Good Mood Food – Week 4 – FIBRE

FIBRE

Is still a commonly misunderstood nutrient. Yet it’s one that deserves some explaining considering how many important roles it has in the body…

SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT FIBRE

  • Fibre has zero calories as it essentially can’t be digested by humans!
  • Fibre doesn’t contribute any carbs to our diets despite being found in carbohydrate foods like fruits,       vegetables, nuts and whole grains
  • Fibre is a food source for our beneficial bacteria, without it they starve & will reduce in numbers
  • Adding more fibre to your diet can shift your microbial profile from obese to lean…

WHY FIBRE IS THE SECRET SAUCE…

Simply put….because we can’t absorb fibre, it passes relatively undigested through our G.I. tract, taking with it toxins, waste, fats and cholesterol! This in turn improves our heart health, our digestion & detoxification processes as well as helping to keep us full – leading to weight loss.

There are two main types of Fibre – Soluble Fibre & Insoluble Fibre but also a third one known as resistant starch.

What type of fibre is contained in Sourdough Bread?

sourdough bread contains both soluble & insoluble fibre, as well as resistant starch – another type of fibre that helps to regulate blood glucose, improve insulin sensitivity & improve your appetite. Wholemeal sourdough contains more resistant starch & fibre than white sourdough.

Soluble Fibre

attracts water & forms a gel-like substance.  It is found in oats, bran, beans, lentils etc. This type of fibre slows digestion which helps with weight loss as it keeps you full for longer.

Insoluble Fibre

This type of fibre speeds up digestion & bulks your stool (helps to relieve constipation & increase bowel movement frequency) It is found in wholegrain rice, barley, root veg, garlic, leeks, artichokes etc..

This type of fibre is also classified as a pre-biotic food, which feeds our beneficial gut bacteria – this is the nub of the matter!  Our gut bugs convert the fibre into metabolites known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s)  one of which is butyrate – a potent anti-inflammatory compound, helping to lower inflammation in the body.

Considering all chronic illness is rooted in Inflammation – think heart disease, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure (hypertension), Stroke, Arthritis, and even allergic conditions like Asthma & Eczema

The Link between Mental Health, Leaky Gut  & Fibre

By eating enough fibre (min. 30g per day) you will keep your beneficial gut bugs well fed, thriving & multiplying; which will reward you with improved mood, memory & concentration not to mention improved digestion & elimination.

A healthy gut should have a nice thick layer of mucus. When our gut microbes are starved of fibre, they start feeding on our protective mucus layer resulting in leaky gut! This causes an immune response resulting in inflammation.

To Sum Up

  • Eat 8-10 portions of fruit & veg every day. they are naturally high in all types of fibre.
  • Don’t forget to include lots of beans, lentils, peas & pulses also – these contain beneficial plant proteins also & slow your digestion to keep your blood sugars balanced
  • Last but not least, drink a minimum of 2L of water per day when you increase your fibre intake.
    Fibre attracts water to form a slick gel-like substance in your gut, to slow transit time & clean out your pipes! If you don’t drink enough water, your pipes will get blocked & you will be constipated before you know it.
  • Fibre feeds your gut bugs & keeps them thriving & multiplying. As your gut bugs are constantly communicating with your brain, naturally this will have a positive effect on your mood, your mental clarity, alertness & memory..
  • By including more fibre in your diet, you will not only improve your mental health, clarity & cognitive function but fibre will also reduce inflammation & keep you at a healthy weight!

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