Why fibre is important for your body?
To stay healthy and in its optimum condition your body needs many different nutrients. The most commonly known nutrients are protein and carbohydrates, you may have also heard of fibre which is also a commonly advertised nutrients. Although you may have heard of this nutrient you probably have no idea what it actually does to your body and we are going to change that. If you want to know more about fibre and how it can help your body, then this is the article for you and we recommend you read on.
What is fibre?
So, the big question that your probably wandering is what is fibre? Well fibre is actually a complex carbohydrate and is usually found in plant-based foods. There are different names for fibre and one you may have heard is “roughage”. When it comes to fibre there are two types, and these are soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibre as you can probably guess by the name dissolves in your gut and then can be utilised by the body. For example, it can help your gut bacteria. Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve and therefore can’t be digested.
The main reason people tend to increase their fibre intake is to help with digestion. Although fibre does do this it also has many other roles, we are going to be stating the other benefits of fibre later on in the article. When it comes to how much fibre you should be eating it varies. For 2- to 5-year-olds its 15g of fibre a day. If your aged 5 to 11 you can have 20g of fibre and 11- to 16-year-olds can have 25g. For adults the recommended dose is 30g of fibre.
One reason it’s a good idea to include enough fibre in your diet is because it can help with weight control and can actually be beneficial when it comes to losing weight. One way fibre can help you in your weight loss journey is that foods high in fibre tend to be bulky but low in calories. This helps you lose weight as the bulky food is going to make you feel fuller. Also, soluble fibre can be used to suppress your appetite making you less likely to eat and break your diet.
Soluble fibre is also beneficial for your gut. It can help you lose and keep off weight. One way it does this is by helping your gut bacteria as a high fibre intake is linked to a higher variety of gut bacteria which can help you lose weight and also lower the risk of suffering from things like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Insoluble fibre can help with digestion of food and is also beneficial for your gut.
Reduce risk of cancers
Fibre is also important as it can decrease the risk of you developing certain conditions and diseases. One disease fibre can help you fight against is cancer which is a common disease suffered by many. A higher fibre intake is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer which is cancer in the colon and digestive system. Although its seen that a high fibre intake can reduce the risks of colorectal cancer the chances of it reducing other cancers has not yet been proven.
Although not yet proven there is also a chance that fibre can help to reduce the chances of getting breast or prostate cancer. It does this by helping to control your blood sugar levels which can reduce the risk of cancer developing. In general women who ate a high fibre diet where at a 8% lower risk of developing breast cancer. Fibre also reduces the cancer promoting hormones like oestrogen and insulin. It can reduce your risk by keeping your body generally healthy.
Help with digestion
The main reason people tend to try and increase their fibre intake is so improve there digestion. Fibre can decrease the chances of suffering from constipation as it softens your stool. It also helps food move through your digestive system which is easing digestion. It also can help to regulate your bowel movements. It also helps to maintain bowel health as it can reduce your risk if developing haemorrhoids’.
Consuming enough fibre can also hep you with other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. It does that by lowering your risk of getting constipation. Also, it can help if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease which can also cause you to get heart burn. Although enough fibre can be beneficial, too much can have some negative affects like bloating or excessive gas.
High fibre foods
When it comes to getting enough fibre, you can take supplements. Although these are good the best way for your body to get its fibre is through foods. There are many different foods that contain fibre but most of these are plant based as fibre is found in plant cells. Fruit and vegetables are high in fibre and also generally healthy as they contain natural sugars and antioxidants. Also, these foods generally are low in calories which is also going to help with weight loss.
Things like wholegrain products are also high in fibre. For example, you could have wholegrain bread, rice or pasta which is going to help you reach your daily fibre intake. This includes things like beans, seeds and legumes which are also healthy and a good source of fibre. When it comes to soluble and insoluble sources many of them come from the same food sources. For digestive purposes its important you stay hydrated when drinking fibre to ease the food through your digestive system.
Good to prevent disease
As it keeps you healthy it may come to no surprise that fibre can put you at a lower risk of getting a lot of diseases. Heart disease is something that can be avoided with a high fibre diet. This is because fibrous foods are generally low in LDL cholesterol which is the bad type of cholesterol that can cause heart disease and other conditions. Also, it reduces your blood sugar level which is a bonus when avoiding heart disease.
Fibre can also put you at a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes. This condition is cause by having too much sugar in your blood and fibre helps to regulate this as it controls the amount of sugar that is released into your blood. This also means its easier to lose wight as it slows down your absorption of carbohydrates.
In conclusion, fibre is good for your body and its something you should make sure you’re getting enough of. Although it can have some negative affects if you have too much fibre it is hard to oversee your daily recommended dose and even, so the side effects aren’t life threatening. So, if you were unsure about how fibre can help you, now you know to make sure you get enough of it.