Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that our bodies cannot digest or absorb. Instead of being broken down and absorbed like other nutrients, fibre passes through the digestive system relatively intact, providing several important health benefits.
The Fibre Journey
The fibre journey begins when we consume foods containing dietary fibre, which is found exclusively in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Unlike other nutrients, fibre is not digestible by the human body. Instead, it goes on a journey through the gastrointestinal tract, providing several health benefits along the way.
Ingestion: The process begins when we eat foods containing fibre. There are two main types of dietary fibre: soluble fibre and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance, while insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and adds bulk to the stool.
Digestion in the Stomach: Once in the stomach, fibre encounters the acidic environment and enzymes involved in the initial stages of digestion. Unlike other nutrients, fibre remains relatively unaffected by this process.
Traveling through the Small Intestine: The real action begins when the partially digested food, along with fiber, moves into the small intestine. Here, the fiber interacts with digestive juices and enzymes, but its structure remains intact.
Interaction with Bacteria in the Large Intestine: As the fiber-rich food moves into the large intestine (colon), it reaches its primary destination for further processing. Here, the fibre serves as a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria present in the gut.
Fermentation and Production of Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs): The gut bacteria ferment the fibre, breaking it down into smaller compounds. During this process, the bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as by-products. SCFAs are beneficial compounds that play a crucial role in maintaining gut health and overall well-being.
Promotion of Regular Bowel Movements: Insoluble fibre, in particular, adds bulk to the stool and helps stimulate bowel movements. This is vital for regularity and preventing constipation.
Regulation of Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels: Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance that slows down the absorption of sugars and cholesterol in the small intestine. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) in the bloodstream.
Satiety and Weight Management: Fibre-rich foods tend to be more filling, promoting a feeling of fullness and satisfaction after meals. This can help with weight management by reducing overall calorie intake
Support for Gut Health: The presence of fibre in the colon encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, which helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome. A balanced and diverse gut microbiome is associated with improved digestion, a strengthened immune system, and reduced inflammation.
Elimination: Ultimately, fibre, along with undigested food particles, is eliminated from the body through bowel movements.
What about Beetroot Fibre?
Beetroot fibre is a type of soluble fibre that is found in beets. It is a good source of prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed the good bacteria in the gut. At Tonic Health we are extremely passionate about gut health, which is why our new gummy range is free from unnecessary sugar, artificial sweeteners and junk and is plant powered with 3g of beetroot fibre per serving. That’s 10% of your daily recommended fibre intake in the bank . With that in mind let's take a look at some of the associated health benefits of using beetroot fibre:
Improved gut health: Beetroot fibre can help to improve gut health by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut. This can lead to a number of benefits, such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and a stronger immune system 💪
Lower blood pressure: Beetroot fibre can help to lower blood pressure by reducing the absorption of sodium in the gut. This can be beneficial for people who are at risk of developing high blood pressure or heart disease.
Reduced inflammation: Beetroot fibre can help to reduce inflammation by binding to free radicals and preventing them from causing damage to cells. This can be beneficial for people who suffer from chronic inflammation, such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
Improved athletic performance: Beetroot fibre can help to improve athletic performance by increasing the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles. This can help athletes to train harder and for longer periods of time.