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6 Surprising Reasons Why Fibre Is Vital In Your Daily Diet

surprising fibre facts

Jess: Two thousand years ago, Hippocrates already knew that “all disease begins in the gut”. Ahead of its time, this age-old knowledge rings true in many cases to this very day.

Digestion and food absorption is one of the most critical functions of our body; yet, we don’t think much of our digestive system when we plan out our diet and exercise. A lot of diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy digestive system. One important nutrient for digestive health is dietary fibre, which is categorised based on whether or not they can be dissolved in water, that is, soluble and insoluble fibre. Both soluble and insoluble fibre cannot be digested by the body, however, they play significant roles in maintaining our overall health.

1. Soluble Fibre Boosts Immunity and Prevents Inflammation

A weak immune system can beget inflammation. Chronic inflammation is now linked to a host of illnesses from obesity to cancer, but the good news is that fibre is a major killjoy for inflammation. People who constantly ate a fibre-rich diet tested low for CRP or C-reactive protein, an inflammation indicator. On the other hand, high blood levels of CRP may indicate that the body is in a constant state of inflammation and is therefore a potential victim of diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.

2. Fibre Helps in Detoxification

The liver produces bile which breaks down fats, wastes and other toxins in our body. Soluble fibre binds tightly to bile in the intestine and holds together all the bad wastes like cholesterol, drugs and other toxins. Since fibre cannot be absorbed by the intestines, it passes out of our bowels together with the bound toxins. Without adequate fibre to help reduce toxic buildup, the bile can get increasingly contaminated, leading to problems like cholesterol piling, gallstones and inflammation. You can read more on detoxing correctly here.

3. Fibre Helps Manage Weight

When soluble fibre dissolves in water, it turns into a gel-like substance which adds bulk to food. This helps slow down digestion and gives you a full or satiated feeling even when eating in smaller portions. Moreover, it helps flush out the sugars and starches in your intestines, there by decreasing the amount of unhealthy waste material in the body. All these, in effect, helps with weight management.

4. Reduced Risks of First Stroke

A study has found that a high-fibre diet is associated with reduced risks of first-time stroke. People who are consuming at least 25 grams of total dietary fibre daily are less likely to experience having stroke than those with low fibre intake. In addition, increasing your total dietary fibre intake by 7 grams can reduce your risk for first-time stroke by 7 percent.

5. Fibre May Control or Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is an alarming condition in which the body loses adequate control over the volume of blood glucose, causing this to rise to dangerous levels. Fibre’s bulk and indigestibility slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates consequently helping to regulate blood sugar levels, an intrinsic part of preventing or managing diabetes.

6. How Much Fibre Do We Need and Where to Get it From?

Most of us are engrossed with the amount of saturated fats, refined carbs, sugar and calories impacting our weight and cardiovascular health (which is fantastic effort, don’t get me wrong); but we tend to remain oblivious to how much fibre we are actually getting. On the average, Australians consume about 18-25 grams of fibre in a day – not enough to keep us in the pink of health. Experts recommend that we should be eating our fill of 30-40 grams daily to really help keep our digestive system in shape. In most cases, to meet the recommended fibre intake, all it takes is to increase your fruit or vegetable consumption by 2 portions every day.

Excellent sources of dietary fibre include cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, chia seeds, flaxseeds, green beans, almonds, walnuts and 180 Natural Protein Superfood. Most fruits and vegetables, in fact, contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.

Conclusion

Fibre matters a lot more than what we care to give it credit for. A happy digestive system could very well mean an overall happy, healthy body. Let’s not neglect fibre but give it a vital place in our daily diets.

jess-lorekJess Lorek is an architect, a wedding photographer, health enthusiast and blogger. Having experienced the adverse effects of taking strong antibiotics to treat her digestive problem, she was inspired to write about proper nutrition and personal wellness to share with others the importance of keeping the mind and body fit, active and healthy.

Read more of Jess’s posts here or connect with Jess here.

Get more Fibre in your diet with 180 superfood

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302171531.htm

https://experiencelife.com/article/fiber-why-it-matters-more-than-you-think/

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/03/27/STROKEAHA.111.000151.abstract

5 ways to improve constipation

Are you suffering from constipation? Here are some steps you can take daily to improve constipation.

1. Increase your daily fibre intake. This one is so important and very under-estimated. Stodgy cereal and bread just won’t cut it. Get real fibre rich foods like psyllium husk. We always recommend our 180 Natural protein SuperFood to meet your fibre needs.

2. Reduce your intake of highly refined and processed foods. No brainer really, but it seems most of society tucks into processed foods these days.

3. Make sure you drink six to eight glasses of water a day, but avoid sugary drinks and limit drinks containing caffeine or alcohol.

4. Do not use stimulant laxatives persistently, because the bowel will become lazy and won’t function without them. A great way to improve peristalsis is through exercise like weight training which increases contraction over time through deep breathing and core tension.

5. Do not ignore the urge to move your bowels. The longer the faeces remain, the drier and harder they will become and try to have a regular routine in which you go to the toilet at the same time every day.

High-fibre diet ‘cuts heart disease risk’

Scientists have found that a high-fibre diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make.

The study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found adults between 20 and 59 years old with the highest fibre intake had a significantly lower estimated lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest fibre intake.

For the study, Hongyan Ning, lead author and a statistical analyst in the department of preventive medicine at Feinberg, examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative sample of about 11,000 adults.

Ning considered diet, blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking status and history of diabetes in survey participants and then used a formula to predict lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.

“The results are pretty amazing. Younger (20 to 39 years) and middle-aged (40 to 59 years) adults with the highest fibre intake, compared to those with the lowest fibre intake, showed a statistically significant lower lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Ning.

However, in adults 60 to 79 years, dietary fibre intake was not significantly associated with a reduction in lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease.

It’s possible that the beneficial effect of dietary fibre may require a long period of time to achieve, and older adults may have already developed significant risk for heart disease before starting a high-fibre diet, according to Ning.

As for young and middle-aged adults, now is the time to start making fibre a big part of your daily diet, said Ning.

Read the full article here.

Increase fibre in your daily diet with 180 SuperFood.