It’s not just about take Probiotics – but having enough Dietary Fibre too…
Fibre and healthy gut bacteria complement each other in a big way!
Fibre has long been linked to better health, but many people are just not aware of how many ways it can help heal our gut.
New research has discovered that adding more fibre to the diet can trigger a shift from the bad gut bacteria linked to obesity, to the good bacteria which is linked with a leaner physique.
Another recent study shows that when microbes are starved of fibre, they can start to feed on the protective mucus lining of the gut, possibly triggering inflammation and ultimately leaky gut.
In today’s western diet, we only have about 15 grams of fibre a day. Back in the hunter-gatherer days, we were eating close to 10 times that amount.
Can you imagine how much our gut bacteria has changed over our evolution?
SO HOW DOES FIBRE WORK?
Fibre passes through our digestive tract relatively intact, taking with it toxins, waste, fat and excess cholesterol. Think of it like a big broom sweeping a pipe!
This in turn helps with heart health, makes us feel full and helps digestion and detoxification.
There are two different type of dietary fibre: insoluble and soluble… and we need both.
Soluble fibre slows down digestion (relieving diarrhoea) and is found in flaxseed meal, nuts, oats, beans, lentils and some fruits and veg. This fibre helps with weight loss because it keeps us feeling full for longer.
Insoluble fibre speeds up digestion (relieving constipation) and is found in brown rice, barley, most veg including root veg, broccoli, carrots, green beans and zucchini.
Given that soluble fibre slows digestion, this helps keep blood sugar levels stable and improves insulin sensitivity. This is a great thing for diabetics!
You don’t really need to worry about which type of high fiber foods you’re getting, just eat a wide variety of these foods to cover both bases.
Many still think that they should get their fibre from bread. But this will do you more harm than good.
Bread will put on weight, and is often full of wheat and gluten which will add to your digestive problems. Even the gluten free breads have a lot of sugar, salt and other preservatives that will work against your health goals.
If you love bread… try making a Sourdough yourself, then you know what’s in it. Sourdough has some pretty good health benefits as it’s a kind of a fermented food.
On a whole though, you’re better of getting fibre from natural whole foods, which will give you the nutrients as well as the fibre.
Standard advice is 30g/day, but really to make a difference, aim for 60g/day. Just remember to increase it slowly then maintain it.
HIGH FIBRE FOODS
(1 cup of these = 15 grams of fibre… so add these to a soups or stews.)
Other high fibre foods:
Figs (1 cup = 14.6 g)
lima beans (1 cup = 13.2 g)
coconut flour (1/4 cup= 10g)
artichokes (1 = 8.7 g)
green peas (1 cup cooked = 8.8 g)
raspberries (1 cup = 8g)
blackberries (1 cup = 7.6g)
chia seeds (5.5 grams per tbsp)
apples and pears (5 grams each)
flaxseeds (3 grams per tbsp)
quinoa (5 grams per cup cooked)
oats (5 grams per 1/2 cup)
uncooked chickpeas (8 grams per cup cooked.)
EASY WAYS TO ADD MORE FIBRE
Take 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal per day in your smoothie. (The ‘oils’ in the flaxseed give the digestive tract a coating which will help healing. This is better than Psyllium husk for example, which doesn’t have the same good oils.
Swap a couple of meat meals for beans and start adding beans to your everyday salads.
WHY IS FIBRE SO IMPORTANT FOR GUT HEALING?
Not only does fibre help with the speed of digestion (slowing down or speeding it up) it also helps drag out Gut Parasites and bad bacteria.
Your gut healing goals will always be hindered if you have these parasite (often unknowingly) robbing your every effort!
NOT ALL FIBRE IS THE SAME
Stay away from the commercial processed foods that are marketed as ‘high in fibre.’
Manufacturers of processed foods now ‘add fibre’ to foods that wouldn’t normally have fibre e.g. yoghurt, grains and refined cereals, in the hope that people will buy these.
But really many of these product are also loaded with other nasties.
This goes for many of the ‘fibre supplements’ which aren’t well digested and lack nutrients.
Some also contain some nasty ingredients that will actually work against our health! These include: Methylcellulose (synthetic cellulose), Calcium polycarbophil and Wheat Dextrin.
So always get your fibre from real whole foods, and in the process, you’ll benefit from the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well. This will not only help with gut healing but your heart health too.
Hope this helps 🙂
Meanwhile, if you have any questions on our own personal situation, go to the Nutrition For Life Community and ask me a question in the forum OR you can private message me.
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