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What is fibre and why is it important for gut health?

25 April 2023

Get ready to embark on a journey towards a happier, healthier you, starting with the power of fibre!

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body. There are two main types of fibre: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. This type of fibre helps regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and promote a feeling of fullness.

Insoluble fibre adds bulk to the stool, speeding up the movement of food through the digestive system and preventing constipation.

Both types of fibre are essential for maintaining a healthy gut. Fibre plays a fundamental role in gut health:

  •  It acts as a prebiotic, providing nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in our gut. These bacteria play a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and overall well-being.
  •  Fibre also helps maintain regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. This, in turn, reduces the risk of developing digestive disorders and promotes overall gut health. 

How fibre promotes a healthy gut microbiome,

The gut microbiome, a vast community of microorganisms residing in our digestive tract. These microorganisms, which include bacteria, viruses, and fungi, interact with the food we eat and help break it down into nutrients that our bodies can absorb.

Fibre acts as a prebiotic, providing nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in our gut. Once in the colon, the fibre is fermented by the bacteria, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as a byproduct.

SCFAs are a type of fatty acid that serves as a source of energy for the cells lining the colon. They also help maintain the pH balance in the gut, creating an environment that is favorable for the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. By promoting the growth of these beneficial bacteria, fibre helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome and supports overall gut health.

Tips for incorporating more fibre into your diet.

1. Start with small changes:

For example, swap refined grains for whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa. Whole grains contain more fibre and nutrients compared to refined grains, making them a healthier choice for your gut.

2. Load up on fruits and vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fibre and should be a staple in any fiber-rich diet. Aim to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your meals to maximize your nutrient intake.

3. Choose fibre-rich snacks:

Snacking is an inevitable part of our daily routine, so why not make it a fibre-filled one? Opt for snacks that are high in fibre, such as nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.

4. Experiment with legumes:

Legumes, including beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are an excellent source of fiber and plant-based protein.

5. Prioritize whole foods:

Whole foods are your best bet. Opt for whole foods whenever possible to maximize your fibre intake and support overall gut health.

Common sources of fibre-rich foods

1. Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, and whole wheat products are excellent sources of fibre.

2. Fruits: Berries, apples, pears, oranges, and bananas are all high in fibre.

3. Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, spinach, and kale are all fibre-rich vegetables.

4. Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are packed with fibre.

5. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are all high in fibre.

6. Whole fruits and vegetables: Instead of consuming fruit juices or smoothies, opt for whole fruits and vegetables to benefit from their fibre content. 

7. Bran: Wheat bran, oat bran, and rice bran are excellent sources of fibre. Add them to your breakfast cereal, yogurt, or baked goods for an extra fibre kick.

Conclusion: Prioritizing fibre for a healthy gut.

In conclusion, fibre is a crucial nutrient that plays a fundamental role in maintaining a healthy gut. From promoting regular bowel movements to supporting a diverse and thriving gut microbiome, fibre offers numerous benefits for our digestive health and overall well-being.

By incorporating a variety of fibre-rich foods into our diets we can optimize our gut health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Start small by making gradual changes to your meals and snacks, and remember to stay hydrated throughout the process.

As you embark on your journey towards a healthier gut, remember that every small step counts. By prioritizing fiber in your diet, you are taking a proactive approach towards improving your digestive health and overall well-being.

Nina Thakrar our qualified pharmacist, nutritionist and homeopath recommends these fibre products for gut health: 

Qenda Ultimate Fibre - Original - 500g 

Qenda Ultimate Fibre - Wildberry - 500g 

Qenda Ultimate Fibre - Chocolate - 500g 

Qenda Everyday Fibre Original 450g 

Qenda Everyday Fibre - Wildberry - 450g

FOR SMOOTHIES: 

Organic Traditions Fibre Fuel Smoothie Boost Berry 300g 

Organic TraditionsFibre Fuel Smoothie Boost Original 300g

FOR SNACKS: 

Plant Based High Fibre Brownie Choc Hazelnut 35g BAR

Plant Based High Fibre Brownie Double Choc Dream 35g BAR 

Plant Based High Fibre Brownie Peanut Choc Chip 35g BAR

FOR BEVERAGES & FOOD RECIPES:

Healthy Origins Healthy Fiber (PHGG) - 225g

FOR NUTS AND SEEDS: 

Green Origins Organic Chia Seeds 150g

Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds 425g

So, let fiber be the key to unlocking a healthier, happier you!

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