What’s the Bushman’s Secret to Health?
– Big “poops” twice a day.
The Bushmen are mostly free of all the chronic diseases that have become so prevalent today: heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, obesity, gut issues, etc.
So what does poop have to do with disease?
The Bushmen gets lots of “something” a modern man does not understand; something that not only caused their prolific poops but also delivered many health-altering benefits like:
• Lowers cholesterol
• Helps us lose weight
• Keeps blood sugar levels stable
• Curbs appetite
• Turns off various cancers
• Helps detoxify the body
• Relieves constipation
• Helps to maintain healthy insulin levels
• Reduces the risk of heart attack
• May even offsets certain neuro-degenerative diseases – the building blocks of the nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease.
• Improve metabolic health and energy
What is this powerful something?
In one word: FIBER.
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, this one cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead, it passes through the body undigested.
Fibre is the indigestible, structural part of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, and seeds that are expelled from the body once we have absorbed all the vitamins and minerals the plants have to offer. And our bushmen existed on loads of it.
It is part of the cellular wall of these foods. So, why do I eat it? My fibre diet promises to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, according to several studies that I have researched. But these diseases are not my only health issues; I also struggle with painful legs, ankles and feet.
Along with fibre and adequate fluid intake ( 8 glasses of structured water a day), it is responsible for quickly moving foods through my digestive tract, helping it function optimally. It works by drawing fluids from the body to add bulk to the “poop”.
Before I came across the importance of fibre, my digestive tract suffered, and I developed high cholesterol that led to my heart problem — plus inflammation throughout my body. I was not even aware that my blood was inflamed and was affecting my brain.
In my research, I discovered that high-fibre diets might help lower the risk of colon issues, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, obesity and digestive tract conditions to mention just a few of my health issues. High fibre intake helps shift the balance of bacteria, increasing healthy bacteria, while decreasing the unhealthy bacteria that can be the cause of not only severe digestive problems but significant diseases throughout the body. I had bad bacteria which slipped through my stomach lining in what is called “Leaky Gut” into my blood without being correctly digested.
My body became acidic, my pH levels were unbalanced, and my body inflamed as my immune system attempted to understand and treat these foreign intruders in the blood. Then, I also discovered there was soluble and insoluble fibre.
What is the Difference Between Soluble Fibre and Insoluble Fibre?
Insoluble fibre’s job is to provide bulk in the intestines while helping balance the pH levels in the organs. It promotes regular bowel movements and helps prevent constipation. It doesn’t dissolve in water and doesn’t ferment with bacteria in the colon. It is believed to help avoid problems in the colon like bleeding and swollen veins in the anus while sweeping out carcinogens and toxins from the system.
Nuts, seeds, potatoes, fruit with skin and green vegetables are excellent sources.
The job of soluble fibre is, to create a gel in the system binding with fatty acids. Studies show that it prolongs stomach emptying to allow for better absorption of nutrients. Soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes like myself.
It is present in beans, oats, barley, berries, oat bran, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits (Navel oranges, apples, avocados, berries) and vegetables such as carrots and legumes ( Kidney beans, Peas, Soybeans, Peanuts, Green beans, Navy beans, Lentils, Chickpeas, Alfalfa ).
It does ferment in the stomach, which can lead to bloating and gas. I Increased these foods gradually and drank plenty of water. This kind of soluble fibre is the type that helps with weight loss because it slows the process of food emptying from your stomach and makes you feel full for longer after eating.
Both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre have recently been showing to be important in helping to control and manage hypertension ( high blood pressure) as well. So, where do we start?
Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?
You decide for yourself –
With about 115 calories and 5.4 grams of fibre, large, unpeeled apples qualify as high in fibre, meaning that one fruit provides more than 20 per cent of the daily value for fibre. Much of the fibre in whole apples is in its skin, and most of this fibre is the insoluble type.
It is also a key anti-inflammatory food.
Apple consumption improved all the following outcomes:
The decline of unnatural ageing, diabetes, weight management, bone health, pulmonary function and gastrointestinal protection. Apples are a high-antioxidant food and a very significant source of flavonoids – have antiviral, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, antitumor abilities and are effective scavengers of free radicals.
They’re also a source of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron and zinc. They also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, folate and niacin.
Are you going to stay on top of your health game by eating a little red apple a day to keep cancer, diabetes and heart events away?
Here are my favourite 5-fibre health foods:
1. Avocados are my next top favourite for fibre and other health benefits – it is the most nutrient packed food on the planet. Total dietary fibre: 10.1 grams per cup (150 grams).
The dominate nutrients are Vitamin C, E, A, B6, folate, K, potassium, various antioxidants, multiple trace vitamins and minerals (like magnesium, potassium, iron and copper) too and so much more.
They offer protection against heart disease, cancer, cognitive disorders, lower inflammation, stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps prevent strokes, lowers the risk of diabetes, balances moods, builds lean muscle mass and burns fat. It also prevents free radicals that have the power to change DNA and result in cell mutations. The Anti-inflammatory compounds like the phytonutrients are vital in reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders that can affect every part of the body — including joints, the heart, brain, internal organ systems, skin, hair, eyes and connective tissue.
The fibre content of avocados varies depending on the type. There is a difference in fibre content and makeup between the between the bright green, smooth-skinned avocados and the smaller, darker and dimpled variety. I buy the rough-skinned avocados which have significantly more insoluble fibre than smooth-skinned variety. In addition to the fibre, avocados are packed with healthy fats that help lower “bad” cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
2. Pears, although also high in fibre, build my bones, and feed my nerves and brain.
Crisp, sweet and delicious, pears contain high levels of fibre – Total dietary fibre: 9.9 grams per medium pear (275 grams).
They contain potent vitamins C, K, boron and potassium. Boron and vitamin K are better for my bones than calcium. But they’re also rich in omega-6 fatty acids associated with healthy cells, brain, inflammation, Rheumatoid Arthritis and nerve function – especially in diabetic neuropathy nerve pain – ask me I know about this pain.
Blackberries are high in vitamin K associated with boosting of bone density, while raspberry nutrition is high in manganese levels that help support healthy bones, skin and blood sugar levels.
Total dietary fibre: 7.2 grams per cup (80 grams). Nutrients: Manganese, omega-6 fatty acids, folate, selenium.
Coconut products are growing in popularity, with good reason. Coconut has a low glycemic index and is easy to incorporate into your diet. With four to six times the amount of fibre as oat bran, coconut flour and grated coconut are great ways to add healthy natural fibre to your diet.
Total dietary fibre: 1.9 grams per large fig (64 grams)
These hard-to-find little fellows are full of important nutrients: Pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6. As they are seldom seen on the shop shelves, I settle for dried figs, which are a great source of fibre.
Unlike many other foods, figs have a near perfect balance of soluble and insoluble fibre and are associated with lower blood pressure and protection against macular degeneration, in addition to the benefits of the fibre. If you don’t like dried figs, fresh figs are delicious and can be enjoyed on top of cereals, salads, and even stuffed with goat cheese and honey for a special dessert.
The above fruits and vegetables have been my diet for, not only fibre but my other health issues. Below is a summary of fibre foods to choose from for yourself.
General Good Fibre Foods Summary:
• Apples, pears, oranges, mangoes, guavas and plums
• Berries – Blackberries, raspberries.
• Nuts – almonds, walnuts.
• Seeds – flaxseeds, chia.
• Peas – green, split.
• Broccoli raw
• Beans – black, lima.
• Dates, prunes, dried figs.
• Whole grain bread.
Soluble Fibre for diabetes and losing weight:
• Oats and Oat Bran,
• Nuts – almonds, Brazil, Peanuts (and peanut butter for diabetes),
• Carrots, plus…
1. Kidney beans,
5. Green beans,
6. Navy beans,
Best foods with at least six grams of fibre per serving can claim to be an “excellent” source of fibre. Here are some final tips to increase your fibre intake:
• Eat the skins and seeds of vegetables and fruit.
• Choose “whole grain” gluten-free bread, pasta, cereal, crackers and rice.
• Use whole grain gluten-free flour in your homemade baked goods.
• Add barley, beans and lentils to soups and salads.
• Use canned beans, chickpeas in salads or in place of meat a few times every week.
• Add ground flax seeds to yoghurt, cereal or homemade baked goods.
• Add a small handful of almonds or other nuts to a salad.
Note: Increase the amount of fibre slowly and drink plenty of fluids to avoid discomfort and gas.
Cooked vegetables tend to have a higher soluble fibre content since cooking processes force cells within the vegetable to hold on to more water, expanding cell size. Steamed broccoli is especially rich in soluble fibre.