What is Fibre?
Fibre is a non-digestible, plant-derived carbohydrate that includes the storage and cell wall parts of the plant. Fibre passes through the human digestive tract essentially intact and has little to no caloric value.
Fibre is sometimes referred to as “nature’s broom” because it helps “clean out” the intestinal tract.
The “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates (4th century B.C.) was one of the first physicians to argue for the benefits of fibre in the form bran to help keep the large intestine healthy.
In the 1830s, a Presbyterian minister and advocate of dietary reform, Rev. Sylvester Graham, argued that bran was the cure-all for the poor diet of his time. He created Graham flour, which is still used today.
Fibre is from the Latin fibra, “a fibre, filament” of uncertain origin, possibly from the Latin filum, “thread,” or findere, “to split.”
How long is the digestive tract?
The digestive tract is an amazing 28 feet long. Fibre helps move waste along this large muscle.
Insoluble fibre and soluble fibre?
There are two types of fibre: soluble fibre, which dissolves in water, and insoluble fibre, which does not dissolve in water. Both types are important in maintaining optimal health. They occur naturally in foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
How much fibre should we have every day?
Most people only eat about 15 grams of fibre a day. However, the American Dietetic Association recommends eating 20-35 grams of fibre per day.
Is there any fibre in animal products?
Fibre foods Fibre is found only in plant sources, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains
What is insoluble Fibre?
Insoluble fibre (“roughage” fibre) does not dissolve in water. It essentially acts like a sponge, capable of absorbing up to 15 times its own weight in water and making a person feel full longer.
Insoluble fibre attaches to waste in the body, which makes waste bulkier and easier to pass. This helps prevent haemorrhoids, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Insoluble sources of fibre include fruits with skins, uncooked vegetables, nuts, legumes, bran, brown rice, and whole-grain flour.
Fibre fighting Cancer!
Research shows that fibre can lower the risk of prostate cancer progression and decrease levels of testosterone, which helps decrease tumour growth.
If people who normally had low fibre suddenly doubled their intake, they could lower their risk of colon cancer by 40%.
Research indicates that fibre has protective effects against breast cancer.
A fibre-deficient diet can result in deadly colon cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in non-smokers.
Fibre for Diabetics!
Soluble fibre slows down the absorption of sugar and fats in the blood, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Fibre for your heart!
Soluble fibre binds with and removes cholesterol from the blood stream, which helps lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
Where do you get fibre?
Common sources of soluble fibre include oats, oat bran, barley, dried beans, peas, and certain fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, apples, potatoes, citrus, and prunes.
Fibre prevents diverticulosis and keeps the colon healthy.
Foods rich in fibre help prevent diverticulosis, which is the formation of intestinal pouches. Fibre contributes to the bulk of stool in the colon, which means less forceful contractions are needed to move the stool; therefore, intestinal pouches aren’t so readily formed.
Many types of soluble fibre can act as prebiotics that feed healthy gut bacteria which, in turn, contributes to colon health.
Fibre can survive Heat!
Cooking drying Cooking and drying do not remove fibre from food
Cooking does not remove the fibre from food. Additionally, drying food does not remove fibre from food.
Fibre to lose or maintain weight!
Fibre can help with overeating. Fibre takes longer to chew, which gives the body time to let a person know when he or she is full.
Fibre needs water!
The more fibre a person includes in his or her diet, the more water he or she will need to keep the fibre moving through the digestive tract.
Too much of a good thing!
Too much fibre can cause negative health effects. For example, if a person eats more than 50 grams of fibre a day, he or she can start to suffer from diarrhoea and bloating, which can interfere with the body’s absorption of other minerals.
How can I achieve my daily intake of fibre?
Grains offer the most fibre. The best sources are whole grains and concentrated grain products. Choosing 100% whole-grain bread for a sandwich can add 3-5 grams of fibre per serving. Look for “whole grain” or “whole wheat” in the beginning of the ingredient list.
Whole wheat has nearly four times the fibre component of brown rice. Whole-grain foods contain all the components of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm).
Nutritionists suggest including at least one food product that is high in fibre during all your meals and snacks throughout the day to reach the recommended amount of daily fibre.
Fibre to Live!
Scientists show that those who eat the most fibre have significantly lower risk of dying of any cause. The National Cancer institute concludes that for every 10-gram increase in fibre intake, risk of death drops 15% in women and 10% in men.
The word “fibre” first entered the mainstream vocabulary in the 1970s when the “Fibre Man,” Dr. Denis Burkitt, argued the “fibre hypothesis,” which states that fibre can prevent certain diseases. Burkitt and his colleagues found that common diseases in Western cultures (heart attacks, high blood pressure, obesity, haemorrhoids, colon cancer, and varicose veins) were not common in Africa. The primary dietary difference between the cultures was a high intake of fibre and low intake of refined carbs in Africa.
A study at the University of Cardiff in the United Kingdom found that people who had higher levels of fibre intake had higher feelings of well-being.
Increase it slowly!
Physicians suggest that if a person is not currently eating enough fibre and would like to increase his or her fibre intake, he or she should increase it slowly to avoid gas and bloating.
People used to more eat fibre!
One hundred years ago, meat, fat, and sugar between them contributed only 15% of the total number of calories in an average diet. Today, the figure in nearer to 60%. The quantity of fibre has dropped a whopping 90%.
Less Fibre linked to increased common diseases!
Historians note that the emergence of common diseases occurred in the U.S. and England after 1890, when a new milling technique removed fibre from whole-grain flour to produce white flour.
Fibre for Children!
To determine how much fibre a child needs each day, take her age and divide it by 10. For example, a 7-year-old needs to eat about 0.7 ounces (17 g) of fibre every day.
Eat the Skin!
Removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fibre content
Research shows that eating an additional 14 grams of fibre each day resulted in a 10% decrease in calorie intake. Additionally, long-term studies show that people who eat fibre rich foods tend to be slimmer than those who don’t.
Symptoms of low fibre intake include unhealthy bowel movements, such as going less than two or three times a day. Additionally, a bowel movement should never hurt, cause haemorrhoids, or lead to bleeding.
Fibre for your appendix!
The most common abdominal emergency in the West is appendicitis. Over 300,000 appendixes are removed each year in the United States. A low-fibre diet increases the risk of appendicitis.
With all this information couldn’t we all do with a little more fibre in our lifes??