Let's talks FIBER 🍐🍌🥜
WHAT is fiber:
Fiber is a NON-digestible carbohydrate, think skin on fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. It’s like a broom sweeping through your gut. Bitter foods shut down various sugar craving receptors in our brain! There’s 2 types of fiber
1. Soluble fiber - helps to slow the emptying process in our stomachs, therefore you feel fuller for longer, also will turn into gel during digestion think: oats, rice, peas, beans, lentils, some fruits.
2. Insoluble fiber - doesn’t dissolve in water and isn’t broken down in the gut but helps to bulk up stool content and improve motility think: skin on fruits and vegetables.
WHY you need to have it:
Research has found it supports healthy GI tracts lowering the risk for developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer (1, 2) and improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels (1). The evidence already supports the link between anxiety and depression with gut inflammation and dysbiosis (3). Constipation is also directly linked to gut distress (3). Fiber is the big brusselled broom sweeping through your gut collecting excess hormones along the way and carries it to the liver to be detoxed and eventually eliminated through bowel movements.
Considering 90% of serotonin (feel good, happy hormone) lives in your gut, the link is undeniable. Fiber is a brusselled broom sweeping through your gut collecting excess hormones along the way and carries it to the liver to be detoxed and eventually eliminated through bowel movements. If excess hormones cannot be filtered out ladies PMS symptoms are worse (4).
Some fibre rich foods include dark leafy greens, carrots, red onions, fermented vegetables, apples, kiwis, flaxseed, not so ripe bananas, broccoli (the whole cruciferous family) artichokes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin seeds.
HOW MUCH I need:
A study with over 500,000 people in 10 European countries found people who ate more than 30g of fiber per day had approx HALF the risk of colon cancer as those who ate 12-15g of fiber daily (5). Think 1 - 2 cups of those fiber rich foods listed about with each meal of the day. If you haven't previously been eating this foods, go slow. Your gut may need to adjust.
Constipated? There could be many reasons for this not just fiber but it would be wise to add in some soluble fiber like oats, chia seeds, psyllium husk, cooked rice, dried prunes and even figs daily to support motility
HOW it impacts PMS:
By consuming a diet rich in bitter greens and colourful fruit and vegetable you are assisting the detoxification process which occurs within the liver. The liver metabolises hormones, including estrogen. If you gut cannot metabolise estrogen menstruating women suffer a number of PMS symptoms like tender breasts, heavy flow, cramps, irritability, bloating and low moods.
(2) Clapp, M., Aurora, N., Herrera, L., Bhatia, M., Wilen, E., & Wakefield, S. (2017). Gut microbiota's effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clinics and practice, 7(4), 987. https://doi.org/10.4081/cp.2017.987
(3) hishira Bharadwaj, Matthew D. Barber, Lesley A. Graff, Bo Shen, Symptomatology of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease during the menstrual cycle,
(4) Georgie Collinson (2020). The Mood and Moon Cycle Masterclass Notes. Recommended Supplement Program.