Why Is Fiber Important?
Fiber is found inside the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. From the round shape of an apple, to the majestic height of a Redwood, fiber is what gives plants their rigid structure. Consuming fiber aids our digestive system in elimination. In basic terms, fiber is plant matter that we cannot digest, which is why it passes through the body.
Fiber comes in two varieties, water-soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is found in legumes, fruits, and psyllium seed, for example. Soluble fiber aids digestion by slowing down the process so nutrients are absorbed gradually. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, whole grains, fruits with skins and seeds that are edible (such as grapes), and stringy vegetables. The body cannot fully digest insoluble fiber, so it bulks up the stool and acts as a natural laxative.
Soluble fiber has the added benefit of binding to dietary cholesterol, causing the body to eliminate it rather than absorb it. Remember, ALL cholesterol in food is bad — there is no "good" amount except zero. Cholesterol exists in no plant-based food anywhere on the planet; it is only found in meat (including chicken and fish), dairy, and eggs. The only way to eliminate cholesterol from your diet is to eliminate animal-based food. But if you must eat meat, cheese, butter, etc., be sure to eat some fiber at the same meal (such as a salad), to soak up some of the cholesterol like a shop-floor rag.
Back: Raw Food FAQ
The above is one of the more frequently asked questions that come up when I give classes and talks about Raw food. For a very comprehensive introduction to Raw Food lifestyle and expert tips and advice on making it work for you, see my ebook:
Kristen's Raw: The EASY Way to Get Started & SUCCEED with Raw Food