By Lauren Duffell, RHN.
The more research I do on fibre, the more I find it fascinating. I really want to share
with you why I love it so much, and why you should too!
Fibre is the component of food that is not digested by us, but by our gut’s bacteria! In our digestive system we have pounds of bacteria that help keep us alive and well. However, if our bacteria is not healthy we won’t be either.
So, how do we feed this mass of healthy bacteria? We need to eat fibre!! All nuts, seeds, grains, vegetables and fruit contain fibre that feed our internal flora. Even some forms of starch can act as fibre if it is resistant to our own digestion, and accessible to digestion by bacteria… yes, the new buzz word you may have heard is ‘resistant starch.’
Are all fibres the same?? Nope! There are many different fibres that have different functions in our digestive system and feed different bacteria. All fibre has 3 main characteristics in varying degrees:
- Solubility/Insolubility : dissolves in water or not
- Viscosity : absorbs liquid/thickens liquid
- Ability to Ferment : feeds bacteria
There are many benefits to having a fibre rich diet other than feeding our bacteria. It helps us to feel full after eating. It allows nutrients to be absorbed gradually which helps with proper use of nutrients. It helps to keep stools moist and smooth by absorbing water and adding viscosity. Lastly it helps with waste removal, especially of excess cholesterol! Amazing!
Working in nutrition, I am not shy to say that anything that helps you have a good poop will make your day a little better. Fibre is your friend!
Interested in more fibre in your diet? Try out this great roasted chickpea recipe!