Fibre, also known as roughage, is the parts of plant foods that can’t be digested or absorbed by the body. It is thought that our modern diet which consists of highly-refined flours, is much lower in fibre than traditional diets. Studies have indicated that societies with a low fibre diet have a higher rate of incidences of modern diseases. Our modern diet has resulted in gut bacteria numbers and varieties diminishing overtime and over generations.
What does Fibre do for us?
Slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. The sugar in high fibre foods is absorbed slower, keeping your blood glucose levels from rising too fast. This is good for you because spikes in glucose fall rapidly, which can make you feel hungry soon after eating and lead to overeating.
Makes your intestines move faster. When you eat whole grains rich in insoluble fibre, it moves faster through your intestines, which can help signal that you are full.
Cleans your colon, acting like a scrub brush. The scrub-brush effect of fibre helps clean out bacteria and other build-up in your intestines, and reduces your risk for colon cancer.
Helps keep you regular. A high-fibre diet helps you have soft, regular bowel movements, reducing constipation.
You might be wondering why we are harping on about Fibre and how it possibly relates to training… here at In Health Performance Coaching we work holistically, looking at the body as a whole, that includes our digestive system. The digestive system is often referred to as the ‘second brain’ due to its massive collection of neurons, second only to the brain itself. Digestion is vital as it breaks nutrients into parts small enough for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair – you cannot train effectively without energy, growth, and cell repair!
How do we improve the health of our gut?
Fibre consumption fuels the growth of good bacteria in our intestine. These bacteria are then fermented to become metabolic products, which are beneficial to our immunological and metabolic functions.
The Dietitians Association of Australia recommends Australians eat at least 25 to 30g fibre each day to reduce the risk of disease and promote a healthy digestive system.
High Fibre Foods
Fruits – Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Mangoes, Strawberries, Raspberries
Vegetables – Generally, the darker in colour, the higher in fibre.
Bean & Legumes – Navy, white, garbanzo, kidney, peas, or lentils.
Grains – Try bulgur wheat, brown rice, wild rice, and barley instead of white rice.
Nuts – Snack on almonds, pistachios, or pumpkin and sunflower seeds.