Many fibres act as prebiotics, which means that they feed probiotics, the good bacteria that reside in the colon.
In New Zealand, the recommended daily intake of fibre for an adult is about 20-35 grams per day. Unfortunately, the daily dietary intake for New Zealanders often falls below this requirement.
There are two types of fibre, insoluble and soluble.
- Soluble fibre draws water into the gut, helping to soften stools and supports regularity
- Insoluble fibre not only helps to bulk the stool but also can be used as a food source for healthy gut bacteria or as a prebiotic.
Benefits & Uses
Fibre acts like a sponge to absorb fluid in the bowel. This in turn can aid bowel contents to move with more ease. This also helps support a healthy gut wall lining. It is important that we have a healthy gut wall to ensure we achieve our full health potential, including normal bowel function. Fibre can also be taken as a stool bulking agent to help increase transit time.
Fibre can act as a bulking agent, supporting the movement of waste through the colon by creating a softer and larger stool for healthy detoxification and bowel regularity.
Scientific research shows that fibre can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels by supporting the normal clearance of excess cholesterol through the bowel.
Healthy body weight:
A sufficient daily intake of fibre can support healthy body weight by balancing gastric emptying to promote healthy satiety. This allows us to feel full and satisfied after consuming a meal.
Fibre supplements available at HealthPost include:
- Psyllium husks
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Slippery Elm
- Flaxseed also known as linseed
These are available as ground seeds, powders, capsules, tablets and dissolvable options.
If you are increasing your fibre intake, be sure to also increase your water intake. It can be a good idea to increase your fibre by small amounts over time, giving your gut time to adjust.
It is important to ensure that you do not consume a fibre supplement at the same time as certain medications and other supplements, as it may affect absorption.