Day 18 – Detoxifying Fiber
Toxins are everywhere and although there is much we can do to reduce our toxic exposures we can’t avoid all harmful chemicals. There are some simple dietary changes we can make to help excrete harmful substances, primarily eating plenty of fiber in our diets. Dietary fiber keeps food and waste moving through our system quickly. It also feeds those healthy bacteria we focused on earlier in the challenge.
Eating fiber rich foods helps the body to eliminate on a regular basis, taking the bad stuff out with the waste. Fiber comes in two main categories; soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the kind that puffs up when it comes in contact with water. Examples of soluble fiber are oatmeal, beans, lentils and chia seeds. Soluble fiber is not digested in the same way by absorbing water, but instead acts like a scrubber cleaning out the intestines as it passes through. Celery and other vegetables, wheat bran, and beans contain soluble fiber. You can use this website to check the fiber content in your foods http://nutritiondata.self.com/ to see how much you are getting on a daily basis. There are also some fun phone apps available to track your daily fiber intake. To avoid discomfort, start with a goal of increasing fiber by 5 or 10 grams per day until you reach your goal. Be wary of inulin, a food additive which is sometimes added to processed foods to increase fiber content. Many people complain of gas and bloating after eating foods with this ingredient. For those of you who are struggling to get enough fiber from food, psyllium husks is a natural fiber supplement that typically does not cause side effects aside from feeling full. Eating a high fiber diet is great for overall health and weight loss too, as people who eat a fiber-rich diet consume less calories overall.
The challenge today is to focus on detoxifying by increasing your daily fiber intake, with a specific goal of working up to 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
Try this Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo that has 10 grams of fiber in it for dinner tonight!