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5 Must Know Facts About Fibre

  • 4 min read

5 Must Know Facts About Fibre

We talk a lot about probiotics, but if you’re really brushed up on your gut health then you’ll also have heard about prebiotics.

Scientists have defined prebiotics as “a substrate that is selectively utilised by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit”.[1] To put it simply, fibre feeds the existing good bacteria that live in your gut. They act as a fertiliser for our microbes, fuelling their growth, diversity and activity.[2]

Prebiotic fibres are just as vital when it comes to supporting your overall health and studies have shown that it not only improves your gut health but can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer and improve your skin and sleep.[3]

In this article we will take you through what prebiotics and dietary fibre are, how they help your gut health and how to include more in your diet.

1) Only 10% of adults are consuming enough fibre

The UK government guidelines recommend adults need at least 30 grams of dietary fibre. Yet most people in the UK do not eat enough fibre. In fact, a recent national diet and nutrition survey (NDNS) suggests that only 10% of UK adults are achieving the recommended daily fibre intake.[4]

 2) Fibre and Prebiotics are not the same (but both are essential)

If you’re looking for ways to support your gut health, then increasing your dietary fibre and prebiotic intake is a great place to start.

Not all fibres are prebiotic. Although both are non-digestible, they have slightly different functions in promoting digestive health.

Dietary fibres are nondigestible carbohydrates that humans cannot digest or absorb. Unlike fats, proteins, and carbohydrates which your body breaks down and absorbs, dietary fibre increases the bulk of stool, helps promote regular bowel movements and reduce the risk of constipation.[5]

Instead, prebiotics are consumed by the friendly bacteria in the gut. This process produces short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the gut lining, contributing to a functioning immune system and so much more.[6]

Although most prebiotics can be classified as dietary fiber not all fibre are prebiotics.[7]

 

LOVE YOUR GUT TIP: You may see the terms gut microbiome, gut microbiota and gut flora used interchangeably. They all mean slightly different things, but generally refer to everything that lives in your gut, including beneficial gut bacteria, prebiotics and genetic material.

 3) Prebiotic fibre helps gut health

Prebiotic fibre is one of the key building blocks for optimum gut health. As well as increasing our good bacteria, we also need to provide an environment where probiotics can thrive in our gut.

This is where Biomel Prebiotic Fibre+ comes in handy. The diversity of our six unique prebiotic fibres nourishes a different type of probiotic strain, so the more types you eat, the more diverse your gut microbiome is and the less chance for harmful bacteria to grow.

For example, chicory root fibre has been widely studied to stimulate the growth of Bifidobacterium bifidum, a beneficial bacteria found to improve bloating and prevent infections.[8]

 4) The best prebiotics for gut health

Prebiotics are naturally present in a wide range of plant-based foods such as chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, wholegrains, and legumes.

We have isolated some of the world’s best prebiotic fibres from prebiotic foods into one simple pouch to make having your daily intake of fibre and prebiotics super easy and delicious.

Each serving of Biomel Prebiotic Fibre+ contains almost 5 g of prebiotic fibre – the same amount of fibre as two slices of wholemeal bread. This means by adding one serving to your morning porridge and one serving with over your afternoon yogurt, you will have already met 50% of your RDI of fibre.

 

BUSTING FIBRE MYTHS: When switching from a low-fibre diet to a high-fibre diet some people experience more than usual ‘wind’ or flatulence. This is the result of additional gas being produced as the fibre is broken down by your gut microbes.

We recommend you introduce high-fibre foods to your diet gradually over a few weeks as this will give your gut microbes time to adapt to a greater quantity of fibre arriving in the colon.

 5) Why we love fibre

Genetics play a relatively minor role in shaping our gut microbiome. Your dietary choices have such a powerful influence on our gut health through a range of lifestyle choices.[9]

Recent research has shown that diets high in fibre from a diverse range of plant-based sources are linked with greater gut microbiome diversity which is a well-agreed marker of a healthy gut and overall health & well-being within the scientific community.[10]

It also has been shown that a high fibre diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and many other health benefits.[11]

Your gut is at the heart of your health and making sure you have enough fibre in your diet is a great way to look after it.

 

Trusted Sources

 

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/nrgastro.2017.75

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463098/

[3] https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(18)31809-9/fulltext

[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-diet-and-physical-activity-a-follow-up-study-during-covid-19

[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983

[6] https://isappscience.org/infographic-fiber-prebiotics/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667473/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3577372/

[11] https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(18)31809-9/fulltext

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