Since the Paleolithic era, we have made great strides as a society. However, with our success, many modern problems such as IBS have arisen. But, there are ways to fix this problem. Input: Fibre. Fibre is a great way to improve your gut health, but it’s not a one size fit all approach, so you need to be careful about how you get fibre.
With that in mind, you may have heard from friends or family, “you’ve got to eat more fibre”. And that’s generally true, but because fibre is an essential nutrient, there are different types, and you need to keep a close eye on how much of each type you put into your body.
What exactly is fibre? Fibre is a necessary group of carbohydrates that we need to consume daily. Mainly found in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. The suggested daily amount to intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. You can’t get fibre from dairy or meat products.
As mentioned earlier, there are actually different types, each having different effects on a person’s body. Fibres can be divided into two groups, dietary fibre and functional fibre. However, a more advisable way to separate them is by their solubility, because this can provide a higher insight into their health effects.
These two group names should clarify which fibre type does what. Soluble fibre mixes with water in the intestine, but insoluble fibre doesn’t. The former helps manage your cholesterol and blood sugar levels while the latter acts as a filler that helps prevent constipation.
It may turn your stomach a little, but you should make sure you have enough fibre to make your bowel movements normal. It’s also said that eating a diet high in fibre can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you didn’t know about these differences, you are not alone. Max Lugavere, an American nutritionist, recently posted on Instagram highlighting this fact.
“There are different strategies for gut health and nutrition, and there are no universal recommendations,” he says.
He explains insoluble and soluble fibre in a way that is a bit easier to comprehend: “Soluble fibre absorbs water, creates a gel and nourishes the bacteria that inhabit your large intestine.”
“Because of this, these bacteria produce powerful metabolites. This fibre type helps improve the symptoms of IBS.”
“Insoluble fibre does not absorb water, but acts like a polishing broom that wipes out the gastrointestinal tract. This type of fibre is normally well tolerated, but in some people, including people with IBS, it can cause or exacerbate symptoms.”
Max adds that there is a different type, known as resistant starch. “It’s a type of carbohydrate that acts like fibre, is digestive resistant and instead nourishes the microbes at the end of the digestive tract.” says Max.
“The 28-year-old nutrition team and I agree with what Max. There are different types of fibre and they all have a unique role in the health of our gut. That’s one of the reasons we suggest eating a range of high fibre foods.”
“Fortunately, my true nutritional philosophy means that I always eat plenty of high fibre foods. Among beans, whole grains, lentils, vegetables, nuts and seeds, there is guaranteed to be one good source of fibre.”
There is no type of fibre that is bad for you. However, if you begin to experience symptoms of irriatation after consuming high fibre foods, you will now be able to identify which type it is and remove it from your diet.
Author: Scott Dowdy