The advice as to how much fibre we should eat everyday varies as to who is asked. Some say very little, based on the fact that we don’t have big guts like cows or hippos. And some say we should eat loads based on archeological evidence pointing to how much fibre we used to eat. Certainly if we eat too much, we will get abdominal bloating and if we don’t eat enough we also get abdominal bloating – but due to a build up of poo. So it comes down to trial and error. However, to just increase the amount of All Bran we eat for breakfast is asking for troubles – adding fibre to the diet isn’t that simple. So here are ten tips about fibre for guidance to get the best results in our daily endeavours.
- Drink plenty of water – still or fizzy, with or without a slice of lemon or lime, but otherwise plain. We need water. If we dehydrate, we draw water out of our digestive system, making our poo dry up. This makes the daily event rather strainful. And if it isn’t a daily event, better read on and I refer you to my previous blog, ‘How to achieve a good dump‘.
- The fibre needs varying each week. Taking the same fibre week in week out leads to intolerance builing up – which leads to abdominal bloating and generally feeling less than wonderful. To avoid this, we need to find at least four different types of fibre.
- None of the four (or more) fibres should be grain based. So not wheat bran, rice bran or oat bran – therefore not All Bran/Bran flakes et al. Again, we do not have the digestive system of animals that have evolved to eat grass – and all grains are developed from grasses. Animals that can eat grass have BIG tummies ; horses, sheep, goats, zebras. Plants defend themselves from being eaten, and some of their defences will be found in the bran of the grain – so although wheat bran, for example, is a source of fibre, it is also the source of phytates, which bind to and drag zinc, calcium, copper and iron our of our digestive tracts. And the bran is where we find the plant version of vitamin B6 that lowers levels of this important vitamin in our body.
- Fibre can be taken before or after a meal. Before is useful if we are trying to lose weight, since it will increase the sense of fullness in the stomach, and lead to us eating less. We can take it once or twice a day.
- Additional fibre encourages a slower and a lower production of insulin by the pancreas, so very good for people wanting to lose weight and for diabetics.
- Fibre encourages the mucus lining of the guts – very important for good gut health.
- Fibre, along with good bacteria in the gut, encourages the colons to make short chain fatty acids, which have anti-microbial properties, contribute to the health of our immune system and helps lower the production of insulin.
- The fibres should be a mix of both soluble and insoluble fibres, one adding bulk to the stools and the other scrubbing away at encrusted turds on the inside of the colons.
- Soluble fibre helps lower bad cholesterol.
- Fibre helps pull out environmental oestrogens, so plays an important part in oestrogen detox. Signs of excess oestrogens include a fat arse for both male and female, and man boobs for the male.
Here are some ideas for different fibres: the most common non-grain is psyllium husk/isphagula husk. There are also flax seeds – buy in small quantities and keep in the fridge; slippery elm powder; prunes; mixed fibres made from such things as carrot fibre, chia seeds, marshmallow root powder, papain, cranberry seed powder, citrus fibre and the best also contain probiotics. 1
- Poliquin does 3 types of fibre, one being simply powdered psyllium, and the other two mixed fibres with probiotics. They are called Primal Fibre and Primal Fibre 3. Primal fibre costs £28.25 for a 500gm pot and Primal fiber 3 costs £22.25 for 500gm. They can be purchased from me. [↩]