Fibre, we know one of its main actions is to help get our bowels moving, but there is so much more to know about Fibre! Let’s find out some more fibre facts! Fibre is traditionally placed into two categories soluble fibre and insoluble Fibre.
When added to water (or inside our digestive system) soluble fibre breaks down, allowing it to be transported around the body. Insoluble fibre stays whole, working as roughage or a scrubbing brush for our digestive system. Both work together, helping to move toxins and waste out of the body and both are essential for happy and healthy digestive system.
Soluble fibre also has a unique role, in that once broken down by our digestive system, it not only helps to soften the stool but also helps to bind to waste, sugar and cholesterol helping to slow their absorption AND also helping to remove them from our body.
Fibre in general is a key factor in helping us to feel full after a meal. It is one of the reasons we can feel satisfied after eating an apple or salad. Fibre is also essential for promoting a happy and healthy digestive system.
One thing that fibre loves – is water. Fibre needs water. Without it (or without enough of it) fibre can’t do the job it was sent in to do. As a little food science experiment place one teaspoon of psyllium husks into 2 tablespoons of water – you will notice that all the water is rather quickly absorbed and creates a thick gel. We need to drink enough water to help this process and more water to help move the fibre through the digestive system.
So where can we get fibre?
The easiest way to boost your fibre intake is to ensure you make it part of your daily routine. Everyday enjoy a seasonal fruits and vegetables (remember eat the colours of the rainbow), legumes, nuts and seeds. Fresh and seasonal foods have higher levels of fibre when compared to refined and processed foods - just another reason to pop into the kitchen and create a masterpiece.
There are also some delicious ways to give your diet an extra fibre boost; try psyllium husks, chia seeds whole, chia seeds ground, linseeds (also known as flaxseeds), LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds), slippery elm, nuts and seeds. All of these items can be added to your meals or sprinkled into smoothies.
Just remember fibre loves water! If you are increasing your fibre intake, be sure to increase your water intake.