Fermentable Dietary Fibre 101
Fermentable Dietary Fibre 101
What you need to know about probiotics’ significant other, prebiotics.
Time and time again we’ve been told to consume more probiotics than ever before (but before we go further maybe hold off on the kombucha, which isn’t always the healthiest source of probiotics)… but how does it all tie in to better gut health and overall wellbeing?
We shed some light on, probiotics other half, prebiotics (a type of dietary fibre that is fermentable, non-digestible and soluble), which is an essential substrate in playing a crucial role in maintaining optimal gut health maintenance and health. The good bacteria in your gut (probiotics) won’t be able to thrive or work their magic without ensuring you consume enough prebiotics as part of your diet.
We break it down into four key components so you have some quick definitions you can refer to.
Dietary fibre – what is it actually?
Dietary fibres are plant-based carbohydrates that are not digested by the small intestine. There are soluble and insoluble types of dietary fibre.
Simply put, it’s non-digestible and fermented in the large intestine by probiotics. So, essentially, prebiotics is what feeds probiotics.
More specifically, it’s the edible part of plants or analogous carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the human small intestine. Dietary fibre is fermented in the large intestine (by good gut bacteria).
Gut Health Fact #1: All our granolas are rich in a number of different types of dietary fibre and are essential fuel that probiotics require.
What does dietary fibre do?
Insoluble dietary fibre bulks up your excrement and speeds up its transit through your gut (so the waste your body produces is eliminated quicker rather than spending longer than it should in your body).
Soluble dietary fibre provides fermentation substrate for the production of short chain fatty acids, acetate, propionate and butyrate. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that has an essential role in keeping your gut healthy. Certain soluble dietary fibre types (e.g. resistant starch) are a good substrate to help your gut produce butyrate through the fermentation process.
The fermentation of resistant starch produces more butyrate than other types of dietary fibres.
Gut Health Fact #2: No surprises, each of our specially formulated granolas contain resistant starch to help with this process and keep your gut functionally optimally.
Dietary fibre enables the following:
· Stimulates the selective growth of beneficial gut bacteria (hello probiotics).
· Slows the rate of absorption of sugar from the small intestine, a bit like the slow release of sugar rather than the sugar spike (and crash), therefore lowering the glycaemic response (reduce the impact of sugar in your meal, on your blood sugar level).
Different fibre types, however, perform slightly different roles, so it’s important to consume a variety of wholefoods to ensure you get enough of all the fibre types to ensure you’re stimulating the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
Gut Health Fact #3: Our scientifically formulated granolas contain both insoluble and soluble types of dietary fibre. It will simultaneously speed up the removal of waste from your gut whilst slowing the rate of digestion, keeping you satiated and thus prevent insulin spikes.
The combination of soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, which can be found in our granolas, achieves the following:
· Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease
· Reducing the risk of stroke and hypertension
· Reduces the onset of diabetes
· Improves blood lipid profiles
· Reduces blood pressure
· Improves glycaemic control
· Promotes weight loss
· Improves your immune function
So what is a prebiotic?
A prebiotic is a type of dietary fibre that is non-digestible, soluble and also fermentable.
In other words, prebiotic fibre passes through the gastrointestinal tract undigested and stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the large intestine (fermentable).
Prebiotics include fructans and galactooligosaccharides.
Gut Health Fact #4: Our granolas contain resistant starches and galactooligosaccharides. These are from the nuts, seeds and lupin flake in our granolas.
Benefits of eating a diet high in prebiotics
· Modulation of gut microbiota
· Improved mineral absorption
· Potential protection against colon cancer
· Improved blood glucose and insulin profiles
· Protection against intestinal infections
I know this is a lot to take in, in just one blog post, but I hope it will serve as a good reference and provide some clarity on gut health, dietary fibre and prebiotics.
Happy eating! Xx
Photo credit: @nourishandflourishsyd