- a healthy digestive system
- bowel regularity / digestive transit
- increasing the weight, bulk and softness of stool
- healthy cholesterol levels
- increasing nutrient levels
- slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream
- binding with toxins in the gut
- reducing inflammation
- healthy weight loss.
A multi-fibre nutritional formula in capsules, derived from a unique combination of psyllium husks and seeds, flaxseed, prune juice, fig fruit and other high-fibre foods and herbs. A natural solution for body waste cleanse!
There is a well-established link between constipation and a low-fibre diet. Dietary Fibre Complex is a dietary supplement and natural food product which provides a healthy combination of both insoluble and soluble fibre – essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system, bowel regularity and efficient digestive transit.
This combination of insoluble and soluble fibre is more than just roughage – it also provides cellulose, pectin, Omega oils, hemicellulose, lignin and gums. The food and herbal ingredients have been blended in precise proportions for maximum benefit.
More about dietary fibre…
What is fibre?
Did you know that not all types of carbohydrate can be digested and broken down into glucose? Indigestible carbohydrate is what we call fibre.
It is found in all plants that are eaten for food and it plays an essential role in maintaining intestinal health. There are two types of fibre, which perform important functions in the body:
- insoluble fibre – which ‘sweeps’ the intestines clean of waste material and toxins
- soluble fibre – which binds with fatty acids and prolongs the stomach’s emptying time, so that sugar is released more slowly, blood sugar is kept balanced and you feel fuller for longer (which is how fibre can support healthy appetite control and weight management).
There are also other types of fibre that are proteins, rather than carbohydrates.
Is fibre the same as roughage?
Contrary to the popular image of fibre as “roughage”, it can actually absorb water. As it does so, it adds to the bulk of waste-matter, while making it less dense and easier to move along the digestive tract. This helps to reduce the amount of time that food waste takes to pass through the body (digestive transit) and therefore also reduces the risk of infection, fermentation and putrefaction.
Why is fibre important?
Most people are aware of the connection between fibre intake and a healthy, regular digestive system. However, the benefits of a diet packed with quality, high-fibre foods go far beyond just supporting bowel regularity – as important as that is.
Fibre is a natural constituent of a healthy diet that is high in fruit, vegetables, lentils, beans and whole grains. By eating a high-fibre diet, you are able to support general health and well-being (and digestive health, stable blood sugar levels and regularity more particularly).
Although fibre is an essential component of a balanced diet, it is not always easy to get as much of it as you need on a daily basis. According to NHS Choices, many people don’t get enough fibre – on average, most people in the UK get about 14g of fibre per day. An ideal intake of fibre is not less than 35g per day.
Getting fibre into your diet
The ideal daily intake of fibre for adults is not less than 35g, but according to NHS Choices, most people in the UK get only 14g of fibre a day on average. What’s more, it’s not just about quantity; the quality of the fibre you eat is equally important.
It is easy to take in the optimum amount of the right kinds of fibre if you have a balanced diet packed with natural, whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans. However, if your diet is poor or you struggle to incorporate a variety of fibre-rich foods into your diet because, for instance, you don’t like the taste, you might benefit from a high quality fibre supplement. Diets high in refined and processed foods, with a strong focus on meat and dairy products, will almost certainly lack fibre.
Similarly, people who think they are accessing high quality fibre through their breakfast cereal because it says “with added fibre” on the box, may be taking in mainly bran in reality. This is often added because processed cereals tend to lose some of their original fibre during the manufacturing process.
While bran is an excellent source of fibre in its original form, as whole grains, what is normally added to packaged breakfast cereals is just the outer coating of the wheat grain, which is removed to make white flour. In other words, it is a waste product and (like many other commercial decisions to profit from waste products), adding bran in this way in the name of health is misguided at best.
At worst, extracted bran is highly irritant, achieving only short-term effects in terms of stimulating the digestive system. In the long-term, it can weaken it (peristalsis in particular), by irritating and damaging delicate intestinal membranes. With time and prolonged inflammation, this can then leave the way open to leaky gut syndrome and colitis.
Why is fibre important?
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested. In other words, it passes through the body unchanged. So, if nutrients aren’t being absorbed from it, how can it be beneficial for health? Well, fibre doesn’t act like most kinds of carbohydrates – for instance, it doesn’t produce the same amount of calories, nor is it processed in the same way.
Instead, it serves our body by:
- increasing bowel transit time – it supports a more efficient bowel by encouraging natural peristalsis, and can therefore reduce the time it takes for waste-matter to be eliminated from the body. Insoluble fibre (found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables), in particular, increases the weight, bulk and softness of the stool.
- supporting healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels – fibre can bind with cholesterol and triglycerides in the gut, helping to prevent their reabsorption.
- supporting stable blood sugar levels – fruit and vegetable fibre helps to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood, thereby supporting high energy levels and lowering the glycemic index of the food you have eaten. Ideal support for diabetics.
- slowing the absorption of fat and swelling in the digestive tract – these two properties of fibre help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and can therefore support appetite control, reduced cravings and healthy weight loss.
- cleansing the digestive tract – as it travels through the gut, fibre can act like a ‘broom’, sweeping the colon and other parts of the digestive tract clean of waste, which it takes with it as it passes out of the body. Soluble fibre, which dissolves in water to form a thick, gummy solution, is particularly good at binding with toxins in the gut. Good sources are seaweed, oats, rice, pectin in fruit, psyllium, vegetables and legumes.
Still not convinced about the importance of getting your daily fix? Take a look at rural Africa, where the average daily intake of dietary fibre is 55g. Is it a coincidence that they have the lowest incidence of bowel diseases (such as appendicitis, diverticulitis and colitis) in the world? We think not.
The quality of your fibre is important!
Although many food manufacturers (particularly producers of breakfast cereal) promote their products as containing “added fibre”, this is usually in the form of bran.
Bran is the outer coating of the wheat grain, removed to make white flour. In other words, it is a waste product.
Taken in its original form, as part of the whole grain, bran is excellent. However, extracted bran is highly irritant and can damage the delicate membranes of the gut. What’s more, Professor of Nutrition, John Dickerson (University of Surrey), has stressed the danger of adding wheat-bran to a nutrient-poor diet. The reason is that wheat bran contains high levels of phytate, an anti-nutrient that reduces the absorption of essential minerals (including zinc).
Fibre and colon health
The colon is a complex organ, the state of which has a direct impact on – not just digestion – but our overall health and well-being.
As a result of modern living and, in particular, the average Western diet, many people now have some degree of diverticulitis – little ‘pockets’ formed in the colon walls, where old waste accumulates and becomes hard to remove. It can therefore stay there for many years, becoming a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, fungi, parasites and other harmful micro-organisms, as well as causing inflammation.
For many people, this can be the starting point for a number of unpleasant (yet common) conditions, including dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut); yeast overgrowth (Candida); leaky gut syndrome; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); and food allergies / intolerances.
It is therefore essential to care for your colon, through a combination of a digestion-friendly diet, hydration and regular colon (and system) cleansing – both of which are supported by the regular intake of quality dietary fibre.
A step in the right direction
A good place to start, if you are thinking about upping your fibre intake and improving your digestion, is to try to include as many fresh, raw, seasonal and organic foods in your diet as possible. Not only are such foods naturally high in quality fibre, they also contain a host of other nutrients that support an alkaline blood pH, efficient digestion, gut wall integrity and the body’s cleanse and detox processes. For example, digestive enzymes, amino acids, Omega oils, vitamins and mineral salts.
You might also want to consider a high-fibre supplement, for additional support.
Fluids are also crucial to maintaining a healthy colon. So, when upping the quantity of fibre in your diet, make sure you also increase your water intake. Otherwise, the fibre can dry up in your gut and potentially worsen any existing conditions, such as constipation. Start slowly, too much fibre added too quickly can also lead to bloating, wind and cramps. It is about achieving a healthy, balanced diet – not a quick fix.