We all know that a healthy gut microbiome is a more diverse gut microbiome. Yet according to Zoe, a website set up by leading doctors and scientists to help us understand and improve our individual bodies and gut health, the bacteria in our stomachs may reduce in the midlife years. They say ‘When you reach menopause – 1 year after your last period – your ovaries have stopped producing sex hormones, which include progesterone and oestrogen. Because your sex hormones affect your gut bacteria, it makes sense that there might be changes to your gut microbiome during this time.’
Fibre is fabulous, really
If you thought fibre was far from sexy think again. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t break down which means it can pass through our gut to our large intestine. It is found naturally in plant foods like wholegrains, beans, nuts, fruit, and vegetables and its many super-talents include:
- Helping to keep our digestive system healthy and keeping us ‘regular’
- Influencing how food moves through out gut which can affect how quickly we can absorb sugar from foods and drinks
- Acting as a prebiotic which is the ‘food’ that good bacteria feed on in our stomach. It therefore maintains a thriving microbiome in the gut which will impact the wellbeing of every function in our bodies
- Interestingly, scientists are also making a link between our gut health and its ability to regulate our bone mass which is important for midlife wellbeing management
Not only that but...
According to Michael Greger founder of nutritionfacts.org, and author of How Not to Die, high fibre intake can reduce the risk of cancers in the breasts and colon, heart disease, obesity and premature death in general. What’s more he says that fibre helps to protect the brain,
“We know that fibre helps control your cholesterol and blood sugar levels which can help reduce the amount of artery clogging plaque in your brain’s blood vessels. One more apple, an extra 40 g of broccoli, or just two more tablespoons of beans a day during childhood could translate into a meaningful affect on artery health later in life” he says.
Why we are fibre fans
It therefore makes sense that at midlife, when hormone levels are decreasing, our ability to think straight is somewhat impaired, our gut microbiome is wavering and bone health is really taking a hit, that increasing our fibre intake is going to be hugely beneficial for so many bodily functions.
This is one reason that the Manifesto gummies contain Inulin, derived from a chicory root in the Netherlands, we have identified fibre as an important nutrient for full body midlife health. Here’s the low-down: Inulin is a fructan which is a chain of fructose molecules which link together in a way that the small intestine cannot break down. Instead they travel to the lower gut where they feed beneficial gut bacteria which in turn will keep the gut healthy, protect brain health, boost immunity and maintain glowing, healthy looking skin and hair.
The final fibre word
With so much in the press about the power of protein, we have somehow overlooked the infinite attributes of increasing our fibre uptake. But unlike in the 1980’s, the message is not about eating a sugar loaded cereal every day. According to all the experts, more fibre means upping your intake of wholegrains, beans, nuts, fruit and vegetables – no processed foods required.
Oh and you can also take a Manifesto gummy daily.
- Read more about the functions of fibre from the British Nutrition
- Learn more about how your gut changes during the menopause from Zoe here
- For solid science based facts about nutrition head to nutritionfacts.org