Fiber is found only in plant foods. Animal products do not contain fiber – only fibrous tissue. Fiber is not a nutrient and is not assimilated or digested. It is designed to dislodge particles from the intestine and remove them before harm can take place.
Fiber binds carcinogens and decreases synthesis of toxins, while supporting the presence of healthy bacteria. It can also dilute carcinogens in a liquidy stool, decreasing time of contact in the gut. Finnish studies showed that when people switched to a vegan diet, within one week, there was a marked reduction in four enzymes associated with the production of carcinogens in the intestine. The products of intestinal fiber fermentation help limit the growth of cancer cells. Refined grains and flours have most of their fiber content removed.
Fiber controls blood sugar levels through the slow and gradual delivery of carbohydrates rather than the sharp rises and falls that sugars cause. The accompanying release of insulin is also more gradual. This is particularly helpful for diabetics, hypoglycemics, and endurance athletes and, I suspect, that this could also be a factor in those prone to “road/air rage.”
There are different kinds of fiber necessary to hold water to soften fecal matter sweeping the gut of debris. Soluble fiber combines with sugar molecules to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and can also prevent the absorption of excess cholesterol, causing it to be excreted in the feces. Some fibers are more water absorbent than others, for example, glucomannan fiber from the Japanese Konjac plant that swells to 100 times its weight. Highly absorbant types of fiber help control the appetite by increasing its size through water retention leaving a “full” feeling. Wheat swells to ten times its original size, but there is a danger in adding wheat bran to a poor diet. Wheat bran contains phytates, which reduces the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Too much fiber should not be given to children as they need concentrated nutrients to fill their enormous bodily requirements. Fiber fills without providing those nutrients. Vegetable inulin is a fruit and vegetable fiber used as a source of fructo-oligosaccharides. It promotes friendly bacteria known as probiotics.
Fiber supplements in pill form are deficient in a number of ways:
1) In order to be effective, fiber particles need to be quite large in order to “sweep” the bowel clean of harmful substances. Fiber supplements do not have this capacity.
2) Along with the fiber in foods comes the necessary water needed to provide bulk. Supplements do not provide this unless one drinks copious amounts when taking them – which brings us back to problem #1.
3) Relying on one kind creates the problem of missing the benefits that others can provide.
4) To receive the amount of fiber necessary to make a difference in the system would require about fifty tablets per day.
Flavonoids are a group of antioxidants found in the skins of fruits and vegetables, especially those of the citrus family. Some flavonoids are: quercetin, rutin, hesperidan, kaempferol, myricetin, apigenin, and luteolin.