What is Fibre? And what does it do?
An introduction to Nature's Sunshine's TNT (Total Nutrition Today)
Fibre is found in all plant material and is vitally important for a healthy digestive tract. There are two main types of fibre, soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre dissolves in the gut and becomes a jelly-like substance. It absorbs various toxins and wastes, and helps to ensure they are carried out of the body. It also slows down the rate of digesting food so is beneficial for stabilising blood sugar levels and can help reduce appetite. It is found in beans, lentils, oats and many fruits.
Insoluble fibre provides bulk to waste, acting like a brush to sweep the bowels clean. It needs water to keep it moving otherwise constipation can result. It has little nutritional value in itself but the bulking effect helps us feel full immediately after eating.
What Does it Do?
It is a natural constituent of a healthy diet. By making waste matter bulkier it can make it easier to pass along the digestive tract, thereby improving the transit time of waste through the colon. This helps to keep the colon healthy. The longer waste stays in the colon the more likely putrefaction of the waste matter is likely to occur, which can be damaging to health.
There are a number of health problems associated with bowel irregularity, ranging from feeling tired all the time, to skin problems. If waste is allowed to accumulate in the large intestine for too long, toxins can be reabsorbed into the blood stream, because the large intestine is where we re-absorb water from our food.
Over a period of time the body needs to find other ways of eliminating these toxins, and one option is through the skin, which can lead to spots, and other skin problems. This also puts additional strain on the liver, which adds to feeling tired and sluggish.
Digestion and excretion require plenty of water, therefore, if you become dehydrated constipation is likely to occur, which not only slows down transit time, but may result in uncomfortable bowel movements, as well as intestinal discomfort. Also, as waste builds up in the intestine it can push the walls outwards and form pockets called diverticula, which can trap waste as it passes through. These diverticula have the potential to become infected, which can be very serious indeed. Therefore, keeping the bowel regular and well toned is important for general health.
Our next news blog item will be on the benefits of a High Fibre Diet