“Eat more fiber’ has been a popular statement over the past couple of years, and with good reason. Elimination is a high priority on the road to better health. I’ve worked with many people over the years with either constipation or diarrhea issues, and both are indicative of less than ideal health. A new study, to be published in the June 14th print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, led by the National Cancer Institute, concluded that “a diet rich in dietary fiber from whole plant foods may provide significant health benefits.” I know this isn’t news for most of you, but it’s always nice to be validated in your beliefs.

In this study of 219,123 men and women, ages 50-71, showed that a diet rich in fiber, especially from whole grains, significantly reduced the risk of dying over a nine-year period compared to those who consumed lower amounts of fiber. Fiber-rich foods are beans, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These foods aid the body with bowel movements, lower blood cholesterol levels, and improved blood glucose levels. recommended intake is 38 grams/day for men 14-50, 30 grams/day for men 51+, 25-26 grams/day for women 14-50, and 21 grams/day for women 51+.

One of the best ways to get fiber in your food is to eat as many foods as you can that look the same on your plate as they do in the ground (minus the dirt, of course).

There are a myriad of benefits by adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet, most notably the elimination issues and maintaining proper pH in the body. Western diets tend to be heavy in acidity due to excessive meats and dairy, and acidity is less than ideal for optimal bodily functions, including energy levels. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. It all boils down to “how do you want to live, feeling good or not so good?”

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.