A disappointing statistic that only 5% adults get their daily amount of dietary fibre which is around 25-38g. “Eat more fibre”. We have definitely all heard this at some point and probably associate high fibre in foods like fruits, vegetables and grains, but why do we need to eat more and what’s the significance of doing this? I feel like because we can’t exactly taste fibre, we can’t really see it in foods, it often goes forgotten about. Out of sight, out of mind.
I don’t want to bog down this post with years of scientific results and conclusions on why we should make a conscious effort to increase our fibre intake, but I will reference the scientific literature I have used.
Let’s focus on the real sh*t…
Two main types of fibre; soluble (2 subtypes) and insoluble (2 subtypes)
Soluble (fermentable/prebiotic) fibre – dissolves in water to form a gel – fermented in the colon (yes guys, farts) and produces fatty acids EXERT PREBIOTIC EFFECT BY INFLUENCING COMPOSITION OF GUT MICROBIOTA
Soluble (nonfermentable/bulking) fibre – dissolves in water to form gel – travels through digestive system retaining water – eases defection NORMALISES STOOLS
Insoluble (coursely ground) fibre – doesn’t dissolve in water – travels through digestive system relatively unchanged – triggers mucus and water secretion in large intestine – increases stool bulk LAXATIVE EFFECT
Insoluble (finely ground) fibre – doesn’t dissolve in water – travels through digestive system – adds only to dry stool mass CONSTIPATING EFFECT
But why is the above important? It sure sounds important, but what does it mean for us?
This easy to read spider diagram quickly outlines the effects. For a more through understanding, take a look at this clinical study.
A balanced and varied diet of fibre-rich foods, which I’ll most likely do a separate post on some other time, is the best way to make sure you’re getting best of both worlds. I have recently starting using Psyllium husk- which is in the soluble nonfermentable fibre group- as an extra aid. I like this extra nutrient, even though I am not a big believer in supplements, I think through mindful eating we can get the best of both worlds balancing taste and nutrition. This one is a keeper for me because psyllium comes from the Plantago species of plant which are found all over the world but most commonly in India and have been used in herbal remedies since prehistoric times! (Separate blog post I feel to look at these more in depth). Psyllium is 100% natural and is the perfect remedy for upping your fibre. I am looking for new ideas and ways of adding this into my diet, so far, I enjoy adding 1-2tsps into my morning oats.
For sustainable living, both to the planet and your pockets, be sure to keep a look out for more posts like this one
Peace to the planet and peace to your pockets!
Love always, The Humble Avocado x x