Fibre, Gut Bacteria and Cholesterol

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The Recipe: granola bars
The Talk: fibre, gut bacteria, and cholesterol

Fibre is defined as a carbohydrate that humnas are unable to properly digest. There are two main types:

1) Insoluble – helps with constipation (good at absorbing water) and increasing digestive process (stimulating muscle movement)

2) Soluble – provide support for blood sugar levels, cardiovascular health and aids in the feeling of “fullness”
a) Viscous – a gel forming fibre that regulates the relase of food from the stomach and therefore keeping our blood system from absorbing too much sugar
b) Non viscous – has the same abilities but not as productive as viscous

Fermentable Fibres (which can be both soluble and insoluble) contribute the most in the large intestine in regards to cholesterol and gut bacteria.

Cholesterol – viscous soluble fibre is able to bind to excess cholesterol which then is eliminated by the body. They can also supress cholesterol synthesis in the liver therefore reducing LDL cholesterol in the blood system.

Gut Bacteria – the “good” bacteria in our gut is able to break down the fibre with very specialized enzymes and thus use this fermentation to grow and flourish – which is good news for us because “good” bacteria keeps balance in our colon maintaining a healthy environment for digestion to occur, and keeps “bad” bacteria at bay decreasing digestive stress (which would lead to many conditions and diseases).

So to sum up, soluble fibre is more benficial but you do need ALL types of fibre in the system so try and get a variety of fibre from different foods. Here is a list of high fibre foods:

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Thanks to World’s Healthiest Foods for the exensive list. Please check out the full chart here.

Variety is key here! Pick foods from each category below focusing more on the right side of the spectrum:

Grains – Seeds – Nuts – Legumes – Vegetables – Fruits

Here is a recipe for homemade granola bars – fibre and protein packed!

Ingredients:
3 cups of a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruits (I used walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, dried cranberries, dried coconut)
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp of butter
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions:
1) Throw dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
2) place honey, butter and coconut oil in a saucepan and heat up until just combined. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes
3) Pour wet mixture into dry ingredient bowl and mix until all combined
4) Empty bowl into a parchment lined 9×9 baking pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight

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Enjoy!

Remember, there are TONS of conditions and diseases that result from a unhealthy gut – so take care of yours well!! You deserve it 🙂

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

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