FIBRE & YOUR HEALTH
Yes I know, it’s a boring topic BUT I am constantly talking about fibre to patients so I thought I’d write a blog post and share a few of my ‘top tips’ with you.
Low fibre intake has been associated with numerous health conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disease and cancer. It is also implicated in hormonal imbalance (heavy and painful periods anyone?), high cholesterol and diabetes.
And yet in Australia, our standard diet is VERY low in fibre.
Here is an example:
- Breakfast: Toast with margarine and vegemite
- Lunch: Chicken and salad sandwich
- Dinner: Sausages, mashed potato, steamed beans and carrots, tomato sauce
- Snacks: Salt and vinegar chips
- Drinks: 1 coffee, 1 tea, 1 diet coke, 1L water
This meal has 19g of fibre and is high in saturated fat. It is also devoid of many nutrients, including essential fatty acids, zinc and choline (to name just a few).
WHAT DOES A DAY ON A HIGH FIBRE DIET LOOK LIKE?
- Breakfast: Denise’s famous winter oats
- Lunch: Kale and red pepper frittata with a garden salad
- Dinner: Baked salmon, broccoli and quinoa
- Snacks: Pear, kiwi fruit, 10 almonds
- Drinks: 2L water, 2 herbal teas
This meal contains 35g of fibre and has a much higher nutritional value compared to the first example. And it is satisfying and delicious (and amazingly good for you)!
Both the frittata and the baked salmon recipes are available as part of a meal plan for patients.
BEST SOURCES OF FIBRE
My favourites include oats, chia seeds, flaxseed/flax meal (probably my number 1 really, especially for women’s hormonal issues), pears, kiwi fruit, apples, sweet potato, regular potato (but cook it, let it go cold then either eat cold or reheat), asparagus, onion, garlic, beans/legumes, banana flour/starch and coconut flour.
If you eat a diet that is high in plant foods including ‘rainbow’ vegetables and legumes, nuts and seeds, your fibre is going to be great.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
According to health guidelines, the recommended dietary intake for adults is 25-30g per day. However, the reality is that often we need more than that, especially if you have health issues. I recommend a MINIMUM of 30g per day.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
If you have eaten a diet that is low in fibre for a long time, then you need to increase your intake SLOWLY. You also need to make sure you are drinking extra water – aim for 2 litres per day. If you don’t follow this important step you are likely to experience gut issues including constipation.
If you experience any digestive issues with the consumption of some foods (e.g. bloating, pain, flatulence), then you should see a Naturopath to determine the underlying cause. You may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), where your gut bacteria react to the sugar component in some fibre rich foods.
NEED MORE HELP?
If you need help with incorporating more dietary fibre into your life, I can provide meal plans to ensure you are covering all the bases in terms of nutrition – and they are absolutely delicious. (Yes, I have trialled all of them because if I’m not going to eat them, then I can hardly ask you to!).
If you are ready to take the next step in getting your health in order, make a booking today. I’d love to help you.