Friday, December 4, 2009

Fiber: Roto Rooter of the Digestive Tract

My friends take delight when Sandi and I cook holiday dinners for them. Although, more than once, I’ve received a next-day thank-you call accompanied with the observation, “Wow, dinner was great, but things came out of me this morning that I ate when I was 6.” TMI!
The point being, their diet was so deficient in fiber, when it was introduced the colon did what comes naturally: Peristalsis. Now that the holidays have arrived, human nature diverts from the road of nutritional righteousness. This season, evade disease and extra tonnage by decorating your bowls and bowels of sugar plums with more fiber. Let me explain.

Your inner ecology is a labyrinth of pipes. Like all pipes and fixtures, keeping the distance between point A and point B in good shape requires, if you’ll excuse the disturbing visual, a plumbers snake. Maintenance. To stay healthy and active, everyone needs to keep the colon rolling along like White River in the spring. The human body is truly remarkable, but it has limits. Growing up, we were taught our innards could handle whatever we fed it. I’ve learned, however, our temple simply cannot handle the types and amounts of meats and processed plastic foods we feed it without traumatizing the colon — the largest organ, which houses 80 percent of the immune system.

Due to a lack of fibrous foods containing soluble and insoluble fiber, meals take forever to exit, setting up a deadly milieu. Most fiber-less folks carry about 10 meals backed up; fermenting, stewing and releasing methane while brewing toxins inside the dark sanctity of the holy temple. The average fiber-less American has roughly 10 to 15 pounds of concentrated poo and undigested food seething in the bowel. Beginning to grasp the odoriferous implication of a fiber-less diet?

Elvis Presley died of a heart attack and a drug overdose whilst sitting upon his throne, but he still made it onto a stamp. Elvis’ fiber-less diet included mashed taters and gravy, unctuous meats, gobs of bacon, sausage gravy, fried anything-that-moved and sweet potato cream cheese pie. Macho? I think not. It takes much more courage to eat a fibrous, nutritionally dense vegetable. During his autopsy doctors made a startling discovery: The King’s colon weighed close to 60 pounds! The average human colon weighs around four pounds. Thankyouverymuch!
I hesitate haranguing your tastes in food, but the average 50 year old meat-eater has up to eight pounds of indigestible food in their bowels. This decaying food is the common cause of what many people mistakenly think of as the “price of good living” — soaring rates of colon and pancreatic cancers by the age of 50 or 60. How charming.

Humans wouldn’t require such snaking if they’d regularly include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, ground flax seed, quinoa, steel-cut oats, wheat germ, rice bran or oat bran in their dally edibles. If you’re fraught with holiday constipation and resort to Ex-Lax, a toxin which artificially stimulates your digestive tract to release a log jam, be sure it’s not the same night you take a sleeping pill. Enough said.

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