Our blog today is all about Fiber Fiber Fiber! We often hear about the importance of eating foods that are rich in fiber and ensuring we have a fiber-rich diet. So why is Fiber so important?
Pooping is a fundamental detoxification process, eliminating waste products from the body. Pooping everyday is of paramount importance. Changes in both our poop and/or pooping habits (frequency) are often early signs that our bodies are out of balance. Fiber is essential in bulking our stool which in turn makes it easier to pass. Fiber also plays an important role in feeding and sustaining our gut microbiome or healthy gut bacteria. Used hormones are excreted from the body by binding to fiber. We go into more detail about this below.
When we talk about adding fiber to our diet we mean adding plant derived foods which cannot be fully broken down by our digestive enzymes, and therefore add roughage to our stool for easier passing and healthy poop. Animal products contain little to no fiber.
3. Prebiotic fiber feeds the good bacteria in our GI (Gastro-intestinal) tract to produce health-promoting compounds. Our healthy gut bacteria play a pivotal role in the body including good immunity, control of mood and behaviour, metabolism & energy production, and they are also anti-inflammatory. They need to feed off Fiber in order to survive. When they break-down or feed off Fiber, particularly insoluble Fiber, they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) which are both anti-inflammatory and a major source of energy & healing for colon cells. Short chain fatty acids are also a natural anti-inflammatory, keeping inflammatory markers in the body under control. We speak of the gut or digestive tract as being the set point of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the source of premature ageing, illness and disease. Cancer, so rife in our world today, is an inflammatory condition, as is early onset dementia, Altzheimers, Parkinsons, Auto-immune conditions and many other illnesses which are becoming all too common.
We can get Fiber from a diverse range of sources. There is evidence shown that eating from many different Fiber sources is better than eating from just one. This supports a more balanced, rich and diverse gut microbiota (healthy gut bacteria). Below we outline the different sources of Fiber so that we may gain all its benefits.
Insoluble fiber: Whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, root vegetables (such as carrots), and fruit with seeds, like kiwis, grapes, raspberries, and raisins.
Prebiotic fiber: Bananas, onion, garlic, dandelion greens, and chicory root.
Target is > 40-60g Fiber/day
High Fiber foods/100g:
Chia seeds 34 g
Flax seed 27g
Quinoa 27g fiber/cup
Chickpeas 17 g
Whole Hemp seeds 16.8g fiber/56g serving
Black beans 15g/cup
Pumpkin seeds 15 g
Cup of peas 11.2g
Cannellini beans 11 g/quarter cup (check out the fat content 😊)
Avocado 10g/cup (7g/100g)
Sunflower seeds 9g
Mixed nuts 7 g
One sweet potato with skin = 6g
Broccoli sprouts 5g
BIO: Chantal is a B.Sc.Hons Allied Health with an international diploma in Nutrition and Sports Nutrition. Chantal is a passionate Gut Health advocate & Functional Medicine Health & Lifestyle Coach, specialising in the improvement and management of the chronic diseases of lifestyle, the illnesses and diseases associated with dietary excess and their relationship to leaky gut and dysbiosis (imbalance) of the gut microbiome. These conditions include IBS, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight, obesity, acne, eczema, depression, anxiety, auto-immune, hormone imbalance, cancer, cognitive decline etc.
Over her 25 year career, Chantal has held various positions within the health and wellness industry – including 10 years as the Executive Head of Vodacom’s corporate wellness & mobile health programs. Chantal is the owner/ founder of the DripBar which offers vitamin and mineral drip therapy in improving micronutrient deficiencies. She is also the founder/owner of a Kombucha brewery which produces the brand of organic green tea ‘booch’ called theFarmacy.
Chantal is a competitive cyclist, a plant strong vegan and mom to two grown up girls.
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This blog post contains information that is not designed to take the place of,
substitute, or replace any form and method of professional or medical advice
and treatment or medicine. All content is the author’s opinion and is not
intended to diagnose and remedy. The facts and figures contained in this
document are presented solely for informational and educational purposes