Are you getting enough fibre?
Low fibre diversity is a very common issue these days. Many people who are trying to “eat a good diet” tend to avoid carbs, grains and gluten – and end up restricting the amount of healthy fibre in their diets. For your good gut bugs, fibre is what it’s all about – so this kind of fibre restriction can create serious issues for your microbiome health.
Ideally you should be consuming 30 g of fibre daily – and most British adults are only getting 10-15 g of fibre daily. The type of fibre matters as well – you need not just one type of fibre, but many different types. Healthy gut bugs require 21 different types of fibre!
Your gut bugs ferment this wide diversity of fibres and produce SCFAs, or short chain fatty acids like butyrate, which reduce inflammation inside the gut. Without these multiple critical food sources, your gut bugs cannot produce healthy levels of butyrate, and inflammation levels inside your system will soar.
What is fibre, anyhow?
Dietary fiber is found in plant-based foods, including vegetables, cereals, grains and pulses, where the plant cell wall is the main source of dietary fiber.
Not all carbs are bad carbs
Carbs have become the bad guy in today’s food world. But all carbs are not created equal, and they’re not all your enemy!
Carbohydrates are made up of three components: fiber, starch, and sugar.
There are two different types of carbs: complex and simple. Fiber and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is a simple carb. The nutrient quality of a food is determined by the amount of each of these elements it contains.
The more complex the carb, the better it is for you.
Complex carbohydrates are key to long-term health, and the key to feeding your gut bugs what they need to thrive. Try looking at each meal as an opportunity to increase your fibre diversity. Feed your gut bugs what they need!
Increase your fibre diversity
There are four easy ways to do this:
- Add 1 heaped TBSP of Complete Prebiotic into your morning smoothie. This is a combination of 18 different types of naturally occurring fibre, and can account for 10 g out of your recommended 30 g daily.
- Concentrate on adding the 5 “good grains” into your diet: millet, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal and buckwheat. These grains are all low-GI and gluten-free, with their own health benefits. You can buy flaked versions of buckwheat, quinoa and millet, for example, and mix them all together to make a diverse-fibre breakfast cereal, instead of just eating oatmeal.
- Try Ezekiel bread. It’s low GI, and contains multiple sources of natural fibre – 4 different types of sprouted grains and 2 sprouted legumes. More information about Ezekiel bread here.
- When you eat starchy foods like rice, pasta and potatoes, chill them in the fridge for a few hours before eating. (It’s ok to reheat them afterwards!)
Why? Because the carbs (starch) in chilled potatoes are actually different to the carbs in potatoes served piping hot. Cooling them in the fridge for a few hours makes easily digestible starch turn into “resistant starch”, which feeds your gut bugs, i.e. acts as a prebiotic. Reheating the potatoes won’t reduce the resistant starch content.
Help your gut bugs get the diverse fibre they need, and they will keep you happy and healthy in return!