Fibre might not be the sexiest nutrient out there, but it has a wide range of health benefits.
Increasing your fibre intake may – at first – seem like a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, fibre not typically absorbed very well by the body. Why eat more of something that your body can’t absorb? On the other hand, if your diet lacks fibre, you will definitely know about it. Let’s take a closer look at why you need fibre.
The benefits of fibre can best be studied by looking at what diets lacking in fibre can cause versus the benefits that diets rich in fibre offer. Diets low in fibre can lead to a number of health conditions, ranging from constipation and weight gain to fatigue and blood sugar fluctuations. Diets high in fibre generally lead to much better overall health, weight management, more regular bowel movements, better digestion and a reduced risk of a range of serious diseases.
There are two types of dietary fibre that are both subtly different, yet both are important for overall health.
Soluble fibre can be digested by your body, but usually very slowly compared to other carbohydrates. As a result, when you eat a diet rich in soluble fibre, the soluble fibre is digested slowly and can lead to more sustained energy and constant blood sugar levels after eating. High fibre diets can also help with weight loss, as the slow digestion of soluble fibre leads to longer feeling of fullness that may prevent snacking and a more prolonged energy release.
Soluble fibre may help with:
We have established that soluble fibre can be digested, albeit slowly. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, remains largely undigested as it passes through your digestive tract. Just because it is not digested does not mean it doesn’t play a critical role in digestion and overall health. During digestion, insoluble fibre passes through to the intestine, bringing water with it. This increases bulk and hydration of waste products. In short, this helps you go to the bathroom more regularly and the additional water in your waste helps you avoid constipation. Insoluble fibre can also help promote a feeling of fullness for those looking to lose weight / reduce snacking.
Insoluble Fibre may help with:
Super Chia Seeds not only contains double the amount of fibre than oats, they also contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, so are a great way to top up your dietary fibre levels. Try them if you are actively looking for an easy way to increase your fibre intake.
This article was provided by our online health partner Health365. If you would like to learn more about why you need fibre (among other things), visit www.health365.com.au.