By Dr John Douillard

Plagued with achy joints? Your remedy may be found on your plate! New research published in the Annals of the ‘Rheumatic Diseases Journal’ has discovered that those who eat a high-fibre diet are less likely to experience osteoarthritic knee pain.

The Framingham study spanned over 34 years and included just over 1,200 people with an average age of 54.

• The group that ate the highest amount of fibre ate an average of 26 grams
• The group that ate the lowest amount of fibre ate an average of 14 grams

The researchers found that the more fiber people ate, the less knee pain they reported—and the less likely they were to be diagnosed with knee arthritis.

In fact, those who ate the most fibre had 61 percent less risk of osteoarthritis knee pain compared to those who ate the least fibre.

No one gets enough fibre

Interestingly, the group that ate the highest amount of fibre was still under the recommended daily allowance for dietary fibre.

Fibre supports healthy cholesterol, feeds our microbiome, stabilises blood sugar levels, escorts toxic bile to the toilet, and keeps the bowels running smoothly.

It safeguards your colon, liver, and gallbladder. It supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria—and as the study mentioned above showed, it can also reduce knee pain from arthritis!

Most people only eat about half the fibre they should, which is about 10 to 20 grams per day. According to experts, if you can achieve a fibre intake of 50 grams per day (or more), you will experience a healthy difference.

Ayurveda’s take on joint ailments

Thousands of years ago, Ayurveda made the connection between joint health and colon health, in that many joint ailments actually originate in the colon.

Toxins and undigested food can irritate and compromise the integrity of the intestinal wall. These irritants can lead to lymph and liver congestion, which can lead to an accumulation of toxic irritants in the joints.

A high-fibre diet ensures the health and integrity of the intestinal lining, and it also ensures that the unwanted toxins will attach to the bile (which acts like a toxin-eating Pac-Man) and make it to the toilet.

It is important to be eating fibre at all times of the year to ensure the health of the colon. There are two types of fibre: insoluble and soluble fibre:

• Insoluble fibre is often called “roughage,” as it generally does not break down in the digestive tract. It is found in fresh fruit, vege, and legumes.
• Soluble fibre are the vegetable fibre that break down and become slimy and soft during the digestive process. Soluble fibre is found in grains, legumes, chia and flax seeds, okra, oatmeal, and any food that is easily broken down during digestion. Many foods have a little of both types of fibre, but there is a seasonal emphasis that we should follow.

In the Spring and Summer, there is an abundance of insoluble fibre with the harvest of leafy greens and fibrous fruit and vege. In the Autumn and Winter, there is a shift to soluble fibre with more grains, beans, and seeds that are readily available.

Where has all the fibre gone?

According to a new study out of John Hopkins University, massive amounts of fibre are thrown away every day.

Instead of eating the fibre-rich foods on our plates, we are throwing our uneaten food fiber into landfills. The amount of fibre we throw away annually, if eaten, would provide the amount of fibre we would need to meet our daily fibre requirements.

For example, food wasted each day in 2012 (in the U.S.) contained about 1.8 billion grams of dietary fibe. That same year, American women under-consumed dietary fibre by 8.9 grams per day.

The daily amount of wasted dietary fibre was equivalent to the amount needed to fill this shortfall for as many as 206.6 million adult women, according to the study.

To help remedy this problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency have a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.