The word “fiber” sounds like a sissy nutrient that is synonymous with fruits, vegetables, cereals, brown rice, brown pastas, beans, etc. Fiber is one “mean” nutrient and the bully in your gut.

Dietary fiber, in particular, known as the rhoughage or bulk, includes the parts of the plant that your body cannot absorb, states MayoClinic.com. Fiber acts as a sponge that bullies through your stomach, small intestine and large intestine to remove all the junk from leftover foods in your gut. Undigested material in your gut causes constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, diverticulitis (bowel inflammation) and cancer.

Think of fiber as the New Orleans Police Department clearing Bourbon Street at the stroke of midnight on Fat Tuesday… For those who have never been to Mardi Gras, think of fiber as a snow plow clearing a busy highway. If the plow, whether its the police or a machine, doesn’t pass through a street every so often, things back up and trouble ensues.

So, be a strict Supervisor when it comes to your gut. Eat your five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Eat brown rice instead of white rice. Choose Raisin Bran instead of Lucky Charms.

Fiber in natural foods is generally healthier than fiber supplements, because natural foods contain vitamin and minerals that fiber supplements do not. However, if your doctor recommends a supplement, you should take it. If you are curious, “colon cleanses” are overrated. A healthy diet full of fiber is all you need for a clean colon.

Increase your fiber gradually to prevent a riot in your gut… In other words, increasing your fiber too quickly can cause diarrhea, gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Set a goal to eat 38 grams per day of fiber if you are a male or 25 grams per day if you are female. Drink plenty of water to help fiber bully junk out of your system.

Eating healthy is for the strong, junk food is for wimps…