Fiber, Your Health and Weight Loss

Fiber Rich Foods
Fiber Rich Foods

Fiber does many great thing for us. I believe that fiber should be a part of everyone’s diet. There is no question that fiber from low starch plant foods is a vital part of a healthy diet.  A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nut and seeds is rich in fiber and offer an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and additional phytonutrients. The average American is only getting 1/3 of their minimum daily fiber requirements. Maybe its one of the contributing reasons there is so much obesity, disease and illness in our great country.

Some fibers act as prebiotics providing food for the good bacteria in our gut.

The subject of fiber intake and weight loss has mixed opinions and studies are not conclusive in either direction. However, the studies tend to more strongly support the premise that the increase of fiber in the diet does increase weight loss potential, a reduction of cholesterol, improve the management of type 2 diabetes cut the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

There are two types of fiber in our diet; insoluble and soluble fiber. Both are non-digestible and provide no caloric energy that is either burned as energy or stored as fat.  Soluble fiber is soluble in water, swells absorbing water becoming a gelatinous substance in our gut during the digestive process. It is soothing to the digestive tract and binds with fats helping to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and slows down the absorption of sugars, thus lowering blood sugar levels.  Soluble fiber may help with diarrhea and constipation. Insoluble fiber helps with constipation and keeps the digestive tract clean by move the digestive process along.

Both types of fiber are filling providing satiation leading to lower calorie consumption. However it is important that those looking to lose weight follow a lower glycemic diet  that is higher in fiber. Fiber sources in the diet should be from low starch vegetables, fruits and legumes.

The only negative to fiber intake is increasing the intake too quickly. Increasing their fiber intake too quickly can cause bloating, gas and potentially loser stools. It is very important that individuals who have been following a lower fiber diet increase their fiber intake slowly.

Fiber from healthy food sources can be an aid to weight loss and promote health. It is recommended that individuals have a minimum fiber intake of 25 to 35 grams daily.  The best fiber sources or low starch vegetables, low sugar fruits, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Whole grains provide fiber but can be higher in glycemic values. The best sources from grains are found the the bran and germ such as rice bran and germ. Fiber supplements can help but food sources provide the fiber and nutrients in one beneficial package and are therefore preferred.  Vive is the ultimate whole food, fiber, nutrient, antioxidant food!

To summarize;  fiber is filling, satiating, soothing, cleansing, removes bad fats, slows blood sugar absorption, provides food for our healthy gut bacteria, makes some nutrients, reduces the risk of hearrt disease and some cancers.

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Vive Developer


The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.


Nutr Rev. 2001 May;59(5):129-39. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
Nutrition. 2005 Mar;21(3):411-8. Dietary fiber and body weight. Slavin JL.Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001 Aug;48(4):969-80. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pereira MA, Ludwig DS. Division of Endocrinology, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

To Juice or Blend (Smoothies)? Which is best?

Mango Kiwi Smoothie, YUM!!

I am not going to get into the benefits of juicing or blending. I think most people know it provides incredible health benefits.I want to talk about which is better.

I am not talking about smoothies at a smoothie shop or juice you buy in a store. They are never as good as what you can make yourself. In fact some are bad for your health. Avoid smoothies from those chain smoothie shops. They can have a lot of added sugar and calories.

It’s amazing how passionate people are about this subject. You can’t go wrong with either juicing or blending. There have not been many studies done on this subject, however, there is much talk and debate regarding them. Both are really good for you, I just think one is a little better than the other. First lets define what juicing and blending are.

Juicing is a process in which a machine, either through centrifugal force, grinding or mastication extracts the liquid (juice) from the source. The juice will contain most nutrients however not all of them. Ardent juicers will claim it extracts all of the nutrients however that isn’t totally true. This process removes the insoluble fiber and part of the soluble fiber from the juice and fiber contains healthy colorful antioxidants.  According to studies, juicing delivers 80% to 90% of the antioxidant potential of the veggie or fruit. Blending provides close to 100%.

Antioxidants are activated and used as soon as air and liquid hit the flesh of the food. So it is best to consume the juice and blended foods within 10 to 15 minutes after juicing or blending.

There are some juicers that claim a vacuum extraction, however that is not going to totally stop the loss of antioxidants.

There is also some discussion that juicing gives the body more energy because the digestive system uses some of the energy of the blended foods. This is partially true, however the only nutrient that is quickly available for energy is sugar. Everything else other than sugar and very very small fat molecules are sent to the liver for processing. Remember, with blended foods the sugar absorption is slower, and steadier ( a good thing). The liver will turn the nutrients into a form the cells can use easily.  If the digestive system needs energy it is going to pull it from any source including juice. Even juice requires some form of digestion and manipulation by the digestive tract although a smaller  amount. As I have explained, the nutrients even in juice are not just absorbed into the blood stream (except sugar) and then to the cells. They must be properly packaged first.  The digestion process is very complex so I am being very general in what I am saying. I hope you get the picture.

Benefits of Juicing

  • Very fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream.  Only a small amount of digestion is required
  • Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach, pancreas and colon.
  • Because of the lack of fiber, a lot of plant juice can be consumed. You can effectively drink more consuming more nutrients.
  • Helpful for people sensitive to fiber since there is no insoluble fiber content. Juice does have some soluble fiber but it a small amount.
  • Provide 80% to 90% of the nutritional value of the food being juiced.


  • Allows very fast delivery of sugars to the blood stream.
  • Removes most of the fiber from the juice.
  • Not as filling and satisfying for most people.
  • More time consuming and more difficult to clean up.
  • Good juicers are expensive.

Blending or emulsifying

Blending is a process in which the whole foods are put in a machine with added liquid. The whole food is blended in the liquid to a smooth puree. You get everything the whole food has to offer, vitamin, minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.


  • Fast delivery of nutrients to the blood stream.  Only a small amount of digestion is required
  • Gives the digestive system a break. Primarily the stomach and pancreas.
  • Because the food is blended it takes less space than if you were eating a meal. This allows for more nutrient intake a one time.
  • The natural fiber slows the release of sugars to the blood stream compared to juicing.
  • More nutrient availability due to the whole plant being consumed.
  • More nutrient potential because you are getting all that the food has to offer.
  • More filling due to the fiber. It is actually more like a meal.
  • Very fast to make a smoothie and clean up.
  • Blenders are less expensive than juicers.


  • If someone is sensitive to fiber it could make a person uncomfortable and bloated and a little gassy.
  • You can’t consume as much liquid as you could from juicing.
  • Some blenders can create too much heat if you let them blend too long. The heat will kill the naturally occurring enzymes.

In the body, nutrients work together and support health through their interaction. Let’s look at a good example. When the pulpy white part of the orange is removed in the processing of orange juice, the flavonoids in the orange are lost in the process. This loss of flavonoids is one of the many reasons for eating the orange in its whole food form (even if you only end up eating a little bit of the white pulpy part). The skin on a apple contains other antioxidants that you are not going to get in the juice.  Skins of vegetables and fruits contain some of the highest concentrations of nutrients and juicing is not as efficient as the body at extracting those nutrients.

Juicers will disagree with me however, too me:

  • Blending is better because of the higher nutrient potential of antioxidants and macro and micro nutrients.
  • Blending is better because you are getting 100% of the plants goodness.
  • Blending is better because the absorption of blood sugar is slower.

Both are great for you and some people do both. Don’t get too caught up in the fuss just pick one or both and do it.

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.


The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

Everyday Super Foods You Should Be Eating

Super Foods For Your Health!

We always hear about a number of exotic foods with super food status; however they are not always easy to find and if you can find them the cost may be prohibitive.  I could list many everyday super foods, however for the sake of brevity, let’s look at  10 of the most nutrient dense everyday super foods that are very available  in most grocery and or healthy oriented food stores, such as Whole Foods and Earth Fair. Again this my opinion, I could make a list of at least a few dozen foods with super healthy potential. When possible select organic foods.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is very rich in a broad spectrum of nutrients.  Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile: it has the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavor of spinach leaves. Chard is truly a nutritional superstar. It can be used just like spinach. Use the tender smaller leafs raw in salads. You can wilt, steam or boil the larger leafs so they are tender. On the larger leafs remove the stalk center, it can be a little tougher. Learn more about Swiss chards many health benefits.

Butter Nut Squash (winter squashes)

If you have never tried this vegetable you have really missed out on a very nutrient rich and very tasty vegetable. Although there are many different types of winter squash such as spaghetti, delicata, hubbard, sweet dumpling, acorn and butter cup, the butter nut is one of my favorites. It tastes very much like a sweet potato however it has much less sugar content.  For those that need to watch their blood sugar it is an excellent choice. Winter squash is as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. In addition, winter squash emerged as a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid. Winter squashes offer many health benefits and are very easy to store. Learn more here.


Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents. (Many of these substances fall into a technical class of flavonoids known as methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides.) Glucuronides are a very important part of our detoxing pathways. The anticancer properties of these spinach flavonoids have been sufficiently impressive to prompt researchers to create specialized spinach extracts that could be used in controlled studies. These spinach extracts have been shown to slow down cell division in stomach cancer cells (gastric adenocarcinomas), and in studies on laboratory animals, to reduce skin cancers (skin papillomas). A study on adult women living in New England in the late 1980s also showed intake of spinach to be inversely related to incidence of breast cancer.  Click here for more data about spinach

Broccoli  (cruciferous family)

Broccoli is a great addition to our diets. It can bet enjoyed raw or cooked. Broccoli is a powerful anti-inflammatory and detoxing food. Most vegetables are not considered to be good sources of omega 3 fatty acids however broccoli has enough of them that it can give you the many health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. Broccoli contains compounds that are necessary for our body’s detoxing pathways. In addition it is rich in many vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. Many studies have shown broccoli to give protection against cancers and it can help in the metabolism of vitamin d due to its high content of vitamin k. Learn more about broccoli here.


Although avocados are very creamy due to its abundance of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, it is also a very rich source of fiber, vitamin k, potassium, folate, vitamin b6, vitamin c and cooper. It is also very rich in antioxidants. Avocados may offer a delicious dietary strategy for the prevention of oral cancer. Phytonutrients in Hass avocados, the most readily available of the more than 500 varieties of avocados grown worldwide, target multiple signaling pathways, increasing the amount of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) within pre-cancerous and cancerous human oral cell lines, that leads to their death, but cause no harm to normal cells. ? Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 May 17. Earlier research by UCLA scientists also indicates that Hass avocados may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer as well. When analyzed, Hass avocados were found to contain the highest content of lutein among commonly eaten fruits as well as measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene). Lutein accounted for 70% of the measured carotenoids, and the avocado also contained significant quantities of vitamin E. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30. Source:


Strawberries are the most popular fruit in the world and it’s not just due to its wonderful unique flavor. Strawberries are rich in many nutrients and phytonutrients including vitamin c, manganese, fiber, iodine, potassium, folate, vitamin b2, vitamin b6, vitamin b5 and are source of omega 3 fatty acids. Strawberries’ unique phenol content makes them a heart-protective fruit, an anti-cancer fruit, and an anti-inflammatory fruit, all rolled into one. Learn more about strawberries here.

Dark Chocolate

I am a chocolate nut, really I am. I am so glad dark chocolate is so healthy. Dark chocolate is one of the richest sources of flavonoids and has one of the highest antioxidant ratings of any foods. Dark chocolate also contains another compound, epicatechin, which research shows to be a powerful cellular stimulator of protective compounds which may be prompting the cells to defend themselves. It is richer in antioxidant power than green tea and red wine.  Dark chocolate provides brain protection, heart protection, lowers blood pressure, improves skin health and bone health and is anti-inflammatory.  Dark chocolate and or raw cacao has much less caffeine than coffee or tea. With all the protection of dark chocolate you still need to be aware of the calories. Also the chocolate found in candies, ice cream and other food preparations may not offer the same health benefits. Chocolate with added sugars is unhealthy. Look for 100% organic dark chocolate or raw cacao.  I am not saying eat all of the chocolate you want, it is high in calories, however consumed correctly it is awesome for your health!

Do not consume milk when eating chocolate; it may interfere with nutrient absorption. The fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter and is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fat. You may know that saturated fats are linked to increases in LDL-cholesterol and the risk for heart disease. But, research shows that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising nor lowering it. Although palmitic acid does affect cholesterol levels, it only makes up one-third of the fat calories in chocolate. If you really want to know all the benefits of chocolate read my friend David Wolf’s book “Naked Chocolate”.

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds improve brain health, heart health, reduce high cholesterol, and are anti-inflammatory, can be high in antioxidant value and provide detoxing power. Nuts and seeds are very rich in fiber, minerals, phytonutrients, and heart healthy oils and can be a rich source of antioxidant power. Nuts and seeds can be used and eaten in a variety of ways, such as a snack or in salads and turned into nut butters. You will find them raw and roasted. Raw is better if you are looking for optimal nutritional intake. Many people soak their nuts before eating to remove the external protein coating that can make digestion a little more difficult for our bodies. Nuts and seeds are very satiating and help curb hunger. In fact many studies have shown that people who regularly consume 1 to 2 ounces of nuts and seeds per day seem to lose weight and keep it off.

Nuts and seeds contain mostly monounsaturated oils and smaller amounts of polyunsaturated oils.  Walnuts and flax seeds (must be ground before eating) contain a large percentage of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.  Sunflower seeds are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals.  Brazil nuts contain several times the DRI of selenium, a very powerful antioxidant mineral with anti-cancer properties. Pumpkin seeds are an equally healthful choice with ¼-cup of kernels boasting more than twice the omega-3 of a four-ounce serving of salmon while being an excellent source of magnesium. While the Flax seed has long been recognized as a very popular health food, the Chia seed is now being recognized for its high nutrient content, in particular an excellent source of omega 3’s.   Almonds are a wonderful source of copper, magnesium and phosphorous and 6 grams of protein per one-ounce serving. The June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported that pecans contain the highest antioxidant capacity of all nuts.

Researches revealed that people who regularly consume nuts have lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The Iowa Women’s Healthy Study found that women who include nuts at least 4 times a week on their daily diet are 40% less likely reduce the risk of heart attack.  A study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and Loma Linda University yielded very similar results. Naturally, the health benefits are not only exclusive to women, in a 2002 research in Physician’s Health Study of male participants, the findings showed that men who consumed nuts regularly 2 or more times per week had reduced the risks of heart attack.

The famous Seventh Day Adventists study followed more than 30,000 church members over a 12-year period. The results showed that even in this healthy-living, largely vegetarian group, those who ate nuts at least five times per week cut their risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) by 48 percent, compared with those who ate nuts less than once weekly. They also cut their risk of a nonfatal heart attack by 51 percent.

In a study involving more than 3,000 African-American men and women, those who consumed nuts at least five times a week cut their risk of dying from CHD by 44 percent, compared with those who ate nuts less than once weekly.

The results of the 14-year Nurses’ Health Study—which involved more than 86,000 women—indicate that women who consume more than five ounces of nuts weekly will cut their risk of CHD by 35 percent, compared with those who eat less than one ounce per month.  And, the 17-year Physicians’ Health Study involving more than 21,000 men found that those who consumed nuts at least twice a week cut their risk of sudden cardiac death by 53 percent, compared with those who rarely ate nuts.

Just remember nuts and seeds are high in calories due to the abundance of heart healthy oils, be careful to not over consume them.  Because of their wide array of nutrients it is better to include a variety of them in your dietary routine.

The Allium Family

Garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Glutathione enhances elimination of toxins and carcinogens, putting the Allium family of vegetables at the top of the list for foods that can help prevent cancer.  For maximum nutritional value mash, mince or chop them and let sit for 5 minutes before consuming. This allows air to activate some of the healthy compounds they contain.

Here are just a few benefits from members of this family. Lowers total cholesterol (but raises HDL—”good”—cholesterol), lessens the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of blood clots (cause of the majority of strokes and heart attacks), destroys infection-causing viruses and bacteria, reduces the risk of certain cancers, in particular, stomach cancers, produces more “natural killer” cells in the blood to fight tumors and infections, helps fight against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and enhances detoxification by reducing toxins.


Sprouts are edible seeds that are germinated. Most seeds, nuts, pulses, beans and grains can be sprouted. Sprouted alfalfa, broccoli, chickpeas, kidney beans, fenugreek seeds, wheat and barley are popular for their medicinal and nutritional properties. The many health benefits of sprouts result from the process of sprouting and the composition of sprouts. Sprouts can add a nutty and earthy flavor and a crunchy texture to salads and sandwiches.

Sprouts are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E and are a good source of selenium. They also contain calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate and vitamin B. They are low in sodium but high in potassium. Sprouted legumes like peanuts, soy beans and peanuts have complete proteins. They are a good source of fiber and are rich in life promoting enzymes, oxygen and chlorophyll.  Do not underestimate the health promoting properties of these wonderful, raw life giving foods.

For optimal health there are many very healthy commonly available foods you should make a part of your diet.  Variety is the key. Be adventuresome with the foods you select. Try something new! There are hundreds of healthy vegetables, fruits , beans, grains and nuts and seeds to enjoy.  Eat healthy, eat a variety and enjoy them with friends.

Healthy Wishes,

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

This contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered as medical advise. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.