Soluble fibre, the kind found in cucumbers, beans, nuts and blueberries dissolves into a jelly like substance and helps to slow down the digestion. Insoluble fibre on the other hand which in found in vegetables such as celery, carrots, leafy greens and green beans does not dissolve and bulks the stool up which helps moves waste matter quicker through the digestive tract. Most fruit and veg contain both of these fibres as does chia seeds, flaxseeds, nuts and other seeds.
The other benefits of eating a good helping of fibre a day is that soluble fibre often helps to slow the absorption of carbs and sugars encouraging a more balanced blood sugar level. Studies have found that there’s a 40% lower risk of heart disease with those eating high fibre diets and you can reduce the risk of stroke by 7% just by consuming 7g more fibre per day. Fibre also fills us up thereby helping with weight control and high fibre also helps prevent haemorrhoids. These are just a few of the benefits but there are so many more.
Wholegrains, are they really good for us?
We often hear that wholegrains are a good source of fibre but from the reading I have done it doesn’t look that way to me. Humans are not built to digest grains as they contain glutinous proteins that can be very binding and in many of us wholegrains do more harm than good. Grains are also a poor source of vitamins and minerals.
Many natural health professionals believe that grains are not good for us and it’s the wholegrain high fibre bran part of the grain that may be the issue. This part of the grain contains gliadin and lectins which may increase gut permeability, also known as Leaky Gut. Symptoms of Leaky Gut are bloating, gut pain, excess gas, tiredness, joint pain, skin issues etc.
One thing to be aware of is that sometimes a low fibre diet is required if you have symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach pains, reflux, Leaky Gut, excess gas and food allergies/intolerances. It is always wise to do your own research so that you can become your own expert in your own symptoms however, if you suffer from any of these symptoms consider visiting a natural health practitioner to get to the bottom of why the discomfort is occurring.