Nutrition: Healthy with the right dietary fibre | WUR

Nutrition: Healthy with the right dietary fibre | WUR

November 1, 2019 0 By William Morgan


Dietary fibre is important for our health.
Many people think fibre only helps
keep a person’s bowels healthy.
But it is beneficial to our
general health in many more ways.
It helps prevent cardiovascular
diseases and type 2 diabetes.
BEING HEALTHY WITH THE RIGHT
DIETARY FIBRE
Many different types of fibre exist.
Just like there are many
different types of vitamins…
each having their own
effect on human health.
It’s important you consume enough of it.
The Dutch food standards agency advises
an intake of 30-40 grams of fibre per day.
Only 20% of the population
manages to do this.
You can increase your fibre intake…
by eating more bread,
vegetables and fruit…
or products with added fibre
such as wholemeal products.
Our gut contains over a thousand
different species of bacteria.
Fibres are a source of food
for those bacteria.
By picking the right fibres you can
influence the population your gut flora.
This is important, because they
take care of the digestion of our food…
and this digestion releases
fatty acids and vitamins…
which in turn are healthy for our body.
This machine simulates
the digestive process in humans.
It monitors the effects
of fibre on gut flora…
and their effects on our health.
In Wageningen we conduct
a lot of research on fibre.
What fibres exist, what they look like,
how do we use it in tasty products…
and how do we encourage
people to eat enough fibres…
in order to contribute to their health.
Personally, I conduct research
on the health benefits of fibres.
Fibres can make you feel saturated…
prompting you to eat less
and maintain a healthy weight.
Fibres also regulate glucose levels and
helps you keep a low cholesterol level.
We take blood samples
for this research here.
Some types of fibre also seem
to support our immune system.
We recently reported findings
on a type of fibre from grains…
which was able to reinforce
a flu vaccine in elderly people.
In the future, we hope to improve our
understanding of the types of dietary
fibre…
that have an effect on our health.
This will influence not just the amount
of fibre we eat, but also which types.
This way, we hope to contribute
to the health of the general population.
Through tasty and healthy food.
My name is Jurriaan Mes.
I am a researcher at Wageningen
University & Research.