HEALTH BENEFITS OF DIETARY FIBRE

Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre has an essential part of healthy digestion and diseases prevention.

They are known for keeping us full, and our blood sugar more balanced.

Fibre includes the parts of plant foods our body can’t digest or absorb, found in whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses. 

Fibre is different from other Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be simple\complex sugars or fibre. 

Dietary Fibre, different from other carbs, cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead passes through the body and enters the large intestine.

Daily consumption 

In America, Most adults get only about 15 grams of fibre a day, and the average in the U.K. is 18g a day.

The current recommendations to keep good health for adults are to consume about 30 grams of fibre per day for good health, and kids between 15-25 depend on their health.

Fibre foods Chart

Fibre-Chart

Soluble and Insoluble fibre:

If we take a deeper look into the fibre, we can define between 2 types:

  1. Soluble fibre attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, and in this way, they slow the digestion. Found in oats, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Psyllium, a common fibre supplement is a mostly soluble fibre. Some types of soluble fibre may help lower the risk of heart disease.
  2. Insoluble fibre can be found in nuts, wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.

Health Benefits

Fibre keeps our digestive system healthy, prevents constipation and helps waste to move through the digestive tract more quickly.

Cholesterol:

Foods such as oats and barley contain a type of fibre known as beta-glucan, which may help to reduce cholesterol levels (if you consume 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet).

Research has found that there are two forms of β-glucans: insoluble and soluble forms. They can interact with lipids and biliary salts in the bowel and consequently reduce cholesterol levels.

One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal (rolled not instant) provide 3g of beta-glucans; 1 cup of cooked pearl barley contains approximately 2.5g of beta-glucans.

Beta-glucans have been the subject of intensifying research because they may have beneficial roles in lowering insulin resistance and blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of obesity, and boosting the immune system to fight cancer.

Fibre and prebiotics:

Some types of fibre can help to increase the good bacteria in the gut.

The fibre provides a food source (prebiotic) for ‘friendly’ gut bacteria helping them to increase and produce short-chain fatty acids (they are produced when the friendly gut bacteria ferment fibre in your colon) and are the main source of energy for the cells lining your colon.  

FOS and inulin are one of the most beneficial types of prebiotics for feeding our gut bacteria. 

To increase your fibre intake, you could:

  • Choose whole-grain over white flour in any opportunity.
  • Add some fresh fruit, dried fruit, seeds and nuts.
  • Eat veggies with the skins, e.g. baked potato, carrots or cucumbers.
  • Include plenty of vegetables with meals.
  • Keep a supply of frozen vegetables, so you can always have vegetables in hand to add to meals.
  • Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810204/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/

If you wish to get a full naturopathic diet plan to increase your fibre or just to support a healthy lifestyle, I would love to hear from you, feel free to contact PazByNature clinic here  🙂


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