Why should you eat more dietary fibre and where do you find them?
Manuscript: Whatever daily food you have been eating or may be the food your ancestors have cooked down the ages, dietary fibre is a major component on any sensible diet.
Eating a very low carb diet like the ketogenic, may not provide the daily fibre requirement.
Dietary fibre is the non-digestible carbs found in carbohydrates. They are not found in meat products and fats.
Starch you get from the carbs, mainly root veggies- is a complex carbohydrate which includes fibre.
For optimum health one should choose complex carbs found in whole foods, as they are high in fibre.
Foods such as plant-based black beans, rice, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce have fewer calories and getting a lot more fibre.
Of course, with the rice and curry being our staple diet, there is plenty of dietary fibre, if you chose the right combinations.
Un-processed brown, and red rice have more fibre in the outer sheath and is a whole grain. In white rice the bran and germ containing all the fibre and many other nutrients are removed during the milling process.
If you eat white rice the dietary fibre component comes from the curries like lentils, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and the finely cut leaves called a ‘Mallum”, and the fruit you may eat after.
Western diets are typically high in saturated fats and sugar and low in fibre.
It is mostly composed of all grain products, such as bread, pasta, tortillas, cakes and pastries, made from processed wheat flour.
What is the significance of eating high fibre foods?
Indigestible fibre keeps your gut healthy.
It stabilises glucose and cholesterol level.
Glucose coming from the digested carbs in the gut, gets absorbed fast, giving a rise to blood sugar ‘spikes’
Glucose spikes in the blood can cause insulin resistance and cause diabetes type 2.
Fibre retains the glucose in your gut thus, creating a slow absorption which prevents a sugar spike.
Especially, the diabetics need to take a high fibre food with every meal for same reason.
Diseases such as bowel cancer, and coronary heart disease are much less common among people who eat a high fibre diet.
Western diet composed of mainly meat and fatty food are poor in fibre component, and the incidence of chronic diseases seems to be much high. Meat has no fibre at all.
You need to consume approximately 25-30g of fibre daily according to the Heart Foundation in the U.S.
Other diseases that can be caused on a low fibre diet are:
Constipation, irritable bowel disease, diverticulitis including heart disease and cancer mentioned before
There are two types of dietary fibre: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre dissolves in water and can be metabolized by the good bacteria in your gut through a process of fermentation.
Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and passes through your gut as roughage.
Gut microbiome needs fibre for their health. They help us digest our food, are essential to the immune system, and may be linked to an array health benefits.
They need to be fed with high fibre diets called ‘Prebiotics’ for them to have a mutually beneficial relationship between you and some of the beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive system.
In other word your gut bacteria need the fibre for their energy to survive,
These bacteria seem to have the enzymes to digest many of these fibres.
These friendly bacteria also produce nutrients to your body, including short chain fatty acids like acetate, propionate, and butyrate.
These short chain fatty acids feed the cells lining the large gut resulting in less inflammation and prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
High fibre diets can cause flatulence. This is explained by the excessive gas produced by the bacteria by using fibre through fermentation.
Fibre can lose your appetite helping to reduce weight.
When you eat foods with excessive dietary fibre, it is observed that you lose weight because of the satiety and the feeling of fullness after eating a small high fibre meal.
This is caused by the fibre that soaks up water in the intestine and slowing the absorption of nutrients and increasing feeling of fullness.
High Fiber Vegetables
Collard greens, kale, beet greens, Swiss chard.
Carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery root, beets.