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    4 types of fibre that improve your gut health

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    Did you know your gut craves dietary fibre? It does, and by feeding your gut what it needs you can do wonders to your wellbeing and maybe even lose some weight at the same time.

    Dietary fibres are non-digestible carbohydrates that are found in edible plant foods. They are the foundation of gut health: getting 30-40g of fibre a day not only helps with proper gut function but also boosts health and wellbeing.

    Want to know more about gut health? Take a look at our comprehensive gut health guide!

    The 4 different types of fibre are soluble, insoluble, readily fermentable and resistant starch.

    Soluble fibre

    Soluble fibre includes pectin and gums and is mainly found in plant cell walls. Intake of some soluble fibres lowers LDL cholesterol levels and can also help with constipation. Soluble fibre is found in oats, barley, psyllium husks, and lentils.

    oats-shutterstock_748791064-150x150 barley-shutterstock_217422052-150x150 psyllium-husk-shutterstock_343312673-150x150 lentils-shutterstock_544535134-150x150
    Oats Barley Psyllium husks Lentils

     

    Insoluble fibre

    One of the major roles of insoluble fibre is to bulk up stools and prevent constipation. Common sources of insoluble fibre include wholegrain bread and cereal products, wheat bran, rice bran, the skin of fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

    wholegrain-bread-shutterstock_1061163656-150x150 cereal-shutterstock_274128803-150x150 wheat-bran-isolated-shutterstock_134379719-150x150 nuts-shutterstock_89912491-150x150
    Wholegrain bread Cereal products Wheat bran and rice bran Nuts and seeds

     

    Readily fermentable fibre

    Dietary fibre is the major metabolic fuel for the gut microbiota (the good bacteria in your gut), and fermentable fibre plays a crucial role in building and maintaining a diverse, resilient and healthy gut microbiota. Sources of easily fermented fibre include Jerusalem artichoke, legumes, leeks, onion, garlic, and bananas.

    jerusalem-artichoke-shutterstock_54529021-150x150 legumes-shutterstock_437643256-150x150 leek-shutterstock_409486741-150x150 onion-shutterstock_216613948-150x150
    Jerusalem artichoke Legumes Leeks Onion

     

    Resistant starch

    Resistant starch is the part of starchy food that escapes digestion. It is a type of fibre that is particularly beneficial for your gut microbiota. All starchy foods contain resistant starch but the richest dietary sources include chickpeas, red kidney beans, navy beans and other legumes, cooked and cooled potatoes and pasta, and underripe bananas.

    chickpeas-shutterstock_496057915-150x150 red-kidney-beans-shutterstock_782800243-150x150 cooked-potato-shutterstock_144028192-150x150 underripe-banana-shutterstock_499520641-150x150
    Chickpeas Red kidney beans Cooked and cooled potatoes Under-ripe bananas

     

    Fibre diversity

    Combinations of fibres, for example resistant starch and soluble fibres, can be more effective than individual fibres alone in maintaining normal bowel function and promoting a healthy gut.

    It is recommended to eat a wide range of high fibre foods, especially wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, to maximise the health benefits that fibre offers. Remember too that foods naturally high in fibre are also usually low in fat and salt, and concentrated in nutrients and things such as antioxidants, that can also help support health and wellbeing.