Dietary fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grain and legumes. Fibre comes from plants and is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested. It gently scrubs and sweeps and clears the digestive tract as it moves through your body, binding itself to fats and toxins. However, fibre provides a great service to the body that goes beyond just the cleaning process.
It may surprise you to learn that the colon is not just one length of pink smooth sausage but is actually a tunnel with folds and pockets where old waste can accumulate. This waste can quickly become a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Without fibre to work the colonic muscles, stretch these folds and clear out the old waste, we can start to suffer from many common imbalances of the colon, such as diverticular disease, spastic bowel, colitis, ballooning, adhesions, mucosal dysfunction and ulceration. I don’t know about you but I do not want to be troubled with my bowels like so many of the people I meet.
Did you know that the average person only consumes 7g of fibre each day? I can assume that because you are reading this that you are already above average but think on! If you drink a lot of healthy juices throughout your day — which are fantastic on many levels – you could still be missing all of the lovely and necessary fibre from the whole fruit and vegetables.
The recommended daily allowance is 25 to 30 grams for fibre per day. We can help ourselves increase our fibre intake with a few changes and additions to our daily diet. Firstly, let’s go back to the subject of juices. When I make a juice, I keep all of the pulp from the fennel, spinach, rocket, apples, limes, celery and cucumbers. Then I make my veggie bread and flax crackers with it. I also add extra fibre into my smoothies, I add in soaked flax and chia seeds or I take psyllium husk powder every morning.
There are two kinds of fibre; soluble and insoluble — and you need both in your diet.
Soluble fibre pulls in water and forms a gel in the digestive tract. Slowing the digestion down so you stomach and intestines don’t absorb as much starch and sugars. It helps to reduce cholesterol levels over time. Some foods that contain soluble fibre are: Apples, the soft parts of fruits, dried beans and peas and psyllium.