Not All Fibre is Created Equal
Over the many years I spent working in health food stores, I noticed that the most commonly (& religiously) purchased products were the fibre & gut health supplements - whether it be psyllium, bran, prunes, a particular breakfast or a capsule / tablet / powder to help with regularity. The three most commonly purchased 'foods' to help improve bowel function are:
- prunes or other dried fruit
1. PsylliumPsyllium is basically just fibre & nothing else. It contains no other nutrients whatsoever, so regular users would be much better off eating something which also supplies some nutrients as well. It is also not great to be relying on one food source foe the majority of your fibre needs - users of all fibre supplements need to be wary of this, as fibrous variety is the spice of life for our gut bacteria! Diverse fibre encourages diverse gut bugs.
2. BranBran is worse as it is very high in phytic acid, which can bind to minerals (like calcium, zinc & magnesium) in our body and end up depleting these crucial building blocks of health.
3. Dried fruitsDried fruits do provide some nutrients, but unfortunately also deliver a concentrated hit of sugar, and often high levels of sulphur dioxide as a preservative. If you use them, combine them with some good fats & protein - to slow the release of sugars.
4. A modern solution...A better fibre solution may be Blend11
- low carbs / sugars (no energy spikes & crashes)
- protein & good fats (super-filling & satisfying)
- diversity of fibre (encourages a diverse gut microbial population)
- soaked overnight to activate seeds & maximise absorption of nutrients.