Consuming a high fibre diet has an array of lifelong health benefits. From maintaining a healthy weight to preventing bowel disorders and even certain cancers, eating enough fibre should be at the top of your priority list when planning a healthy diet.
In this article, we explain the benefits of including fibre in your diet and what to do if you think you are not getting enough.
Benefits Of Consuming Fibre
Healthy Digestive System
A healthy digestive system is strongly correlated with the level of fibre consumed in your diet, as this generally suggests that an individual is consuming a balanced diet full of wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, all which are high in dietary fibre.
Consuming a high fibre meal stimulates the peristalsis; the contraction of muscle in your intestines. This is an important process by which food is moved through the digestive tract. The opposite of that, which results from a low fibre diet, is less movement in the digestive system, resulting in an unpleasant experience known as constipation.
The RDA of fibre is 25-30g, slightly varying from individual to individual. Gradually increasing your fibre intake every day can help your body adjust to the fibre, without causing unwanted side effects. Likewise, too much fibre can have a negative effect, causing unwanted symptoms such as bloating, discomfort and gas.
Protective of Bowel Disorders
Consuming enough fibre is also protective of bowel disorders and diseases such as diverticulitis and bowel cancer. This is because fibre reduces the amount of time in which food remain in the gut, dilutes harmful substances and reduces the contact between carcinogens and the lining of the gut.
Individuals who consume enough fibre are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who do not. There are a number of mechanisms which justify this such as the ability of fibre to keep us feeling fuller for longer, which prevents us snacking or overeating. Fibre also slows the release of glucose into our system, stopping our blood sugar from spiking and preventing us from crashing quickly after a meal, which often leaves us reaching for another sugary snack.
Consuming even 5-10g of fibre per meal can have beneficial effects and can be done by including high fibre foods in our meals such as, wholegrain bread, beans, lentils, broccoli, berries, avocado and even popcorn!
Our gut bugs love when we consume lots of fibre. Our gut bacteria produce a short chain fatty acid called ‘butyrate’ when they ferment the fibre which our body cannot digest. As a result, the butyrate produced has beneficial effects on our entire body, including our blood sugar levels, our weight and even brain health. One study suggests that butyrate may protect our brain from disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.
Supplementing with Fibre
But don’t panic- If you think you are not getting enough fibre in your diet, it is not too late to start including more fibre rich foods in your diet. If you struggle eating foods high in fibre, supplementing is another option which can help you gradually increase your fibre consumption, while reaping all the benefits of consuming real fibre.
Sona FibrePlan contains Psyllium Husk, a natural fibre to help prevent constipation, maintain regularity and support digestive health. Containing 1000mg of psyllium husk, it is an easy way to help meet your daily fibre requirements.
Masrul, M. and Nindrea, R.D., 2019. Dietary fibre protective against colorectal cancer patients in asia: a meta-analysis. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 7(10), p.1723.
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Wanders, A.J., van den Borne, J.J., de Graaf, C., Hulshof, T., Jonathan, M.C., Kristensen, M., Mars, M., Schols, H.A. and Feskens, E.J., 2011. Effects of dietary fibre on subjective appetite, energy intake and body weight: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Obesity reviews, 12(9), pp.724-739.