Why is Fibre important for your Gut Health? 

Okay, so we all know that fibre is an important element of our diets, but do you know why? Do you know how to eat more, or how much is enough? It's these questions that have led us to seek out some answers! This week Ineke delves into what we really need from a fibre perspective, why some of us might have different needs and what foods are great, and which UHP foods are masquerading at brilliant fibre providers.

We couldn't possibly cover fibre in a totally digestible way in just one article and so this is Part 1, keep your eyes peeled for the next part...

Part 1

Did you know that dietary fibres, starches, and prebiotics work together to support a healthy gut ecosystem?

Carbohydrates from real foods like vegetables and avocados contain both insoluble and soluble fibre.

Insoluble fibre cannot dissolve in water and adds bulk to stools. Some specific types of insoluble fibre includes cellulose (found in many fruits and vegetables) and lignin's (found in linseed (flaxseed), nuts and vegetables).

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and can make you feel fuller for longer as well as help reduce blood sugar spikes. Inulin (found in asparagus, chicory root and onions) and Pectin (apples and berries) are common sources of soluble fibre.

Soluble fibre such as GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) and FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) are fermented by the gut microbiome. This makes very beneficial end products called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, acetate and propionate.

SCFA’s are key for gut health. Short chain fatty acids like butyric acid can help keep the gut ling healthy and sealed, which prevents leaky gut syndrome and all kinds of issues linked to a leaky gut such as IBS symptoms.

There are many benefits of fibre on your gut.

Some of the benefits of fibre include,

  • Studies are showing that soluble fiber can actually lower blood sugar levels. (HERE is one of the studies).
  • It can help with curbing cravings. Fibre helps to promote satiety thereby reducing hunger.
  • It ensures regular bowel movements and prevents constipation (non-fermentable forms of fibre)
  • Fibre can bind to toxins in the GI tract (such as excess hormones and environmental toxins). This is key!
  • Maintains good bowel health by feeding the gut micro-organisms (fermentable forms of fibre)
  • And there are many more benefits, see this article HERE and HERE.

Does this mean that it's as simple as switching from white pasta to brown pasta? While there is more insoluble fibre in this, the bigger picture is to look at your diet and seek to switch up refined carbs and processed foods for nutrient dense foods like vegetables, low-fructose fruits, nuts and seeds.

The fibre found in these foods are nutrient rich meaning you get polyphenols, often resistant starch and prebiotics as well. More about this in Part two of the dive into Fibre and Gut Health.

TO NOTE - It is really important to remember when introducing more fibre into your diet to stay hydrated and for some people to increase slowly if you notice any side effects.

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Health-and-Wellbeing, fibre, functiona medicine, functional wellbeing, gut health, healthy eating, nourishing diet


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