Believe it or not your gut is like soil! In the same way as healthy soil is made up of healthy bacteria that helps plants grow, a healthy gut promotes good health in a number of ways:
- Ferments nutrients
- Prevents harmful bacteria
- Regulates your immune system
- Influences energy balance & body composition
- May influence mood & behaviour
While there is much we still don’t know about the gut microbiota/microbiome, two things are well established to help create a healthy and diverse gut microbiota (healthy bacteria in your gut):
1. Exercise! One of the best things you can do is change your lifestyle and ensure you are getting enough exercise. This promotes diversity in the gut bacteria.
2. Fibre. Eating enough fibre is probably THE BEST thing you can do for the health of your gut. Eating a wide variety of fibre rich plant-based foods, feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
So, biodiversity doesn’t only relate to the health of our planet. The more biodiverse our gut bacteria, the healthier we’ll be too, in body and mind.
Is your ‘soil’ healthy?
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, in the UK most people do not eat enough fibre (the average intake is 17.2g/day for women and 20.1g/day for men). The recommended average intake for adults is 30g per day (can be more for men and slightly less for women).
So, what is Fibre? And why is it good for you?
Fibre or roughage as it used to be called, is the name for substances in plant foods that cannot be completely broken down by digestion. It’s only found in foods that come from plants, and specifically in starchy carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils. Animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, like cheese and yoghurt, don’t contain any fibre. Nor do fats, whether they are plant or animal-based.
We’ve known for a long time that fibre helps keep our digestive system healthy. However, in the past 25 years research in this field has moved on and we’ve discovered other benefits. According to the British Heart Foundation, higher intakes of dietary fibre, especially from cereal fibre and whole grains, are associated with a lower risk of heart and circulatory disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Some people are put off eating more fibre because they think it might affect their digestion. Bloating and flatulence can be associated with a sudden increase in the amount of fibre in your diet. To avoid this, increase the amount of fibre you are eating gradually.
How do you know if you have a fibre deficiency?
- Constipation - If you're having fewer than three bowel movements a week, and the stools are hard and dry, you're constipated. Constipation can result from lack of fibre, but also from too little exercise and certain medications and supplements.
- Weight Gain: Fibre contributes to satiety, which is that feeling of comfortable fullness you get after a meal. If you're not experiencing that feeling, you may be eating more than your body needs which could contribute to weight gain.
- Sugar highs and lows – fibre helps to control sugar absorption and therefore assists with blood sugar levels.
- Tiredness and nausea – getting most of your calories from a high protein/low carbohydrate diet may cause you to feel weak and tired.
Give your fibre intake a convenient boost with Bodyhero:
Bodyhero products are all high in plant-based fibre (and protein). Formulated to provide high levels of natural easy to digest, soluble plant-based fibre from Chicory Root, to help meet those all-important high fibre goals, and support gut health. With the recommended daily intake of fibre around 30g for most people, one scoop of powder provides 8% of your daily allowance, one ready to drink shake provides 17% of your daily allowance, and one bar 44%.
1 bar = 13g fibre
1 shake = 5g fibre
1 powder serving = 2.3g fibre
Chicory root comes from a plant with bright blue flowers that belongs to the dandelion family. Employed for centuries in cooking and traditional medicine, it’s commonly used to make a coffee alternative, as it has a similar taste and colour.
The fibre from this root is purported to have numerous health benefits and is often extracted for use as a food additive or supplement.
Here are 5 emerging benefits and uses of chicory root fibre:
- Chicory root is primarily composed of inulin, a prebiotic that encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
- Chicory root fibre may aid weight loss by reducing appetite and curbing calorie intake, though more studies are necessary.
- Due to its inulin content, chicory root fibre may help relieve constipation and increase stool frequency.
- Inulin and other compounds in chicory root may help improve blood sugar control, especially in people with diabetes.
- Whole chicory root can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable, whereas ground chicory is often brewed with water to make a coffee-like drink. However, it’s just as easy to get your dose of chicory from supplements such as ours too!
So, now you have a convenient and delicious way to top up both your protein levels and fibre consumption in one easy serving – and it’s sure fire way to keep you fuller for longer too.