You know fibre is good for you, but did you know that it can also help you maintain a healthy weight? Read on to find out how!
Fibre and Weight Management
Fibre feeds friendly gut bacteria.
The gut microbiome consists of trillions of diverse microorganisms, and a healthy gut microbiome is inextricably linked to overall health , . For instance, the gut microbiome directly influences everything from immunity and brain function to blood sugar control and weight management , , .
One of fibre’s major benefits is its key role in keeping the gut microbiome healthy. Fibre, specifically soluble fibre, is a prebiotic and acts as a food for friendly gut bacteria, helping them thrive and multiply. As well as contributing to overall health, the soluble fibre that keeps gut bacteria happy also helps you maintain a healthy weight .
Friendly gut bacteria fight inflammation.
So, soluble fibre keeps gut bacteria healthy, and healthy gut bacteria keep you healthy and help you maintain a healthy weight. But that’s not all! Those tiny microorganisms in your gut are also inflammation-fighting superheroes .
Why is that relevant? Well, chronic inflammation is associated with all sorts of health problems and metabolic diseases, including—you guessed it—weight gain and obesity . In other words, increasing your fibre intake, especially soluble fibre, helps reduce chronic inflammation, which is another way fibre helps with healthy weight management.
Fibre helps keep you fuller, longer.
Both soluble and insoluble fibre help keep you feeling full for longer after eating , so make sure to regularly include fibre in your meals! The way this works varies between soluble and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre, so-called because it dissolves in water, forms a thick gel in the gut. This slows down digestion and increases nutrient absorption, both of which help with satiety. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, makes you feel full by physically filling up your stomach and intestines .
A note of caution though: insoluble fibre can sometimes cause problems for people with preexisting digestive issues, so it may be worth consulting with your doctor before adding more insoluble fibre to your diet. (Soluble fibre, however, has been shown to be very beneficial for many gut disorders , . Yay, soluble fibre!)
Fibre may help you lose weight.
We’ve seen how fibre plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight, but did you know that fibre can also help you lose weight? Although a lasting lifestyle change is the surest way to lose extra weight and keep it off, there is evidence that increasing your fibre intake can help with long-term weight loss , .
Can Fibre Help with Weight Gain?
The short answer is no; fibre in and of itself will not help you gain weight (and is in fact associated with weight loss , ). But wanting to gain weight is no reason to cut out fibre from your diet! Given the plethora of health benefits fibre provides, it’s worthwhile to find ways to incorporate it into your diet, even if you’re aiming to gain weight.
One of the best ways to reap the benefits fibre has to offer while still meeting your weight gain goals is to choose natural, high-fibre foods that are also calorie-dense and nutrient-dense. Some examples include:
- High-fat foods such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, and avocados
- High-protein foods such as beans and legumes, oats, and quinoa
You can also try pairing high-fibre foods with healthy calorie-dense foods. For instance, pair berries with yogurt, oatmeal with sunflower or chia seeds, or high-fibre grains with high-protein foods such as fatty fish. Another trick is to bulk up your soups, salads, and smoothies with oats, which are high in both fibre and protein. Swapping out bread for bagels, which are much more calorie-dense, is another great way to get the benefits of fibre while working towards your weight gain goals.
Want more fibre in your life? Eating more plant-based, whole foods is the healthiest way to add more fibre to your diet. That being said, if you struggle to meet your daily fibre needs, you may want to consider using a high-quality fibre supplement, such as Alpinia’s Acazen. Acazen is 100% plant-based, and 89% of the entire product consists of soluble fibre. It’s also gluten-free, odorless, and tasteless, which means it’s super easy to incorporate into pretty much any meal plan!
Image Sources & Licensing Info:
- Veg & dumbbell: https://pixabay.com/photos/fitness-dumbbell-vegetables-3168246/