What do you think of when you think fibre? All Bran, Special K? Fibre is so important, it helps to keep the digestion system moving, but many people do not get enough fibre in their diet. But why is it important?
- Rids body of excess hormones
- Feeds good bacteria in the gut
- Stabilises blood sugar balance
- Keeps bowels regular and healthy
- Lowers cholesterol
- Can decrease risk of colon cancer
- Can help with weight loss
|Barley, wholegrains||Lentils, bean, peas|
|Brown rice||Apples/citrus fruits/pears/banana|
|Courgettes, green beans||Nuts/flaxseeds|
|Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli||Cucumber|
|Dark leafy green vegetables||Carrots|
|Oats, bran||Root vegetables|
It is important to include a mix of both soluble and insoluble in your daily diet. Soluble dissolves in water, and slows the rate at which you absorb glucose therefore can help to regulate blood sugar levels helping in management of diabetes & PCOS, while insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water, passing through the gut without being broken down therefore adding bulk to the diet. It promotes the movement of material through your digestive tract therefore helpful for those suffering from constipation or irregular movements.
- How much fibre should you include daily? The National Guideline recommend 24 – 35g fibre a day through wholegrains, legumes, vegetables, fruit especially with the skin, nuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and psyllium husks.
- Include Wholemeal, multigrain breads and brown rice instead of white equivalents as they are poor sources of fibre which have been stripped of their fibre rich hull. Use brown pasta’s instead of refined flour based white pasta. Add legumes and beans to soups, stews and curries.
- Either snack or include fresh fruit like chopped kiwifruit and apple or berries added to yoghurt or porridge. Keep the skin on fruits like apples, pears as a lot of the fibre content is found in the skin. Make a fruit salad, eat the fruit whole rather than juicing to get the fibre content.
- Add different seeds to salads, soups, yoghurt, and porridge, to bread mixtures. Seeds such as pumpkin, Chia, sunflower, Linseed are great sources of insoluble fibre while also containing important minerals such as selenium and zinc.
- Toasted or raw nuts such as walnut, pecans, brazil nuts, cashew, macadamia, almonds can be added to cooking, soups, salads, vegetables, bread mixtures, yoghurt, porridge or even as a snack. Not only do they contain fibre but beneficial fats and dietary protein source.
- Include at least five different vegetables a day in your diet, to ensure sources of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals crucial for our body. Add to soups, salads, curries, stews, smoothies.
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