When you think of fibre, you probably go straight to bowel health. And, you are correct. Fibre helps clean you out and keeps you regular. But, this essential nutrient has a few other health benefits that you might not associate it with, other than digestion and elimination.
First, fibre binds to cholesterol and eliminates it through your bowels. This is important for those with cardiovascular disease. According to a study, those at risk for CVD have a 40% lower rate of having a heart attack when adding fibre to their diet.
Fibre can help with weight management as it makes you feel more full. It also regulates blood sugar levels so spikes and crashes are not an issue. This is particularly important in diabetes support as fibre helps to slow the absorption of sugar.
Fibre feeds your gut bacteria. Our body contains both good and bad bacteria and fibre helps to flush out the bad, while feeding the good. Fibre is plant based and our body does not digest it. Instead, along with water, it helps to form stool that is full of bad bacteria, waste, cholesterol, excess hormones and toxins, and then exits our body.
Fibre is either soluble or insoluble and they work in different ways. If you suffer from constipation, you might want to add more insoluble fibre in to your diet. It adds bulk to stool and speeds up transit time. It is found in whole grains and vegetables. Soluble fibre, like chia, flax and nuts, slows transit time by attracting water, and works well for weight loss as it makes you feel full for longer.
Either way, try to get in 30g fibre a day for optimal health and glowing skin. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help the fibre bind to all the nasties that must exit your body twice (yes, twice!) a day. Try adding fibre to smoothies, salads, bliss balls, soups, and hummus.
5 Easy, high fibre additions are chia seeds, whole grain rice, ground flax, walnuts, and quinoa. A little sprinkle will do ya.
Jen Casey is a Holistic Nutritionist with Next Bite Nutrition Coaching in Vancouver, BC. She focuses her practice on whole body wellness and building a solid foundation for the pillars of health. Learn more about Jen and her healthy recipes on Instagram.