Fibre plays a significant role in promoting gut health due to its effects on digestion, the gut microbiota, and overall gastrointestinal function. While we know that correct levels of fibre in your diet will help to prevent leaky gut and associated conditions, we also know that 90% of adults do not have adequate fibre in their diet.
There are two main types of dietary fibre: soluble and insoluble. Both types of fibre contribute to gut health in different ways:
1. Promotes Regular Bowel Movements: Insoluble fibre adds bulk to stool and helps move it through the digestive tract, preventing constipation. It also adds softness and moisture to stool, making it easier to pass.
2. Promotes Satiety and Weight Management: High-fibre foods are often more filling and satisfying, which can help control appetite and contribute to weight management by reducing overeating.
3. Controls Your Blood Sugar: The body is unable to absorb or break down insoluble fibre, so it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar the way other carbohydrates can. This can help keep your blood sugar in your target range.
4. Reduces the Risk of Colon Diseases: A diet rich in fibre has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and other colon-related diseases. The fermentation of fibre by gut bacteria produces compounds that have protective effects on the colon lining.
1. Prevents Constipation: Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water, which helps soften stool and ease its passage. It can also help regulate bowel movements by preventing both constipation and diarrhoea.
2. Supports Gut Microbiota: Soluble fibre serves as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria ferment certain types of fibre, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as Butyrate, a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compound. SCFAs are important for overall health as they reduce inflammation throughout the body. High levels of inflammation can be interpreted as an infection by the body's immune system, which can lead to autoimmune disease.
3. Controls Blood Sugar Levels: Soluble fibre can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of glucose, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.
4. Supports Heart Health: Soluble fibre can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol molecules and preventing their absorption in the intestines. This can have a positive impact on heart health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
To reap the benefits of fibre for gut health:
• Increase Fibre Intake Gradually: If you're not accustomed to a high-fibre diet, increase your fibre intake gradually to avoid digestive discomfort.
• Include a Variety of Fibre-Rich Foods: Our hemp protein/fibre products are an excellent and balanced source of fibre; not treated with any solvents or other chemicals and are easily absorbed. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all also excellent sources of fibre. Aim for a diverse range of these foods in your diet.
• Stay Hydrated: Fibre absorbs water, so it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep stools soft and aid digestion.
• Read Labels: When purchasing packaged foods, check the nutrition label for the fibre content. Opt for whole, minimally processed foods with higher fibre content.
Next week we will be discussing introducing hemp products into your diet.