Fibre for Health.
An indigestible carbohydrate with many advantages including increased feeling of fullness, comfortable and healthy bowel movements, protection from absorbing toxins from food (pesticides, for example), modulates the absorption of simple carbohydrates (aka, sugar), keeps the walls of the intestines clean, and the flora in the intestines healthy and populated.
You will find fibre hanging out at your local fruit and vegetable store, in your handful of nuts & seeds, and in unprocessed grains and legumes.
Fibre is a part of a healthy diet, it appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation.
To understand fibre, you have to first understand the three different types and what role each has:
This guy attracts the water molecules, they hook up and form a gel-like substance. Think of a chia seed in your smoothie or stuck in your teeth. Soluble Fibres role is to help regulate blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream and remove any excess cholesterol in your body.
Great sources: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, asparagus and guar gum.
Insoluble Fibre: Has an important role in ensuring there is enough bulk in your digestive tract for comfortable bowel movements. Great sources: Psyllium, avocado, sprouted barley, mixed greens and natural popcorn.
Last, but certainly not least...
Often called a prebiotic, which is a delicious, healthy meal for your good bacteria (flora) in your gut to help them thrive and increase their population. It's important to choose the best fermentable fibre for you (and everyone around you), due to the fermentation of this fibre causes gas. Remember that baked beans song about tooting? Yeah, you get me. You will find you can tolerate some more than others.
Great sources: Chickpeas, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, yams, dandelion greens, leek, onion, garlic, wheat and bananas. To ensure optimal benefit, ensure you feed your gut bacteria daily, they get hangry too you know.
A big lunch with choices from each type of fibre will promote gut health and aid digestion, and we have all heard of the strong link between a healthy gut bacteria and a healthy headspace.
Aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fibre each day, choose from the highest fibre grain product when looking at labels, or even better- choose the most unprocessed sources of fibre rich foods.
For those chronically suffering with poor gut health, a supplement may be required.
If you're finding your gut health isn't as good as you believe it could be, feel free to get in touch so we can create a plan to assist, because without good gut health, the nutrient rich foods you are consuming has less of a chance to move to your bloodstream to nourish your body.
Accredited Practising Dietitian