Fibre is a indigestible polysaccharide (long chained carbohydrate) because they are indigestible they contain no calories. There are two main types of fibre; insoluble and soluble, although they cannot be digested by the human body they play a very important role within the digestive tract.
Insoluble fibres include whole grain bread, wheat bran, fruit and veg skin, unrefined wheat and rice. It can be used to make the bulk of meals leaving you feeling fuller for longer as it holds water in the digestive tract. This slows the release of food into the small intestines from the stomach where the majority of food is digested and so slows digestion, the release of energy and the release of insulin. All of the above means it is great for dieting along with the fact that it contains no calories! Insoluble fibre also plays a vital role in preventing constipation, haemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a illness caused by high pressure between the large intestine walls relived by fibre.
Soluble fibre includes oats, beans, legumes, fruit and veg, these can drastically lower bad cholesterol (LDLs); yet how it does this is unknown but it is thought that when it is semi digested by bacteria in the intestines, the by product causes bad cholesterol to decrease. In men who have higher than average cholesterol who consume 100g of oat bran a day experience lowered cholesterol by 13%.
Like anything and everything, portion control is necessary with fibre as too much of it means food will pass through you without being fully digested (you just wasted a fair few minutes of your lunch time trying to dry swallow last nights left overs as if it was the cinnamon challenge).
On average an adult should consume 12g a day; currently the average is 18g. Moral of the story, if you want to skip a trip to the doctors and avoid painful loo visits, eat more fibre.
Having a healthy gut is paramount and has a reciprocal effect on your training in terms of strength and physique. Physiological strength is the foundation for neuromuscular strength. If your organ systems are weak it will lead to malabsorption.
Meaning you can’t absorb the foods that you are eating because there is inflammation in your gut. Look after your digestive system so your body can function optimally.
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