Why Eating More Fiber Can Lower Cholesterol & Help Balance Hormones
- Published on: 20 January, 2018
- Last update: 03 November, 2020
DID YOU KNOW… that your liver is constantly working to get rid of things like cholesterol, pesticides, and excess hormones… but it can’t do it’s job if you aren’t eating enough fiber?
Here’s how it works:
- Every day, at every meal, our liquid friend BILE is squirted from the liver into the small intestine where it will mix with our newly ingested food.
- Bile’s job is to break down the fats we eat into tiny building blocks — fatty acids — which are then used for things like smooth skin & brain health.
- A lack of these fatty acids dries out the body’s tissues resulting in eczema, dandruff, brittle hair, and brain fog (remember, the brain is basically made of fat!)
This is why liver health and smooth bile flow are so important, but that’s for a whole other post.
When the bile finally reaches the end of the small intestine, we actually reabsorb and recycle its more favorable components such as bile salts. They go back into the blood, then right back to the liver to be reused.
Unfortunately, there are also not-so-favorable components in bile that the body does not want back.
These are meant to stay in the intestines, bound to fiber, where they will eventually be eliminated via bowel movements. They include cholesterol, toxins, and excess hormones (both the ones you produce yourself AND the “xeno”hormones from plastic and pesticides that contribute to estrogen dominance).
If there is a lack of soluble fiber in the diet, cholesterol and surplus hormones go right back into our blood and liver with the bile salts. Not fun, especially if you are dealing with the kind of hormone imbalance that involves excess estrogen: ovarian cysts, PCOS, slow metabolism and mood swings.
When you eat more fiber, it binds up the cholesterol and hormones so that instead of getting reabsorbed in the ileum, they are excreted safely in the stool. Your liver needs even more fiber and support around day 14 of your cycle (just before ovulation) when estrogen shoots up to its peak. This is when anxiety can kick in due to the liver’s increased detoxification load.