~ Health Advice from PMGH – Benefits of a High Fibre Diet – Part 2 of 3 ~

Benefits of a High Fibre Diet –
There’s no shortage of research showing how fibre may boost your health. A high-fibre diet has many benefits, which include:
Blood Sugar Control: In people with diabetes, fibre — particularly soluble fibre — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fibre may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Heart Health: An inverse association has been found between fibre intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high-fibre diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.
Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven grams more fibre you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 percent.
Weight Loss and Management: Fibrous foods are often bulky and, therefore, filling. Soluble fibre forms a gel that slows down the emptying of the stomach and the transit time of food through the digestive system. This extends the time a person feels satisfied or ‘full’. It also delays the absorption of sugars from the intestines. This helps to maintain lower blood sugar levels and prevent a rapid rise in blood insulin levels, which has been linked with obesity and an increased risk of diabetes.
Skin Health: Fibre, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
Diverticulitis: Dietary fibre (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40 percent.
Hemorrhoids: A high-fibre diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Fibre may provide some relief from IBS.
Gallstones and Kidney stones: A high-fibre diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels: Soluble fibre found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that fibre may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
Normalises Bowel Movements: Dietary fibre increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fibre may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
Helps Maintain Bowel Health: A high-fibre diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fibre is fermented in the colon.
Fibre Keeps the Digestive Tract Healthy: A big advantage of a diet high in fibre is in improving the health of the digestive system. The digestive system is lined with muscles that massage food along the tract from the moment a mouthful is swallowed until the eventual waste is passed out of the bowel. Since fibre is relatively indigestible, it adds bulk to the faeces.
Fibre and Diabetes: For people with diabetes, eating a diet high in fibre slows glucose absorption from the small intestine into the blood. This reduces the possibility of a surge of insulin, the hormone produced by the pancreas to stabilize blood glucose levels.
Remember: A high-fibre diet may not prevent or cure constipation unless you drink enough water every day.