Fibre is one of the most important things that your body needs in order to function properly. Vegans, here’s everything you need to know about it and how to make sure you are getting enough.
When you are told to get more roughage in your diet, that means that you need to introduce a regular, dose of fibre to your daily intake.
Fibre is found in plant-based foods and it too complex for your body to break down. It’s for this reason that it is so important for your body.
In a nutshell, if you want the top line on what fibre does for you and the good health of your system, here it is:
Fibre is like getting the cleaners in to spring clean your system. It helps to lower cholesterol by cleaning your arteries. It helps to reduce your blood pressure and regulates your insulin levels and can help to battle irritable bowel system, haemorrhoids and Type 2 diabetes. We’ll go into more detail on this shortly. Most of all, it cleans and maintains your bowels and related issues.
If you suffer from constipation, an increased dose of fibre serves as a mild laxative. At the same time, for anyone with IBS or diarrhoea, a high-fibre diet is also recommended.
So how much is enough or too little?
First of all, you have your soluble fibres, which dissolve in water, and your insoluble fibres, which is the roughage that does not dissolve in water. Your daily recommendation is between 25 to 35 grams of combined soluble and insoluble fibre.
- Soluble fibres help to slow down digestion for your body to better absorb the nutrients from the food you digest.
- Insoluble fibre helps food to pass through your stomach and intestines and constitutes the solid of your stool.
For anyone looking to lose weight, insoluble fibre has been known to help control weight gain because it makes you feel more full sooner after eating it, meaning you won’t feel the need to eat more than you need. The amount of soluble or insoluble fibre that you will need will depend on how sensitive your system is. Bowel movements are a telltale sign of whether you are getting one more than the other. Because the carbs in higher-fibre diets can’t be digested in your stomach and small intestine, this can result in gas.
This is why it is best to gradually build up your consumption of fibre, rather than adding loads to your diet at once – ease of the gas, as it were. It is important to bear in mind that as your fibre levels increase, you should also increase the amount of water you take in.
Vegans and fibre
The good news for vegans is that you are not hindered in getting the fibre that you need for your diet. For vegans, there can sometimes be a small level of doubt as to whether your body is getting the nutrition it needs. This is because a lot of what we need is gotten from meat and dairy food sources.
When it comes to fibre, vegans needn’t be concerned as much of what you need is taken from nature and what is grown in the ground. Flax seeds and nuts are an excellent source of insoluble fibre. Fruits such as apples, peas and beans are a great source of soluble fibre, which slows down your digestion and helps your body to absorb the nutrients it wants from food.