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Fibre - Seriously Do We Need It?

by Greg Newson 4 min read

Fibre - Seriously Do We Need It?

What Is Fibre?

Fibre is all the components of plant-based foods that are resistant to the action of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. This resistance allows the fibrous parts of the plant to bypass absorption and move directly into the intestinal tract. There it is involved in multiple actions that contribute to good health, toxin removal, improved immune function and longevity.

Fibre is broken up into two different types; Soluble and Insoluble. Within those two groups, there are various sub-types of fibre; cellulose and lignins are insoluble fibres, while pectin, gums, hemicellulose and mucilage are soluble fibres.

What Is Soluble Fibre?

Soluble Fibre forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water. The gel binds to toxins, cholesterol, xenoestrogens, hormones, fatty acids and enhances their excretion from the body. Good sources of soluble fibre include fruit, vegetables, legumes, psyllium, flax seeds, slippery elm bark, apple and citrus pectin, marshmallow root, yucca root, nopal cactus and guar gum.

What Is Insoluble Fibre?

Insoluble fibre is the roughage found in plants. It acts like a broom, cleaning the intestines and also adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass. Good sources of insoluble fibre include fruit and vegetable skins, wheat and rice bran, psyllium, nuts and seeds.

The Health Benefits Of Fibre

Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease: Soluble fibre binds to LDL cholesterol removing it from the body. This simple action reduces the total cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Fibre has also been shown in clinical studies to prevent hardening of the arteries and ischemic heart disease, while lowering lower blood pressure, triglycerides, homocysteine and the marker for inflammation, C- reactive protein.

Improves Bowel Motion: Insoluble fibre softens the stool and increases the time taken for the faeces to pass through the intestines. Fibre helps alleviate constipation, promotes regular bowel movements, removes toxins and softens the stool, thus providing relief for sufferers of haemorrhoids and anal fissures. Fibre has also shown to prevent appendicitis and diverticulosis and helps to heal Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Preventing and Controlling Diabetes: Soluble fibre helps to regulate blood sugar levels by reducing glucose absorption into the bloodstream. This results in decreasing spikes in blood sugar in people with diabetes. Fibre may also help to prevent insulin resistance.

Weight Management: Both soluble and insoluble fibre help control appetite by increasing a sense of fullness and the time it takes for glucose to be absorbed. A reduction of glucose absorption times reduces insulin secretions and the hormones that tell the brain that it's hungry. An additional benefit of feeling full is reduced hunger and thereby less food consumption.

Intestinal pH Balance: Insoluble fibre improves the intestinal pH resulting in a better environment for the beneficial gut bacteria to reside.

Cancer Prevention: Soluble fibre and insoluble fibre helps to prevent a variety of cancers including colon, endometrial, oesophageal, prostate, stomach and breast cancers. The mechanisms by which cancer risks are minimised include; removing toxins, oestrogens and xenoestrogens and reducing obesity. Beneficial gut bacteria eatfibre, turning it into short-chain fatty acids, which provides nourishment for the intestinal cells and in the process keeps them healthy.

An Interesting Fact: The number one cancer killer is Bowel Cancer and the number one preventative is Fibre.

Removing Toxins: Both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre aid in the removal of a variety of toxins and xenoestrogens along with micro-organisms and parasites. This prevents them from damaging the intestines and colonising the intestinal tract.

Immune Support: Some fibres act as prebiotics, which is special food for the beneficial gut bacteria and microbiome. These bacteria help support and strengthen the gut-based immune system, which makes up 70% of the body's total immune system. Prebiotic fibres include Inulin, Arabinogalactan, Pectin, Nopal Cactus and Psyllium Hulls.

Did You Know - Approximately 80% of the colon cells and 50% of small intestinal cells get their food supply from what we eat? The only food that these cells can survive on is fibre. The beneficial gut bacteria eat the fibre and produce short-chain fatty acids, which becomes the intestinal cell's food. Low levels of short chain fatty acids can result in numerous health conditions including diverticulosis, colon cancer, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, irritable bowel disease and cardiovascular disease.

How To Get More Fibre Into The Gut?

One of the best ways to increase fibre intake is to eat a greater variety of plant-based foods, see table below. Sometimes our busy lifestyle inhibits our ability to eat healthily. Intestinal Maintain is a Soluble, Insoluble and Prebiotic fibre supplement that helps increase daily fibre intake. In addition, Intestinal Maintain contains a variety of herbs that help to reduce intestinal inflammation and support digestive repair, as well as providing nutritional support for intestinal cells and beneficial gut bacteria.

Good Sources Of Fibre?

Essential foods are that high in fibre.

Almonds Chia Seeds Orange
Amaranth Chickpeas Pear
Apples Coconut Pea
Artichoke Corn Pinto Beans
Asparagus Dark Chocolate Popcorn
Avocado Dates Prunes
Bake Beans Fennel Psyllium Hulls
Banana Figs Quinoa
Barley Flax Seed Raspberries
Beetroot Jerusalem Artichoke Rice Bran
Blackberries Kale Slippery Elm Bark
Broccoli Kidney Beans Split Peas
Brown Rice Konjac Root Spinach
Brussels Sprouts Lentils Strawberries
Buckwheat Lima Beans Sweet Potato
Capsicum Millet Turnip
Carrots Oats Wheat Bran
Cauliflower Okra Yucca

Water And Fibre An Essential Combination

When increasing daily fibre, it's also important to drink more fluids, in particular water. Water softens the stool, making it glide through the intestines with ease. Fibre absorbs water and if the body is slightly dehydrated, it will remove excess water from the faeces to compensate. The reduced liquid causes the stool to become hard and painful to pass, thus leading lead to constipation. So water is not only good for the kidneys, but your intestines too.

Will Fibre Cause Flatulence?

Yes, for some people an increase in dietary fibre can cause gas, especially if the intestines are not used to it. If your current diet is low in fibre, gradually increase fibre levels to help avoid too much wind.

The information provided here is of a general nature intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue, we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.

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Thanks and have a great day.

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