Daily bowel movements (what I refer to as BMs) and keeping things moving out of our system are key to great health. The few nutrition recommendations that I have proposed thus far–eat real, mostly plants, and not too much–in fact all relate back to a common component of real food that keeps things moving–FIBER.
Real food often contains real fiber, and when I refer to real fiber this doesn’t include the fortified foods that fill our supermarket shelves. Edible food-like substances from water-flavoring packets to cookies and yogurt have extracted fiber added to them. DON’T FALL FOR THE HYPE. This is just a sly marketing scheme to get into the pockets of health-thirsty consumers such as yourself. Fiber-fortified foods are often filled with a host of unpronounceable, chemically-derived compounds which are best to cut back on.
Although fiber is often a common denominator to the foods that are beneficial for us–like fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains–these foods also contain a variety of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. These healthy component vary from one plant species to another and are equally important for our health. A vast majority of foods which are naturally derived from plants contain either small or large amounts of fiber, which is another great reason to eat mostly plants. Additionally, when we eat more fiber-rich foods, we consequently don’t eat too much, because fiber keeps us feeling full.
So the next time you don’t have your AM or PM BM, your first line of defense should be reaching for a fiber-rich pear or a hearty bean meal instead of a Crystal Light On The Go Fiber packet or a Metamucil miracle tablet. Don’t get me wrong, if you have honestly tried to eat more fiber-rich foods to no avail (or shall I say, to no BM!), perhaps you should look into these alternative methods. As foods are our natural medicine, however, naturally fiber-rich foods is just what the doctor ordered to alleviate constipation and keep things moving!