Dietary fibre consists of parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest. It provides nutrients for beneficial bacteria, absorbs water, and assists in the elimination of waste.
There are 2 forms of fibre, each with their own unique benefits, as explained below:
This type of fibre dissolves in water to form a gel, bonding to cholesterol and preventing it from being absorbed, resulting in an overall lower body cholesterol. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and glucose levels.
Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water, but absorbs water instead and helps the movement of matter through the digestive system, which is great for regularity. Another benefit of insoluble fiber is that it can help the good bacteria in our gut to grow. Our gut bacteria are living organisms that eat sugars and fiber, and prevent bad bacteria from growing in our gut and making us sick. Insoluble fiber takes a lot longer to break down, which helps our good gut bacteria grow and multiply.
How to increase fibre in your diet
Recent evidence shows that our modern diets do not contain enough fibre. The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation recommends 25g per day for women and 30g per day for men. Some easy ways to increase your daily fibre intake include:
- Eating more fruit & veges
- Adding nuts & seeds to salads, or have them as a snack
- Switching to wholemeal bread
- Choosing breakfast cereals that contain whole grains like rice bran or oat bran
- Adding superfoods like chia seeds to meals
- Taking supplement such as psyllium husk powder
- Adding Morlife’s Alkalising Greens—which contain prebiotic fibres—to your smoothies