At some point in your life you probably heard that wholemeal food is good for you. You also seem to recall that someone was saying that processed food is not so good and then your knowledge about the subject finishes. I can feel that you have a burning desire to find out all about wholemeal food goodness and what’s so special about it. The answer is very simple and it has only got 5 letters, yet countless benefits – fibre.
What is fibre?
Fibre is a plant matter. Most of the fibre is technically a polysaccharide (there is a small proportion of nonpolysaccharide, which is the tough woody part of food, like celery), which is carbohydrate. “Carbs!!!” – I can hear you screaming, ”Carbs are bad, they are very bad, thin b*tches don’t do carbs”! There has been quite a lot of misunderstanding in the carbohydrates area recently, and everyone knows that one thin girls who thinks that carbs are some sort of a incurable contagious disease and must be avoided at any cost. All I can just say for now is that only unhealthy thin girls don’t do carbs, healthy slim girls do carbs, fats and protein, because you need to love yourself deeply and care after your body with passion by allowing it to have everything nature has got to offer.
Fibre is not your ordinary carbohydrate though, because fibre is not digested by your digestive enzymes, even though some fibre can be digested by your gastrointestinal bacteria. Fibre can be soluble and insoluble, the difference is fundamental, but soluble and insoluble fibres usually comes together. You need both types of fibre and this is that sweet case of the more, the better! Because on average, living in the 21st century, we are deprived of food overloaded with fibre and our fibre intake is at least 50% less than it should be.
Soluble dissolves in water, they are able to form gel. They are digested in our gut. Soluble fibres primarily help us with our heart health. Insoluble fibre is digested nowhere, it just travels through your body, makes a couple of friends as he goes along, and then he is out. Literally out. However, it does play quite a vital role inside us and it does helps a lot with our gut health. Both clearly important for survival purposes.
What is the secret?
Soluble fibre slows digestion and absorption of other nutrients, and is fermented by the bacteria of your colon into gases (yes, that gas you are thinking of). Soluble fibre tends to increase the viscosity of the gastrointestinal contents, so basically it becomes a little bit like jelly.
Insoluble fibre, in contrast, is physically inaccessible to digestion, like cellulose. Celery is the primary example of cellulose (those stringy things inside it). Even though they are not digested at all, they have a very special effect on you – they have laxative effect and speed up the passage of food waste through your gut. Which, in essence, is a great thing even though not socially acceptable to talk out loud a lot.
Soluble and insoluble fibre should be your best friends. They are not that hard to find, this is where you can find your new friends:
Fruit, vegetables and grains that has soluble fibre – apples, oranges, pears, cucumbers, carrots, passion fruit, avacado, brussels sprout, etc.
Insoluble fibre is hiding in – whole wheat, seeds, nuts, brown rice, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, green beans dark leafy vegetables, etc.
The insoluble fibre forms a latticework for the soluble fibre to sit on, while the soluble fibre bridges the gaps in the latticework to maintain its integrity((Dr Lusting, ”Fat Chance”, 2014)), so basically together they become like a little plug which slows down the nutrient flow into your bloodstream, liver, etc. It gives your precious little liver a chance to metabolise everything that comes through at a good space, instead of frantically panicking and start doing crazy stuff, like producing fat all over you as it doesn’t know what to do with all this overflow of nutrients.
By now you might have already figured out what I am trying to point out. The majority of our food is stripped of fibre. We have white rice, which is a primary example of a refined food, (check), white flour which is refined again and stripped of the bran and the germ, (check), and all the cookies and cakes that you like so much are most definitely made out of flour that has nothing, but good old pure starch, which will be transformed into glucose and then, because it probably will be too much for your liver, into your best most beloved friend – fat! (check, check, check!) The cakes are also overloaded with sugar, as it extends shelf-life (white flour has finer texture and it has better shelf-life as well, as there are not micronutrients, so nobody wants to live in that flour) and enhances the taste, so conventionally made cakes, cookies, bread are your number one choice if you want to never see your waist again.
Fibre has one unbeatable, amazing quality which makes me very happy. It allows you to eat bread. No more no-bread nonsense! You can eat all the bread you want in the world, you just need to make sure it’s made out of wholemeal flour and ideally has some seeds in it.
If you found yourself being all upset because eating those cakes and cookies you love so much isn’t that much of a great idea, do not despair! Luckily, you have me! I have a tonnes of recipes of delicious cakes, that are loaded with nutrients and fibre. All you need to do is just allow yourself to spend a little bit extra time in the kitchen and follow my recipes((You can find a recipe of my delicious cheesecake that has fibre in it here, but keep an eye on my posts as lots of recipes are coming very soon)).