Fibre is often an overlooked nutrient but it’s kind of an unmasked hero. Fibre helps you feel fuller for longer, feeds the good bacteria in your gut, fights a number of diseases and cancers and helps you lose weight and keep it off! It truly is a superfood!
But what is fibre?
Fibre is a carbohydrate present only in plant foods. It comes in two forms:
Soluble fibre – this dissolves in water and helps form a gel-like substance. It helps improve health, metabolism and your weight
Insoluble fibre – this is acts similar to a bulking agent and adds volume or substance to your stools and helps keep you regular.
How much should we have?
According to the World Health Organization we should aim to consume at least 25g of fibre daily . But did you know 95% of Americans are not getting enough fibre? This is because the western diet is often heavily animal-based and very few people eat enough fruits and vegetables.
The role of fibre and weight loss
High fibre weight loss is when the body naturally loses weight due to an increase of fibre. There are many things fibre can assist with:
Keeps you fuller for longer – Fibre helps you lose weight as it stays in your system longer than other nutrients so it makes you feel fuller for longer. This reduces the chance of overeating, which can lead to weight gain over time.
Helps your good bacteria – did you know your gut has over 100 trillion live bacteria? This is a mixture of good and bad bacteria and ratio is dependent on your lifestyle and diet. People who are obese tend to have too much bad bacteria. Having a healthy gut improves your digestion and manages your weight.
Fight inflammation – chronic inflammation has been linked to weight gain and obesity, and plays a major role in causing disease. Chronic inflammation is also linked to leaky gut syndrome this is where toxins are leaked in to the gut, which can cause weight gain. The good bacteria fed by fibre helps reduce chronic inflammation in the body, which in turn helps regulate body weight.
How to increase fibre intake?
The best way to increase fibre intake is to eat more wholefoods plants, this means for example eating an apple or a potato with their skin on. Processed foods such white bread and white flour etc. should be avoided as the fibre content has been stripped away.
Another great way to improve your gut bacteria is to consume a pre-biotic. Pre-biotics are compounds founds in plants which help feed the good bacteria in the gut. One of the best prebiotic supplements is Baobab powder, as it is packed with fibre and polyphenols and has been proven to keep you feeling fuller for longer while improving overall digestion.
Fibre helps fight so many diseases that it is essential for good health, and as an added bonus it naturally regulates your body weight. If your goal is to lose weight it is always recommended to do so with a healthy balanced diet that includes as many whole food plants as possible, plenty of water and sleep.