In the quest for optimal health, the spotlight is increasingly on the intricate ecosystem within our bodies—the gut microbiota. A harmonious balance in the gut is not just a key to digestive well-being but extends its influence to various facets of our health.
Enter dietary fibre, a powerful ally in nurturing and maintaining a healthy gut, yet 91% of us aren't getting enough of this incredible superfood.
In this blog, we'll delve into the fascinating connection between dietary fibre and gut health and share about:
- Dietary Fibre: The Unsung Hero
- How Dietary Fibre Nourishes Our Guts and Supports Overall Health
- What does 30g of fibre look like?
- Your Gut Microbiota: A Microscopic Metropolis
- Prebiotic Fibre: Taking Dietary Fibre to the Next Level in Health
- Practical Tips for Boosting Fibre Intake
Dietary Fibre: The Unsung Hero
Dietary fibre goes far beyond digestive health! It is a lifesaving superfood that 91% of us aren't getting enough of in our diets (1). We should be consuming 30g daily, yet on average, we only achieve 19g daily, leaving an 11g fibre gap.
Dietary fibre comes in two forms:
- Soluble: Dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance
- Insoluble: Remains unchanged mainly throughout its journey in the digestive tract
Dietary fibre is a carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that our bodies can't digest. While it may pass through the digestive system largely intact, it is a crucial substrate for the gut microbiota.
There is also a very special type of dietary fibre called 'prebiotics'. Prebiotics are scientifically proven to feed friendly gut bacteria. Prebiotics are found in certain foods, such as bananas, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes.
However, chicory root is the number one prebiotic fibre source, also known as inulin. All prebiotics are fibres - but not all fibres are prebiotics.
We'll share more about why prebiotics are the cornerstone of gut and overall health below, so please keep reading!
Fibre: A lifesaving superfood
An analysis of 185 studies and 58 clinical trials has been published in the Lancet medical journal (2), tracking people for one to two decades. This analysis found that if you shifted 1,000 people from a low-fibre diet (less than 15g) to a high-fibre one (25-29g), it would prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease.
This analysis also found lower levels of:
- type-2 diabetes
- bowel cancer
- lower weight
- lower blood pressure
Ultimately, the more fibre people ate, the better! People were healthier and lived longer!
- Living Beyond 100+ Years: The Secret to a Long & Vibrant Life
How Dietary Fibre Nourishes Our Guts and Supports Overall Health
As we consume fibre-rich foods, the gut microbiota ferments this indigestible substance into short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which are pivotal in nourishing the colon's cells.
Here are a few powerful health benefits of dietary fibre:
- Regulating Bowel Movements: Insoluble fibre, often called "roughage," adds bulk to the stool and aids in regular bowel movements. This prevents constipation and helps maintain a healthy and efficient digestive system.
- Weight Management: High-fibre foods are often more filling and can contribute to satiety, making it easier to control calorie intake. This can be instrumental in weight management and reducing the risk of obesity-related conditions
- Blood Sugar Control: Soluble fibre plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels. By slowing down the absorption of glucose, it helps prevent spikes and crashes, promoting overall metabolic health.
- Reducing Inflammation: A diet rich in fibre has been associated with lower levels of inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and maintaining a healthy gut through fibre intake can contribute to overall well-being.
- Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease & strokes: Dietary fibre can regulate cholesterol levels by binding LDL (the 'bad' cholesterol), and facilitating excretion, as well as fostering weight management, controlling blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation, fibre indirectly supports cardiovascular health.
Find out more about the importance of dietary fibre:
What Does 30g of fibre look like?
As mentioned above, a shocking 91% percent of people aren't getting enough fibre in their diets, causing a wide range of health issues.
For instance, 1 in 3 children and 1 in 7 adults are suffering from constipation, costing the NHS over £200 million annually! And, of course, fibre goes far beyond constipation regarding so many health benefits, as mentioned previously.
With the average intake of dietary fibre is just 19g, and we should aim for 30g, what does 30g of fibre look like? Here's an example in the image below:
The above image is an example of 30g of fibre - what we should aim to achieve daily.
As you can see, many of these foods are high in carbs and, combined, high in calories. (We have a solution for boosting your fibre intake that's low in carbs and calories; all will be revealed below - keep reading!).
(And, let's face it, they're also a bit bland, boring, and blah, too.)
The Gut Microbiota: A Microscopic Metropolis
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiota. This bustling community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes is pivotal in maintaining our overall health.
A balanced and diverse microbiota is associated with various health benefits, from a robust immune system to mental well-being, and diets high in fibre help to create a happier, healthier gut microbiome.
Prebiotic Fibre: Taking Dietary Fibre to the Next Level in Health
If you thought the health benefits of fibre were incredible, prebiotic fibre takes dietary fibre to a whole new level regarding a wide range of health benefits.
There are over 4,000 published research papers on them, particularly on chicory root fibre - the number one source of prebiotics.
You might be interested to know that 70% of your immune system cells live in the gut!
Gut health = overall health!
Talking about overall health...
ió fibrewater - the only prebiotic fibre-infused water backed by science, is proving to be a real game-changer!
A University of Roehampton study found that ió fibrewater achieved significant health benefits when participants consumed one bottle daily for 30 days.
- Improved depression, anxiety and sleep (90% of your happy hormone, serotonin, is produced in your gut)
- Lower and slower blood glucose rise & reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved weight loss
- Reduced stress levels and feeling more balanced
- Improved cognitive function
You can read about the Roehampton ió fibrewater study here.
Furthermore, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) found that ió fibrewater significantly increases friendly gut microbes (probiotics).
- ió fibrewater GCU study and its proven results here
- Prebiotics Vs Probiotics: What's the Difference?
12-Day ió fibrewater Challenge Results
The above is based on 28 participants drinking one bottle of ió fibrewater daily for 12 days.
Move Over Brown - There's a New Fibre In Town
If you're looking for an easy (and delicious!) way to boost your fibre intake and support, look no further!
ió fibrewater is a multi-award-winning prebiotic fibre-infused water that ticks all the boxes for great taste and health. Plus, it's crystal clear, too!
Every bottle of ió delivers 20% of your recommended daily intake of dietary fibre (6g) and 100% of your daily recommended prebiotics (4.5g).
You can buy ió fibrewater here with free shipping to the UK Mainland.
Practical Tips for Boosting Fibre Intake
Whole Foods are Key: Incorporate whole, unprocessed foods into your diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of dietary fibre.
Diversify Your Plate: Aim for various fibre-rich foods to ensure you're getting a broad spectrum of nutrients and promoting diversity within your gut microbiota.
Gradual Changes: Increase fibre intake gradually to allow your digestive system to adjust. Sudden, significant changes may lead to bloating or discomfort.
Stay Hydrated: Fibre absorbs water, so staying well-hydrated is essential to help prevent constipation and support fibre movement through the digestive tract.
Drink a bottle of ió fibrewater daily: Drinking one bottle of ió fibrewater daily increases your fibre intake by 20% (6g) and provides 100% of your daily prebiotic intake. It's a great, easy, and delicious swap-up from other beverages.
As our understanding of the intricate relationship between diet and gut health deepens, the importance of dietary fibre comes to the forefront.
Beyond its role in promoting regular bowel movements, fibre potently supports a flourishing gut microbiota, contributing to overall health and well-being.
By embracing a diet rich in diverse, plant-based foods, we nurture our bodies and cultivate a thriving ecosystem—the key to a resilient and robust gut.
If you want to easily boost your fibre and prebiotic intake, ió fibrewater provides an easy, delicious solution.
Get 20% off your next order of ió fibrewater by using the code 'FIBRE20' at the checkout. Click here to buy!
(1) National Diet and Nutrition Survey, Public Health England, Food Standards Agency 2015-2016
(2) Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, The Lancet, January 10, 2019