Why Fibre - Is It Really That Important?

by Greg Newson 0 Comments

Why Fibre - Is It Really That Important | Vitality and Wellness

What is Fibre?

Fibre is all the components of plant based foods that are resistant to action of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. This resistance allows the fibrous parts of the plant to bypass absorption and move directly into the intestinal tract where it is involved in multiple actions that contribute to good health, toxin removal, improved immune function and our longevity.

Fibre is generally broken up into two different types Soluble and Insoluble. Within those two groups there are various sub-types of fibre; cellulose and lignins are insoluble fibres, while pectin, gums hemicellulose and mucliage are soluble fibres.

What is Soluble Fibre?

Soluble Fibre forms a gel like substance when mixed with water. This gel binds to toxins, bad cholesterol, xenoestrogens, hormones, fatty acids and enhances their excretion from the body. Good sources of soluble fibre include fruit, vegetables, legumes, psyllium, flax seeds, slippery elm bark, apple and citrus pectin, marshmallow root, yucca root, nopal catus and guar gum.

What Is Insoluble Fibre?

Insoluble fibre is the roughage found in plants and acts like a broom cleaning the intestines while adding bulk to the stool making it easier to pass. Good sources of insoluble fibre include, fruit and vegetable skins, rice bran, psyllium, nuts, seeds and wheat bran.

The Health Benefits of Fibre

Protects against Cardiovascular Disease: Soluble fibre binds to LDL (bad) cholesterol and removes it from the body. This simple action reduces the total cholesterol and reduces a persons risk of heart disease. Fibre has also been shown in clinical studies to lower blood pressure and triglycerides, prevent atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, lower elevated homocysteine and the marker for inflammation C- reactive protein.

Improves Bowel Motion: Insoluble fibre softens the stool and increases the time taken for the faeces to pass through the intestines. This helps to alleviate constipation, promotes regular bowel motion, removes toxins and softens the stool, providing relief for sufferers of haemorrhoids and anal fissures. Fibre has also shown to prevent appendicitis and diverticulosis, while helping to heal Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Preventing and controlling Diabetes: Soluble fibre helps to regulate blood sugar levels, by reducing glucose absorbtion into the blood stream. Resulting in reduced spikes in blood sugar levels for both type 1 and 2 diabetes sufferers and pre-diabetics. Fibre may also help to prevent insulin resistance.

Weight Management: Both soluble and insoluble fibre help control appetite by increasing a sense of fullness and the time it takes for glucose to be absorbed. When glucose is absorbed at a slower rate, insulin secretion is reduced as are the hormones that tell the brain that you are hungry. Another added benefit to feeling full is that you don't feel hungry, thus less calories are consumed.

Intestinal pH Balance: Insoluble fibre improves the intestinal pH resulting in a better environment for the beneficial gut bacteria to reside

Cancer Prevention: Soluble fibre and insoluble fibre helps to prevent a variety of cancers including colon, endometrial, oesophgeal, prostate, stomach and breast cancers. This is achieved via multiple mechanisms including removing toxins that cause intestinal cell damage, binding to and removing oestrogen, reducing obesity and providing short chain fatty acids that are the food that the intestinal cells need to remain strong and healthy.

Removing Toxins: Both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre aid in the removal of a variety of toxins, microorganisms and parasites, by binding to then and preventing them from adhering to the intestinal wall.

Immune Support: Some fibres act as prebiotics, which is food for the benefical gut bacteria or microbiome. These bacteria help support and strengthen the gut based immune system, which makes up 70% of our total immune system. Prebiotic fibres include Inulin, Arabinogalactan, Pectin, Nopal Cactus and Psyllium hulls.

Did You Know that approximately 80% of the colon cells and 50% of small intestines cells get their food supply from what we eat. The only food that these cells can survive on is fibre. What occurs is that the beneficial gut bacteria eat the fibre and produce short chain fatty acids, which becomes the intestinal cells food. Low levels of short chain fatty acids can result in numerous health conditions including diverticulosis, colon cancer, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, irritable bowel disease and cardiovascular disease.

How To Get More Fibre Into The Gut?

Obviously the best way to increase fibre intake is eat a greater variety of plant based foods mentioned in the table below. But there are times when that may not be possible, this is when a fibre supplement such as Intestinal Maintain is the best course of action to increase fibre levels. Intestinal Maintain contains a variety of soluble and insoluble fibres including pectin, gums, mucilage, cellulose, lignin's and hemicellulose.

Good Sources of Fibre?

All plant based foods contain fibre below is a sample list of foods with high levels of fibre.

Almonds Chia Seeds Orange
Amaranth Chickpeas Pear
Apples Coconut Pea
Artichoke Corn Pinto Beans
Asparagus Dark Chocolate Popcorn
Avocado Dates Prunes
Bake Beans Fennel Psyllium Hulls
Banana Figs Quinoa
Barley Flax Seed Raspberries
Beetroot Jerusalem Artichoke Rice Bran
Blackberries Kale Slippery Elm Bark
Broccoli Kidney Beans Split Peas
Brown Rice Konjac Root Spinach
Brussels Sprouts Lentils Strawberries
Buckwheat Lima Beans Sweet Potato
Capscium Millet Turnip
Carrots Oats Wheat Bran
Cauliflower Okra Yucca

NatroVital Intestinal Maintain Fibre Promotional Banner

Water and Fibre an Essential Combination

When increasing daily fibre it's important to also increase fluid intake, in particular water. Water softens the stool making it glide through the intestines with ease. Fibre absorbs water and if fluid levels in the intestines are diminished the stool becomes hard and difficult to pass and can lead to constipation. So water is not only good for the kidneys, but also the colon.

Will fibre cause flatulence?

Yes, for some people fibre can cause gas especially when the intestines are not use to an increase in dietary fibre. Conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, an over growth of detrimental organisms or low levels of beneficial bacteria can all lead to an increase in flatulence when fibre is increased. If your current diet is low in fibre and the above health conditions have been ruled out then gradually increase fibre levels to help avoid too much wind.

The information provided here is of a general nature intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.

I hope you found this blog useful and if you did please leave a comment or share on social media.

Thanks and have a great day

Greg Newson
Greg Newson


Greg Newson is a qualified Naturopath, Western Medicine Herbalist, Nutritionist, Remedial Massage Therapist and Professional Health & Wellbeing Speaker. Greg has a passion for helping people and has been treating patients in clinical practice since 2002.

Greg is the owner of the Vitality and Wellness Centre, Lismore NSW Australia, a busy Naturopathic Clinic that cares for people suffering with any type of health complaint. He is dedicated in educating people to understand and embrace the enormous potential that natural medicine has on our long-term health and well-being. Greg is able to help people improve their health and offers in-clinic, phone and Skype health consultations as well as Guest Speaking on natural medicine and heath related topics.

Greg Newson's Qualifications: Advance Diploma Human Health Science 2001 (Charles Sturt University), Advance Diploma Remedial Massage 2002 (Health Schools Australia), Advance Diploma Western Herbal Medicine 2003 (Health Schools Australia), Bachelor Health Science 2005 (Charles Sturt University), Advance Diploma Naturopathy 2008 (Health Schools Australia), Advance Diploma Functional Nutrition 2008 (Health Schools Australia).

Greg is a member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

Also in Health Matters

Does Collagen Really Help Arthritis | Vitality and Wellness Centre
Does Collagen Really Help Osteoarthritis?

by Greg Newson 0 Comments

Collagen is not only for healthy skin and bones. Studies now show that Collagen is essential for joint health and cartilage repair, which can dramatically reduce the pain, stiffness, swelling and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

Read More

Collagen The Missing Link For Healthy Bones | Vitality and Wellness Centre
Collagen The Missing Link For Healthy Bones

by Greg Newson 0 Comments

When we think bone health, we generally think calcium, possibly vitamin D, remotely magnesium and never Collagen. In this blog 'Collagen The Missing Link For Healthy Bones' We discuss why collagen is as important as calcium for maintaining proper bone health long into old age.

Read More

The Dangers of Dysbiosis | Vitality and Wellness
The Dangers of Dysbiosis 😱

by Greg Newson 0 Comments

Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the micro-organisms that reside within the intestinal tract. This occurs when there are excessive levels of detrimental organisms and lower levels of the beneficial ones. Detrimental organisms include; bacteria, parasites, worms, viruses, fungi, protozoa and amoeba's.

Read More