What is prebiotic fibre? | With ió fibrewater
This week, we've been exploring the importance of prebiotic fibre - and how to get more into your diet! We chatted to the lovely Alyssa, founder of ió fibrewater, and asked her about their story, as well as our burning questions; what is prebiotic fibre? Why is it important? How can we eat more of it?
The ió fibrewater story
In 2019 friends Mohsin, Aly, and Jay were struggling with a range of health issues, such as poor sleep, weight, mood and digestive health issues, including IBS, and the inability to eat dairy, gluten and other foods. Their research all pointed to one root issue – gut health. And a solution – prebiotic chicory root fibre.
After a few short weeks of use, Aly noticed she was sleeping better, her mood was more balanced, and her cravings for sugar and carbs disappeared. She also noticed she was feeling fuller for longer. Mohsin and Jay also saw incredible results regarding IBS, mood and sleep.
When Mohsin took the plunge and ate his 'perfect trifecta of hell' – a cheese and onion sandwich, which would have had him doubled up in pain – with no problem, the friends knew they were sitting on something special.
Their journey of discovery resulted in the innovative and award-winning - ió fibrewater – the UK's first prebiotic fibre-infused water.
'We were hooked on prebiotics! After our incredible experience with chicory root fibre we thought, 'This is so good, we should bottle it. So we did!'. Alyssa, Co-Founder of ió fibrewater
After two years of research and development and winners of the Scottish Edge Wildcard award for innovation, in May of 2022, ió fibrewater was launched to the public in two flavours: Lemon & Lime and Strawberry.
This unique and innovative functional water delivers 20% of the RDI of fibre and 100% of the RDI of prebiotics in one bottle. Plus, there's no sugar added, no 'nasty' ingredients, and it's just 17 kcals per bottle, too.
Why is fibre so important?
According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey,[i] 91% of people in the UK aren't getting enough fibre in their diets! We should aim to eat 30 g of fibre daily; however, the average intake is just 19 g daily.
An analysis of 185 studies and 58 clinical trials published in The Lancet medical journal suggested that if 1,000 people shifted from a low-fibre diet to a high-fibre diet, it would prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease.
Additionally, the analysis showed lower levels of type-2 diabetes, lower weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and bowel cancer.
Furthermore, according to the NHS, 1 in 3 children and 1 in 7 adults struggle with constipation at any time .
Fibre goes far beyond constipation relief - it is a life-saving superfood! The more fibre people eat – the better!
What is prebiotic fibre?
Prebiotic fibre takes dietary fibre to the next level. Prebiotics are the unique (and essential) food needed to feed healthy gut bacteria (probiotics), nourishing them and helping them to grow and flourish – ultimately creating a happier, healthier gut microbiome.
In addition to the proven life-saving health benefits of fibre (mentioned above), prebiotic fibre (particularly chicory root – the best source of prebiotic fibre) prebiotics are scientifically proven to support weight management, mood, sleep, energy, and immune system function.
A healthy microbiome = a happier, healthier you!
More and more research points to the importance of a healthy gut microbiome contributing to overall health and well-being.
Did you know…
Approximately 70% of our immune system cells are found in our guts? And 95% of serotonin (the 'happy hormone') is produced in our guts?
It is clear that gut health goes far beyond digestive health and affects many aspects of our wellness.
Notably, most probiotics (live cultures found in kefir, yoghurt, kombucha and supplements) can't survive very well without the food they (and your body) are craving – prebiotics!
In addition to over 4,000 scientific papers proving the positive health benefits of prebiotics, ió fibrewater is supported by two authorised UK and EU health claims for proper gut function and lowering and slowing blood glucose rise due to the chicory root fibre.
When the team launched ió fibrewater they wanted to see what effects drinking a bottle a day would have on people. They had 28 participants drink one bottle of ió fibrewater daily for 12 days (one case) – and the results floored them.
'We knew that there was something special in our water with the incredible results people were experiencing. Not only did 68% percent of participants in our study feel fuller for longer and eat less at meal times (and lose 2.66 lbs on average), but 71% of people with digestive health issues also experienced improvements. There were also significant improvements in sleep, mood and energy.' Mohsin Laginaf, ió fibrewater Co-Founder.
The results of the team's research led them to a study with Glasgow Caledonian University, which found ió fibrewater increased microbes (probiotics) significantly. You can read the press release here.
Furthermore, the University of Roehampton is conducting a human study on ió fibrewater in 2023 regarding blood glucose stabilisation, weight, mood and sleep, which a leading global expert will lead in functional foods and the gut microbiome.
How to boost your fibre intake
The two best ways to increase you fibre intake are 'eating the rainbow' of fresh fruit and vegetables, and incorporating whole foods, such as brown rice, oatmeal and legumes.
Here are Alyssa's top tips for boosting her fibre…
'I start off my day by enjoying The Great British Porridge Co. instant porridge, which gives me 4.6g of fibre. I munch on 50g of The Honest Bean Roasted Fava Bean Snacks (the Sea Salt & Vinegar flavour is my fave!) and sip on my ió fibrewater throughout the day as a snack. Between these three foods, I have achieved 17.6g of fibre, which is an excellent start to hitting my 30g daily. Plus, I'm also getting 100% of my recommended intake of prebiotics with our water! By the time I add a homemade soup loaded with veg, pulses and legumes, and dinner, such as a veg chilli and salad, I have easily achieved over my 30g of fibre daily.'
The Great British Porridge Co can be found here, as well as Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsburys and many more independent retailers.
Check out The Honest Bean Co's range of roasted fava bean snacks here. You can also find them in Ocado, Holland and Barrett, Amazon, Yorkshire Co-op stores and many more independent retailers..
 NHS Inform, About Constipation https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/stomach-liver-and-gastrointestinal-tract/constipation
[i] National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2016-2019, Public Health England, Food Standards Agency https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943114/NDNS_UK_Y9-11_report.pdf