Fibre is a Super-food for your GutJun 23, 2022
I don’t know why I didn’t think about increasing the fibre intake in my diet. As someone who has experienced constipation for years, I can’t believe I never considered the fact that I wasn’t getting enough.
I only had this light bulb moment after I changed to a plant-based diet.
The Western diet is often low in fibre and high in fat, but fibre is essential in providing a rich food source for your gut microbiome.
You gut feeds on fibre, and in turn helps to stimulate the growth of more beneficial bacteria, which is vital for the health of your gut. Fibre helps stimulate gut motility, which it the movement of food through your digestive system. It also holds on to water making bowel motion easier and helps with constipation.
Our body doesn’t have the digestive enzymes needed to break down fibre, so they pass through the gut, undigested and arrive in the large intestines. It’s here where fibre is digested by your gut bacteria.
Fibre is also known as a prebiotic, meaning it stimulates growth of the gut microbiome. There have been many studies done on the health benefits of fibre, on your gut health and overall health. Here are a few of the overall benefits of fibre in your diet.
- Reduces obesity.
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- Reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Reduced the risk of stroke and heart disease.
- Reduces the risk of bowel cancer and breast cancer in women.
If you have more fibre in your diet, the most common improvement in gut health is the reduction of constipation. Fibre helps to absorb water from the large intestines which help to make a bowel movement easier. Fibre helps your microbiome to produce short-chain fatty acids, improving energy for the cells that line the gut, which are important in maintaining a healthy gut.
Good sources of fibre rich food include:
- Wholegrain foods found in cereals, brown rice and couscous
- Root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and potatoes
- Celery, cucumbers and courgettes
- Fruit with edible seeds
- Beans, pulses and lentils
- Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, Sesame
- The skins of fruit and vegetables
- Onions, garlic, asparagus and banana
- Figs and strawberries
- Peas, Baked Beans in tomato sauce, and green beans
How much fibre should you have?
Adults are recommended to get around 30g of dietary fibre each day for general health benefits.
However, the latest figures suggest that in the UK, the average fibre intake for adults is 18g, 60% of what it should be. (Source - The Association of UK Dieticians).
There are many ways you can increase your fibre intake:
- fruit, nuts and seeds to breakfast cereal
- linseeds into yogurt
- extra vegetables and pulses, such as lentils, into sauces for bolognese, curry and chilli
- chunky peanut butter to some apple slices or celery sticks
- white flour for wholegrain wheat flour when baking
- white bread and pasta for wholemeal options
- white crackers for carrot or celery sticks to have with hummus
- keep a supply of frozen vegetables so you are never without
- leave the skin on vegetables and fruit
- have five portions of fruit and vegetables each day
- remember to drink a good amount of fluid as you increase your fibre
(Source - The Association of UK Dieticians).
Supplement your diet to increase your fibre intake
My diet in much richer in different varieties of fruit and vegetable these days, but to ensure I still get enough, and to help increase my fibre intake, I have included a ‘Superfood Greens’ supplement at breakfast.
I have noticed a remarkable difference, and I now take it every morning without fail. I usually have it as a drink, but you could also add it to a smoothie.
I would always suggest trying to get all your fibre from your food first. But sometimes we just need a bit of help. And a supplement has certainly helped me.
If you want to read more about the supplement I take, just click here. (Register as a preferred customer to get up to 40% off).
Just a word of warning – I don’t add 1 scoop as directed on the label. Half a scoop is plenty for me!
If your interested in a 30 Days to Healthy Living Programme and discover the benefits of a plant-based diet, click here to receive a FREE Online Wellbeing Consultation.
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