Surprising Benefits of a Fibre-Rich Diet

From promoting digestive health to lowering the risk of chronic diseases, fibre enhances satiety, regulates blood sugar, and supports overall well-being.

By URLife Team
22 Aug 2023

You might have heard that eating more fibre is good for you, but why is it so necessary for a healthy diet? Even though your body can't digest or break down fibre, it's still super important. Fibre is an important ingredient found in plants that makes them really good for your health.


According to the study presented by The National Institutes of Health (NIH) AARP Diet and Health Study, there is an inverse association between dietary fibre intake and the risk of dying from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases.


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Benefits of Consuming Fibre-Rich Diet

The benefits of consuming fibre is not only limited to gut health but it extends beyond that. 

Healthy Weight Loss

Fibre-rich foods are often less calorie-dense, making you feel fuller for longer periods. This can lead to reduced calorie intake, aiding in weight loss by promoting a sense of satiety and curbing overeating.


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Weight Maintenance

Even after achieving your weight loss goals, fibre continues to be a valuable ally. Its ability to keep you feeling satisfied can help prevent weight regain and support weight maintenance efforts.


Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

A 2020 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation found that a higher overall intake of dietary fibre was associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Consuming fibre-rich foods can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose. This can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and assist those managing the condition in better controlling their blood sugar.


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Lower Odds of Heart Disease

A 2017 review in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine shows a strong correlation between high fibre intake and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as dying from cardiovascular disease
Fiber's impact on heart health is significant. Soluble fibre, in particular, helps reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (often referred to as "bad" cholesterol), which can contribute to a lowered risk of heart disease and related issues.


Increased Beneficial Gut Bacteria

Fibre acts as a prebiotic, providing nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. A flourishing gut microbiome is associated with improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and potential mental health benefits.


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Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

A 2020 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that higher fibre intake was correlated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Another 2020 study published in Cancer found that soluble fibre and fruit fibre had the strongest associations with reduced risk of breast cancer. High-fibre diets have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, particularly colorectal cancer. Fiber's role in promoting healthy digestion and preventing inflammation contributes to this protective effect.


Regular Bowel Movements

Fibre’s ability to add bulk to stool and aid in its movement through the digestive tract promotes regular bowel movements. This can alleviate issues like constipation and promote a healthier digestive system.


All-Natural Detox

The soluble fibre found in various plant foods can bind to toxins and waste products in the body, aiding in their elimination. This natural detoxification process contributes to improved overall health.


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7 High-Fibre Things to Eat

Fibre-rich foods are easily available from various sources. Here are some of the best dietary fibre choices you can consider:

  • Beans and Legumes: These include black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and split peas. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, making them excellent choices.
  • Berries: Berries like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries are high in fibre and antioxidants.
  • Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, barley, and oats. These provide complex carbohydrates and valuable fibre.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are high-fibre options that also offer healthy fats and protein.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, sprouts,, spinach, and sweet potatoes are some fibre-packed veggies.
  • Fruits: Apples, pears, oranges, bananas, and avocados are great sources of dietary fibre.
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a powerhouse of fibre and can be added to smoothies, yoghurt , or oatmeal.


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Tips for Incorporating More Fibre in Your Diet

1. Choose Whole Grains

Whole grains are grains that haven't had their bran and germ removed during processing. This means they retain more of their nutrients and fibre. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, and oats. When choosing bread, pasta, and rice, opt for the whole grain versions. Look for labels that explicitly say "100% whole grain."


2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Different types and colours of fruits and veggies offer varying amounts and types of fibre. For example, leafy greens, berries, apples, pears, and oranges are all great choices. Aim to include a variety of these in your meals and snacks to get the most benefits.


3. Include Legumes

Legumes are plants in the pea family that produce pods containing edible seeds. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and split peas fall under this category. They're not only rich in fibre but also provide a good amount of plant-based protein. You can add them to soups, stews, salads, or even make bean-based dips like hummus.


4. Snack on Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are nutrient-dense foods that provide healthy fats, protein, and fibre. They can be great snacks on their own or added to yoghurt , oatmeal, or smoothies. Remember that nuts are calorie-dense, so be mindful of portion sizes.


5. Stay Hydrated

When you increase your fibre intake, it's important to drink plenty of water. Fibre absorbs water and swells in the digestive tract, which can help prevent constipation. Aim to drink water throughout the day to keep your digestive system functioning smoothly. Adequate hydration also supports overall health and well-being.


Incorporating these practices into your diet can lead to a more balanced and fibre-rich eating plan, which can have positive effects on digestion, weight management, and overall health. Just remember to make changes gradually and listen to your body's responses as you increase your fibre intake.


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