 4. If you don’t feel any noticeable change, your body may be telling you that you should consult a knowledgeable health care professional who can understand your insulin and fat biochemistry and fine- tune your individual program. These recommendations are generally safe, but if any of these make you feel nauseous or sick in any way, then please stop immediately. Listening to what your body is telling you is the smartest way to gauge whether or not this plan is working for you.
Remember, there is no charge for this life- saving information in this Nutrition Plan. It is my gift to you and your family to help offset the massive confusion, misinformation, pain and suffering that the conventional medical system has likely given you.