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Foods high in Fibre

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Dietary Fibre, Colon Health and whole body Health

Foods high in Fibre,What is fibre?
How does fibre contribute to health and wellbeing?

Disorders associated with a diet lacking in dietary fibre
 

Dietary fibre is that portion of plant food that escapes digestion in the human digestive system to arrive intact in the large intestine or Colon and becomes food for the resident Bacteria and contributes to the formation of Stool or faeces. Fibre includes Pectin, Mucilage, Gums, Lignin, Cellulose, Polysaccharides and natural waxy substances.
In recent times, starches known as “resistant starch” has been loosely included as a fibre due to the fact that it escapes digestion and arrives into the Colon intact where Bacteria ferment it to substances known as Short chain fatty acids. These acids appear to have various beneficial metabolic effects within the body, especially one called Butyric Acid.
All fibre is not the same. There is soluble fibre and Insoluble fibre.

Soluble fibre includes :
Pectins-found in fruits and seeds
Gums-found in seeds, cereals and exudates from the Bark of certain trees
Mucilage- found in seeds and the bark of some trees

Insoluble fibre includes:

Cellulose-found in vegetables, Cereals, fruits, nuts and legumes
Lignin-found in Wheat Bran, vegetables, Legumes and some fruits. Lignin is not normally altered in any way by the human digestive system or the resident Bacteria in the colon but it does absorb and retain water and so contributes towards the Bulkiness and Softness of Stool.

Certain foods are high in fibre (this includes SOLUBLE and INSOLUBLE fibre)—indigestible Polysaccharide and Cellulose, which is the material plant cells are made of and humans are incapable of digesting.

Not much fibre is present in processed flour and is best avoided. This means no white Bread!
Whole grains, Fruits and vegetables in the unprocessed state are high in fibre with the desirable qualities.

Fibre provides bulk to the stool and allows water to be retained in order to provide a SOFT and BULKY consistency to the stool. Bulk stimulates the muscular wall of the colon and helps propel waste towards the exit. The mass waves produced in the rectum creates the “URGE TO GO”

One of the main functions of the colon is to re-absorb water from the waste arriving from the small intestine back into the body to prevent dehydration. This is water that was secreted into the stomach and small intestine in the juices that aid the digestive process and has to be taken back. Any water not retained by fibre, mucus and Bacteria in the stool will be re-absorbed. This means that in the absence of fibre, all the water may be recovered, leading to a stool that is DRY and difficult to move, contributing to the problems of Straining, constipation, Haemorrhoids and Anal fissures.
To make a Bulky and Soft stool, fibre is essential.
To promote the growth of “Friendly Bacteria” in the colon and outnumber disease causing Bacteria and Fungi a source of SOLUBLE fibre is essential.
To encourage the resident Bacteria to produce beneficial Short chain fatty acids and increase in numbers a source of resistant starch is essential.

 

How to increase fibre intake

It is convenient to think that taking commercially available fibre supplements or wheat bran is the answer. However, fibre rich plant foods are also known to be nutritionally rich in minerals and vitamins and including a variety of plant foods that contribute soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet is the ideal approach to adopt.
The less processed the plant food is, the better it is as a source of dietary fibre. The best food choices include:
Grains and foods made from Grains-Oats, rye, millet, buckwheat, brown rice, polenta, barley.

Wheatgerm and muesli-wholewheat breakfast cereals
Wholegrain and wholemeal and multigrain Breads
with added nuts and seeds such as Flaxseed.
Legumes
-Chick peas, Dried peas, lentils, Baked Beans, Butter Beans, Lima beans, kidney Beans, Haricot Beans, Navy beans, Mung Beans, Soy Beans.

Fruits- All fruits are a good source of both types of fibre and should be eaten with the peel where possible. Especially good fruits for fibre content are Apples, Apricots, half ripe Bananas, prunes, figs, kiwi fruit, mango, mandarin, pears, oranges, rhubarb and all types of berries.

Vegetables-All green vegetables are a good source of fibre. Those loaded with more than most are asparagus, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, leaks, mushrooms, peas and spinach.

Root vegetables- Potatoes, beetroot, carrots, Jerusalem artichoke, parsnips, sweet potatoes, cassava, turnips and yams. These vegetables are also a good source of resistant starch but need to be cooked carefully in order to retain this property. When possible, they are better eaten raw. Cooked and then cooled root vegetables are a better source of resistant starch.

Nuts and seeds-all types of nuts are a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre. Some also contribute gums, mucilage and resistant starch. Particularly valuable are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
However, the king of all seeds is Linseed or Flaxseed. This seed appears to contain all the ingredients in the required proportions to contribute towards the formation of the perfectly formed stool. It can be consumed in the form of cracked seed or whole seed added to yogurt or cereal. It is also available in milled form which may be added to baked foods such as bread, scones or muffins.


Disorders associated with a lack of dietary fibre

1.Dietary fibre contributes to the formation of the perfectly formed stool . The perfectly formed stool will exit effortlessly and eliminate Straining during defecation.
2.The fermentation of soluble fibre and resistant starch by the gut microflora results in the production of beneficial short chain fatty acids.

3.The amount of fibre in the diet is associated with intestinal transit time and regularity. This may affect the time potential toxic substances and metabolites are allowed to linger in the colon.

 

Disorders associated with a diet lacking in dietary fibre

The major and most obvious contribution of soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch to overall health of the body is visible only in the consistency of the stool that is produced. A healthy stool is evacuated without pain or effort and helps to prevent most of the common conditions associated with bowel health.

An ill formed stool may contribute to the development of constipation, Haemorrhoids, Anal fissure, diverticulosis , irritable bowel syndrome and bowel cancer. Other conditions related to the pressures created due to repeated straining during defecation attempts on a daily basis may develop over time and appear in old age.


In addition to contributing to the formation of the perfectly formed stool, fibre contributes towards:

Gut motility and intestinal transit time, which determines the time potentially harmful substances spend in contact with the lining of the colon.
Western diets are low in fibre and transit time is in the region of 24 to 36 hours. Vegetarians and Rural Africans who consume large amounts of fibre in the diet have a much shorter transit time and do not appear to succumb to colon cancer and other conditions associated with lack of fibre in the diet.

Exercises the muscular wall of the colon

Is available as Prebiotic food for the selective growth and promotion of beneficial bacteria in the colon. This helps to keep the disease causing bacteria and yeasts at low levels and so contributes towards a healthy colon.

Fermentation of fibre and resistant starch by the friendly bacteria leads to production of short chain fatty acids which may contribute to general health by modulating the immune system and prevent colon cancer.

 

Constipation is a very common problem among populations where the diet consists of large quantities of processed foods, animal products and very little fibre.

There are many possible causes of constipation.
Gut motility disorders relating to poor muscular contractions of the colon, obstruction due to inflammation or a growth in the colon can cause constipation.
Many medicines, including narcotic pain killers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and iron preparations may cause constipation.
Certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, depression and neurological disorders have constipation as a symptom.
However, the most significant cause of constipation is due to an ill formed stool. Difficulty in passing an ill formed, large or hard stool is the major complaint of anyone who claims to suffer from constipation.
How often you open your bowels is not as important as how effortless and strain free the bowel movement is. This is only possible when stool of the correct consistency is made by including the correct balance of soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet. Evacuation of the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture assures strain free, pain free and effortless bowel movements.

 

Haemorrhoids

Straining to pass an ill formed stool or anything that may increase pressure within the pelvis, such as pregnancy, may cause haemorrhoids.
Haemorrhoids may occur in people of all races and is equally common among both sexes.
Lack of dietary fibre and consumption of highly processed foods leads to the formation of an ill formed hard stool and constipation.
Straining during the passing of a large, hard stool causes haemorrhoids.

Haemorrhoids can be prevented and healed by including the proper balance of fibres in the diet to produce the perfectly formed stool. Straining can be avoided by adopting the squat posture during defecation.

Evacuation of the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture is pain free, strain free and effortless.

 

Irritable bowel syndrome

Diagnosis of this distressing condition is arrived at by eliminating other possible causes of the symptoms presented.
It is characterised by an altered bowel habit and pain on the lower left abdominal area which originates from the colon .Bowel habit is commonly erratic and both constipation and diarrhoea may occur.

The syndrome therefore results in three sub-types of sufferers.
Diarrhoea predominant
Constipation predominant

And sufferers that experience both diarrhoea and constipation.

Gut motility appears to play a part in this condition, but increasing the amount of soluble fibre in the diet of all types of sufferers helps to alleviate the symptoms.

 

Diverticular disease

This condition is almost nonexistent among vegetarians and is unknown among rural Africans who consume a high fibre diet that includes resistant starch and evacuate the bowel in the squat posture.
Western populations who consume very little fibre and strain during defecation appear to suffer from this condition.

Repeated injury due to increased intraluminal pressure is thought to be a major contributory factor in the development of diverticular disease.  These pressures are much higher if the colon has a narrow diameter than if it had a wider diameter. The diameter of the colon is determined by the consistency of the stool. The perfectly formed stool is associated with a wider colon diameter and lower intraluminal pressure.

 

 

Bowel cancer

How does cancer start?


Undetected errors of cell division
DNA damage
Normal cell division
à abnormal cell divisionà Benign Polypà Cancer

The cause of bowel cancer is not known, but we do know that dietary and environmental factors promote it in genetically susceptible individuals.
Diet appears to have a major contribution in promoting bowel cancer.
The risk of developing bowel cancer increases with diets high in red meat and animal fats and low in fruits, vegetables and dietary fibre.

Excessive Beer consumption and smoking is known to increase the risk of developing polyps and bowel cancer.

 

Dietary fibre and resistant starch results in the formation of the perfectly formed stool and fermentation of resistant starch leads to protective short chain fatty acids, particularly Butyric acid, which may help prevent bowel cancer.
A bulky stool dilutes the concentration of Toxins and potentially cancer causing substances in the colon.
The perfectly formed stool is easily evacuated and reduces transit time through the colon. This reduces the contact time of cancer causing chemicals with the lining of the bowel.

Fibre and resistant starch alters the colon bacterial population and promotes beneficial species to propagate, leading to an altered metabolism in the bowel. A reduced production of cancer causing substances such as bile acids by disease causing bacteria is the result.

Production of the short chain fatty acid Butyric acid from the fermentation of fibre and resistant starch by beneficial bacteria is protective against bowel cancer.

 

 

 

How to heal and prevent Bowel disorders

Diet is not about what you should NOT eat, it’s about what you should include in the diet that matters.
As long as your diet includes the correct balance of plant foods containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch your colon will produce the perfectly formed stool. The important next step is to evacuate this stool without straining so that the body does not suffer from the pressures created each time the bowel is emptied.

In order to heal and prevent bowel disorders you need to make lifestyle changes that last the rest of your life time.

1. Include more fluids and plant food containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet so that the perfectly formed stool will be made in the colon and beneficial bacteria will flourish and eliminate disease causing bacteria and fungi.

2. Evacuate the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture to eliminate the need to strain during bowel movements.

It is not possible or safe to squat on the modern raised toilet seat installed in all western homes and it is impossible to squat for any length of time if you have not done this from childhood onwards. This makes the use of any raised platforms impossible to adapt to.

The SquattLooStool is designed to allow you to adopt the squat posture while seated comfortably on your raised toilet seat.
The single best and easiest lifestyle change you will ever make, leading to a healthier body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High fibre foods