Health benefits of fibre consumption

Fibre is important to the ecosystem in our body for optimal health. Sources of fibre include insoluble, soluble and resistant, however depending on an individuals digestive health will depend on what type of fibre is most suitable for that person. Men need to consume 30g of fibre per day and women need to consume 20g per day. Let’s look at the difference between insoluble and soluble food sources more closely

Insoluble fibre helps to keep the bowels regular and adds bulk by drawing water into the intestine to help motility. If a person suffers from constipation, insoluble fibre foods are essential with a small portion being consumed with each meal. When processed food called bolus is left in the intestine for too long it begins to ferment, growing bad bacteria resulting in a compromised digestive system. This can cause long term health complications not just for the digestive system. Research has shown an overload of bad bacteria called SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) can cause Crohn’s disease, anxiety, depression as well as Alzheimer’s.  The body can only process small quantities of nutrients at one time without causing overload and energy depletion. Think food coma! This is the reason I suggest small meals for the body to be able to absorb the fuel we ingest plus stay regular.

By consuming small regular meals incorporating the following food sources the body’s metabolism will rise, nutrient and mineral levels will be maintained, feeling fuller for longer = reduced poor food choices, choosing low GI foods, natural detoxification will take place resulting in weight loss if combined with regular exercise of 30 minutes, 4 days per week.

Insoluble fibre food sources include:

  • Whole wheat grain, bran, barley, rice
  • Celery, cucumber, grapes
  • The outer skins of fruit are of huge benefits to digestion and brain health: grapes, raisins, apples
  • Nuts and seeds: chia, flax seeds
  • Legumes, kidney beans and chick peas

By including these food sources each day a person is also obtaining natural sources of essential minerals and vitamins.

Folic Acid Vitamins B, C, E Zinc
Barley

Brown rice

Bran

Legumes

Lentils

Spinach

Grapes

Oranges

Lemons

Corn

Peas

Sunflower seeds

Wholegrains

Beans

Legumes

Nuts, almonds

Pumpkin seeds

Mushrooms

 

Breakfast: Wholegrain toast with ½ grilled tomato, poached egg, spinach leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Lunch: Chickpea salad with beetroot, green leafy vege, cucumber, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds.

Dinner: Legume soup with barley and beans.

Snacks: almonds, mixed raw nuts, seeds, apricots, grapes, 100g yoghurt, small apple.

Fluids: at least 3ltrs of water.

Soluble fibre helps to slow digestion down and reduce loose bowels, malabsorption and diarrhoea by forming a gel like substance within the intestine. By slowing down digestion people feel fuller for longer helping with weight loss, diabetes and may even assist with lowering cholesterol.  Malabsorption in reference to soluble fibre can be explained as the body’s digestive system is in ‘fast mode’ meaning a reduced time for nutrient and mineral absorption in the small intestine resulting in deficiencies, skin disorders, unbalanced hormones, weight problems and fatigue. To combat these health concerns it is critical to incorporate soluble fibre sources daily for optimal health and longevity. The daily quantity is the same as insoluble fibre to soluble fibre, men need to consume 30g of fibre per day and women need to consume 20g per day.  The body needs fibre, it is just depends on the type that is required for digestive and overall health.

By consuming small regular meals incorporating the following food sources weight management would be easier to maintain, increased muscle development would occur resulting in an increased metabolism, the feeling of fuller for longer, reduced snacking and looking for bad food choices plus digestive health improve which in turn makes the skin more radiant. Exercise is always recommended for overall personal health.

 

Soluble fibre food sources include:

  • Fruits and vegetables: avocado, grapefruit, artichoke, broccoli, berries, pears
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Oats, bran and flaxseeds
  • Soy products
  • Psyllium husk
  • Warming spices: garlic, ginger, cloves, cayenne, chilli, cinnamon

By including these food sources each day a person is also obtaining natural sources of essential minerals and vitamins and restoring personal digestive function.

Magnesium Calcium Phosphorus
Avocado

Spinach

Oatmeal

Tofu

Salmon

Skim milk

Flax seeds

Asparagus

Oats

Soybeans

Chicken

Turkey

Lean meat

Legumes

Nuts/seeds

 

 

Breakfast: Oats with skim milk, flax feeds, ½ teasp cinnamon and berries.

Lunch: Wholegrain wrap with avocado, green leafy, tomato, turkey.

Dinner: Stir fry with broccoli, asparagus, spinach, carrots, garlic, ginger and lean meat.

Snacks: grapefruit, pears, soymilk, soy yoghurt 100g, spicy roasted lentils.

Fluids: at least 3ltrs of water.

 

Want to know more? Consultations are available Monday through Friday.

Janelle Tanzer 

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