Fibre February: what is fibre, what are the health benefits and how can you eat more?
What exactly is fibre & why is it important?
Fibre is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining good health. It is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down by the body and is essential for maintaining regular bowel movements, preventing constipation and promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
Dietary fibre can be classified into two main types: soluble and insoluble.
1. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Examples of foods high in soluble fibre include oats, barley, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
2. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and helps to add bulk to the stool and promote regular bowel movements. Examples of foods high in insoluble fibre include wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.
Additionally, there are also prebiotic fibres that are not digested by human enzymes but are instead fermented by gut microorganisms and modulated by the gut microbiome. Examples include inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, and galacto-oligosaccharides.
What are some of the key benefits of fibre intake?
When it comes to gut health, fibre is crucial in promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut. The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms that play a critical role in maintaining good health. A diet high in fibre can help to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can have a wide range of health benefits.
Fibre is also beneficial for heart health. Studies have shown that a diet high in fibre can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because fibre can help to remove excess cholesterol from the body, preventing it from building up in the bloodstream.
Fibre can also help maintain a healthy weight. It can help to keep you feeling full for longer, preventing overeating and promoting weight loss. Additionally, fibre can slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, which can help to control blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
Final benefit to consider is the prevention of certain types of cancer such as colon cancer. This is because it helps to promote regular bowel movements, which can aid the removal of harmful toxins and waste products from the body, thereby reducing the risk of developing colon cancer.
What foods are high in fibre?
When it comes to fibre-rich foods, plant-based options are the best sources, including fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, nuts and seeds. As well as being rich in fibre, they also contain a host of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Plant-based foods such as tempeh are also a great option to consider when upping your fibre intake.
Tempeh is a brilliant source of both soluble & insoluble dietary fibre. The insoluble fibre in tempeh, which is the indigestible part of the food, can help to add bulk to the stool and promote regular bowel movements. It also contains a small amount of resistant starch, a type of soluble fibre that is not digested in the small intestine, but ferments in the large intestine instead – meaning it has prebiotic properties and feeds good gut bacteria. Making tempeh a fab addition to a healthy balanced diet.
How much fibre do we need every day?
The recommended daily intake of dietary fibre varies depending on age, gender, and level of physical activity.
But it’s good to aim for at least:
• Men: 38+ grams per day.
• Women: 25+ grams per day.
However, with fibre, generally we should all be eating more!
If you fancy increasing your fibre intake this February, why not give Tiba Tempeh a try?
Also, check out our recipe page for inspiration.
Don’t miss your chance to stock up!