Fiber First!

Dietary Roughage Prevents a Rough Time in the Bathroom

Dietary roughage is essential for effective digestive tract function. Island Healthworks discusses whole food dietary componants for healthy digestive tract function.

Whole foods like the green vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits and legumes pictured deliver fiber and nutrients, supporting healthy digestive tract function.
Weller, Keith. USDA ARS, Public Domain Image because of origin. Licencing: Cc-zero.

Humans evolved to eat whole foods. Attempted reliance upon refined foods robs us of essential fiber and nutrients in our diet, while taking up space in our bodies and wasting valuable digestive resources. Whole foods, in contrast provide valuable fibre that assists in their digestion, while being equipped with vitamin, mineral and essential fatty acid bearing components that ensure they are not just taking up space in our body, but giving us the nutrition we require.

Roughage is needed to maintain momentum in our gastrointestinal tract. Some of the most popular processed foods are challenging for the digestive system to eliminate and may clog our digestive tract, slowing down digestion due to a lack of roughage. Then, the food may decompose due to the length of time taken to pass through our intestines. This same clogging effect may occur with any food when we lack adequate fiber intake in our regular diet. Furthermore, many processed foods have been stripped of essential nutrients through refinement and simply take space without providing the nutrients that whole foods contain.

While previous generations may have gone through times where there were frequent shortages of food, the modern diet presents a combined risk of nutritional deficiency, excessive sugar, starchy carbs, unhealthy fat content and insufficient roughage to move food along. The result of this combined fiber and nutrient deficit? Excess toxicity and an inability to gain nutritional value from food.

Refined starches and sugar act as sticky glue and will clog your system in the long run. Anything that you can mix with water and successfully use to stick wallpaper to the wall, do not eat! If it sticks to your wall it could stick and bind to your intestinal wall and trigger an inflammatory condition in the body. Inflammation, the root cause of dis-ease (lack of ease) may arise from autotoxemia and digestive impairment. As genetics only present potential weaknesses, it important to remember that it is your lifestyle that creates your reality. Your genetic weaknesses are the first to be affected by an unhealthy lifestyle. Inadequate dietary roughage may lead to some of these problems.

The answer? More roughage from whole foods and less refined sugar and starch, which could increase constipation. As an essential dietary component, roughage could also help with the function of absorbing acid, mucous, bile and toxins and may assist in eliminating them from the intestinal tract. What kinds of whole foods are rich in fiber, offering high quality roughage for improved health?

As outstanding sources of general roughage, legumes such as fresh beans, lentils, protein rich nuts and seeds, and antioxidant rich, fiber filled berries offer a good start. For cooking and baking, almond, coconut, sweet potato, arrowroot and tapioca flours are better choices than other processed flour. Green leafy vegetables, squash, yams and beets offer outstanding water-soluble vegetable fiber. The larger root vegetables such as beets and yams may be placed in a crockpot to form a fiber rich and delicious stew. For recipes, go to paleo lifestyle or the ketogenic diet.

For the specific problem of bowel cleansing, sharper form of roughage, especially pumpkin seeds, may help to reduce parasitic activity by cleaning out the bowels. Psyllium hulls help the small and large intestine to eliminate waste, while slippery elm bark and Aloe Vera may help to sooth the gastrointestinal tract.

As you go forward, ask yourself, is what I am about to eat going to deliver nutrients to my body, or just take up space? Is it nutrient filled, or will my body simply have to waste energy in trying to digest and eliminating this food? And will it get backed up and be hard to move? You don’t want your bowels to choke on sticky, low fiber food, so choose whole foods and organic, or locally grown as much as possible.

This article is intended for educational purposes and the information contained within is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please seek appropriate medical attention for any health complaints. We cannot take responsibility for your health care decisions. Our intent is only to offer information to help you with your search for better health.


About the Authors:

Yvonne Dollard Perc of Island Healthworks is a master herbalist, iridologist sclerologist, live blood cell analyst, nutritional consultant, acutherapist and health education specialist with over 30 years experience.

Christopher M. Stephens, Master of Community Planning, MSc. Environment & Management is the Communications Manager for Island Healthworks.

Yvonne offers phone consultations and in-clinic visits to develop an individualized program and lifestyle plan. Call 250-468-7685 to speak with Yvonne and set up a phone consultation or an in-clinic visit!

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Yvonne Dollard Perc, Master Herbalist, IR, SCL, NU, AC

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