It's time to FIBRE up
What is fibre?
Fibre is the component of plant foods that remains undigested as it passes through your body. You might be wondering then why we need it, since it’s not digested. Dietary fibre helps keep our digestive system healthy and is very important for our overall health and wellbeing. It is found in fruit and vegetables, grains, nuts, beans and legumes. There are three different types, each with their own roles and health benefits. To obtain these benefits, we should include all three types of fibre in our diet:
1. Insoluble Fibre
· Adds bulk to your stools, helping to prevent constipation. Foods high in insoluble fibre include fruit, vegetables, nuts and wheat bran.
2. Soluble Fibre
· Lowers your LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels and helps stabilise your blood sugar levels. Soluble fibre can be found in oats, psyllium and dried beans. This type of fibre slows down digestion, which helps make you feel full.
3. Resistant Starch
· Assists in the production of good bacteria in the large intestine and improves bowel health. Potatoes, lentils, whole grains and unripe bananas all contain resistant starch.
Easy ways to eat more FIBRE
· Toss a can of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas or 4-bean mix into soups, stews and curries to replace half the meat. This adds more than 10g of fibre. Legumes are packed with nutrients, and are inexpensive compared to beef, fish and chicken. Just remember to always rinse the legumes before consuming.
· Add some chopped nuts, chia seeds, LSA mix or pepitas over your bowl of porridge, salad or yoghurt. 1 tablespoon will increase your daily fibre intake by up to 4 grams.
· Swap white bread, rice and pasta for whole meal or whole grain varieties, and you will at least double your fibre intake. Microwavable pouches of brown rice are a quick and easy option.
Checking the label for FIBRE
· To compare the fibre contents of similar products check the ‘per 100g’ column and choose the brand with the highest amount.