FACTS ABOUT FIBRE
Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. A diet high in fibre has many health benefits. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, some cancers, and it can also improve digestive health.
Fibre is a component of the cell walls of plants and helps hold the plant together. Although most fibers are carbohydrates they cannot be digested by the human body so fibre does not contribute calories to one’s diet. There are actually two primary types of fibre – soluble fibre and insoluble fibre.
TYPES OF FIBRE
Fibre passes through the body virtually unchanged along with other digested food until it arrives at the large intestine. What happens next depends on which type of fibre is present.
In the case of insoluble fibre, it promotes the growth of a certain friendly bacteria that ferments and makes the waste material soft and bulky, which in turn helps it to pass through the intestines quicker to the bowel and out of the body.
Insoluble fibre prevents constipation, which consists of small, hard and dry faeces that are hard to pass, by adding bulk and liquid to aid movement, and promote regular bowel movements. A larger and softer stool is able to pass through the intestines and bowel more easily and fluidly and is easier to evacuate.
As waste material passes through the body quickly and does not stay in the intestines or bowel for very long, toxins are not able to build up and accumulate. This is important in the prevention of distressing diseases such as bowel cancer or other cancers, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
Sources of insoluble fibre
Insoluble fibre can be found in foods such as bran, wholemeal flour and breads, brown rice, whole grain cereals, vegetables, edible peels of fruit, nuts and seeds.
Soluble fibre absorbs water in the intestine, which softens the stool and helps the waste material move through the body more quickly.
It is thought that soluble fibre may help to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. This is due to the fact that soluble fibre binds the cholesterol from food or from bile acids, which are made up of cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This is then eliminated as waste, as the fibre cannot be digested.
Soluble fibre also slows down digestion and the sudden release of energy, especially from carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This means that blood sugar levels are more stable, which is good for people with diabetes, and energy or glucose is released slowly and steadily, preventing sudden feelings of tiredness, lack of energy or hunger pangs.
Sources of soluble fibre
Soluble fibre-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, lentils, peas, beans, oats, barley, oatmeal, potatoes, dried fruit, soya products.
Fibre should be introduced gradually into the diet and can be done in a number of ways including:
Start the day with porridge, high fibre cereals or wholemeal bread.
Eat more portions of fruit and dried fruit.
Eat potatoes with their skins intact.
Include chickpeas or lentils to salads, stews and curries.
Try to eat more raw fruit and vegetables.
Add seeds and nuts to salads or eat as a snack.
Switch to brown rice, brown bread and wholemeal pasta.
Buy foods containing whole grains.
Add barley to homemade soups.
Remember to also increase your water intake.
Eating foods that are high in fibre will help you feel fuller for longer. This may help if you are trying to lose weight
If you need to increase your fibre intake, it’s important that you do so gradually. A sudden increase may make you produce more wind (flatulence), leave you feeling bloated and cause stomach cramps.
It’s also important to make sure you drink plenty of fluid. You should drink approximately 1.2 litres (6-8 glasses) of fluid a day, or more while exercising or when it’s hot.
BENEFITS OF EATING FIBRE
The most undisputed advantage of insoluble fibre is its ability to soften and expand stool volume, speeding up fecal transit and elimination.
Commercial preparations such as agar (Agarol) and psyllium (Metamucil) are effective stool bulkers.
Soluble fibre from legumes, barley, oats, some fruit and vegetables can help regulate blood sugar swings and by lowering serum cholesterol, protect against heart disease.
Excess blood fats are possibly reduced by soluble fibres such as pectin, bean and oat gums, and the types in legumes (lentils, chickpeas, navy, pinto or kidney beans).
May improve by diets rich in fibre, through its cholesterol lowering effects.
Possible protection against cancer
In the bowel, bacteria converts fibre into short chain fatty acids, which provide energy for the body and may help protect against cancer.
The amount of fibre needed depends on the number of calories you eat in a day. For healthy adults, the USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. So a person eating 2,000 calories a day should aim to get 28 grams of fiber daily.
SASA’S Nutrition Tipp:
Take 2 Herbalife FIBRE & Herb Tablets 3 times per day about 30 minutes BEFORE having a meal/Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Nutritional Protein Shake
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