What Is Fibre? How Does It Work? How To Get It In The Correct Amounts? Do Colon Cleansers Work?
As a colonic hydrotherapist and registered nurse these are questions that I hear time and time again. Yes, we all know — or at least we should, know that we need fibre to help our bodies to run efficiently, but what we don’t seem to know is, what exactly fibre is; how it works; or what foods are fibre-rich. Some people may feel embarrassed to ask or simply think it means eating a bowl of bran flakes now and then or other ‘expertly’ marketed breakfast cereals. This is not the case, fibre is found in many different sources. First of all I want to explain the different types of fibre illustrate the importance of it within our bodies and also explain how it actually works to benefit us. Look out for future articles containing healthy high-fibre recipes.
A healthy, low-fat, high-fibre diet together with regular exercise makes you look and feel good – FACT! The fact that fibre reduces the risk of bowel disease and aids weight loss whilst stabilising blood sugar levels and hunger pangs, should make us even more keen to have a diet rich in fibre. A common mistake often made by people is that they suddenly increase their fibre intake. If they are not used to eating much fibre for example they eat a diet of mainly processed, chemically enhanced foods and takeaways – therefore when a fibre-rich meal is eaten the bowel muscle which will be quite lax, weak and relatively dormant, will bloat, they may also experience some gas, or gripiness as the bowel tries to build up muscle tone again to cope with it. So at this point some people give up and state that ‘eating a healthy diet made me worse’ that’s it they give up!! This is absolute madness. The key is to increase fibre gradually and up your water intake accordingly, and stick it out while your bowel wakes up and springs into life! You should aim for a little fibre with every meal.
By eating a fibre rich diet you will also easily meet other health targets without even noticing such as the 5-a-day and you will cut down on high-fat foods without even realising. This is the secret to success but yet so few people seem to realise it, people seem happy to count calories or pursue other ‘fad’ diet plans that do not work. Simply stick to a high-fibre diet with regular exercise and lots of water and you will be fulfilling all your goals without even realising, and more importantly you will be having lots of lovely bowel movements and therefore eliminating toxins from your body — you will look and feel fantastic. You will be in control of your body, you will feel calmer and your weight will stabilise.
Fibre aids and speeds up the excretion of waste and toxins from the body, therefore preventing them from hanging around too long in the bowel and bloodstream, which can cause a build-up (i.e. constipation and as I have highlighted in my previous article this can lead to several diseases such as diverticulitis, colitis and even cancer of the bowel in chronic cases.)
WHAT IS FIBRE
There are two type of fibre, soluble and insoluble. Fibre, also known as roughage, is essential for healthy bowel function – there are no calories in fibre and it is not digested or broken down by human digestive enzymes. Fibre remains undigested as it passes through our stomach and small intestine and then as it reaches the large bowel it soaks up water, therefore increasing the bulk of waste matter effectively triggering peristalsis (waves of muscle contraction within the large bowel/colon), making the waste softer and increasing the speed and ease of which defecation occurs. And we all know the satisfied feeling a good bowel movement can bring! All those unwanted toxins and waste matter are unloaded and the body can ‘breathe’ again. This is why following a colonic hydrotherapy session people often feel uplifted and experience enhanced mental clarity, as one colonic session can be the equivalent of 30 bowel movements. Blissful!!
Fibre not only has an essential role to play in the large bowel but also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels as it slows down the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the blood stream. Hence you will feel fuller for longer, have better concentration and will control your weight easier. Fibre also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels – which is important for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Different type of fibre have a slightly different effect within our bodies, this is due to the chemical structure.
Including cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin, which make up the structural parts of plant cell walls. Insoluble fibre –meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water but it can soak up a lot of water inside our stomach and intestines/bowels. So you can think of insoluble fibre as a natural laxative that helps to flush out our system. Good sources of insoluble fibre include brown rice, wholegrain bread and pasta, wheat bran, rice bran, nuts, seeds, legumes.
Good sources of soluble fibre are barley, legumes (such as kidney beans, cannellini beans chickpeas etc) oats, psyllium husks, linseeds (flax seeds).
There are other types of fibre also such as non-digestible oligosaccharides and resistant starch. Like soluble and insoluble fibre these are also fermented in the large bowel by the ‘friendly’ bacteria we can derive the health benefits from this nutrient in this way. Some resistant starch is formed in starchy foods once they have been cooked and cooled, for example in bread, corned flakes, cooled cooked potatoes such as potato salad, pasta salad and sushi. Some food manufacturers have started adding (resistant starch) or ‘hi-maize’ to processed foods to increase their fibre content. These types of fibre do not soak up water and therefore do not increase the bulk of food matter to help it pass easier through the bowel. Literally the health benefits are the fatty acids derived from the fermentation as explained earlier.
We often take our digestive systems for granted — until something goes wrong that is. We seem to have accepted that digestive ailments and complaints are part and parcel of our modern day lives. People just seem to accept that varicose veins, chronic constipation, haemorrhoids, diverticular disease and colon cancer are just ‘unlucky’ or ‘inevitable’. But we can actually do something to reduce our risk dramatically. Eat a high-fibre diet!!! You will also easily achieve other health goals such as the 5 a day guide without even realising. You will feel and look healthier and happier. Remember if you are not used to it increase your fibre intake slowly (to avoid excess gas as your bowel muscle gets stronger) and aim for some fibre with every meal, increase your water intake aswell.
The transit time (time it takes food to be digested and pass through our bodies and out the other end) can be anywhere between 2-30 hours depending on the type of food you have eaten, the average in this country is an astonishing 36-72 hours!! The incidence of bowel cancer unfortunately reflects this. A high-fibre diet speeds up the process of elimination and is an easy way to protect your digestive system from future problems.
So, look after our bowel/colon and it will look after us in the future. A great way to eliminate any nasty things that may have been hanging around for too long in your colon/bowel is to try a bowel cleansing supplement. This is a great kick-start to any diet or healthy eating plan, or to introduce more fibre into your diet. For a free trial of this leading bowel cleanser which is natural, effective and recommended highly by nutritionists go to http://www.healthysensation.com . This supplement will moisten, cleanse and lubricate the bowel muscle and help to eliminate toxins out of your system quickly. So if you are about to embark on a healthier diet containing more fibre-rich foods try a bowel cleanse first to give your bowel a helping hand in eliminating toxins and then follow my advice above you will reap the benefits inside and out. Get your free trial today.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.