This morning I read an article from the BBC that gives insight into a crucial nutrient most people often overlook. Fiber might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term superfood, but its properties say different.
Fiber can dramatically increase your overall well-being. It can help you regulate your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. It can reduce your chance of heart attack and stroke, and it’s neither expensive nor hard to come by. This ultimately leads to the question: Why are so many people falling short regarding their fiber intake?
Studies show that people should be eating a minimum of 25g of fiber each day, while researchers advise that number should be closer to 30g. The reality is, however, that most people around the world get less than 20g per day.
"The evidence is now overwhelming, and this is a game-changer that people have to start doing something about,” Professor John Cummings tells BBC News.
While previously overlooked, fiber has been found to have a massive effect on the body. Not only does it make us full, but it also affects the way fat is absorbed and stored in the small intestine. In addition, it provides substance to the beneficial bacteria of our gut in the large intestine where chemicals for the body are produced.
Professor Cummings notes, “We have this organ set up to digest fiber, which a lot of people just don’t use very much.”
It’s not surprising to learn that society as a whole is falling short in terms of nutrition. While the study is focused on humans, the same need for fiber can be found in our pets. Controlling weight gain, minimizing diarrhea and constipation and improving digestive health are critical to improving the lives of both humans and animals.
New research has found Miscanthus to be very beneficial to pets. In a study commissioned by Dr. Greg Aldrich at Kansas State University, Miscanthus was tested against traditional fiber sources: Powdered Cellulose and Beet Pulp. The base recipe used in the study was formulated to match a “lite” dog and cat food with protein primarily derived from animal sources. The results showed Miscanthus to be a reliable, affordable and natural alternative to traditional fiber sources. Miscanthus was shown to decrease caloric density and promote digesta passage. It was shown to improve stool consistency, producing a near perfect pet stool with minimal to no odor, and showed improvement in hairball management in cats. The results of the study showed MFiber to be the superior fiber choice for pet food.