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26th October 2017 10:10 AM

Author: Samantha Farmer

Are you eating enough of this food to help prevent health problems?

Most of us do not include enough fibre in our diets, and with the current fashion of giving up grains and lowering carbohydrate intake, some people are simply not getting enough.

So why is fibre so important?
Fibre has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, PMS, cancer, diverticulosis, IBS, obesity and more.

Most people know that a fibre rich diet keeps their bowels regular, but may not know why that is important.

Fibre has the ability to bind to toxins, cholesterol and waste material for excretion.  The liver works hard to detox both internal and external toxins, which are excreted mostly via the bowel.  If we have a sluggish bowel, then those toxins may be reabsorbed into the blood stream to be recirculated around the body, and disrupt cell function.  The outcome over time can be a serious imbalance and disease.

Soluble fibre provides a useful food source for gut bacteria, which they ferment providing nourishment to the cells of the gut lining.  We feed them and they feed us - who'd have thought?

Dietary fibre is the part of plant food that we cannot digest, so it passes straight through.  There are two types; soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a soft, gel like mass.  It is this type that has been shown useful in controlling cholesterol and glucose levels. It can slow digestion, so you feel fuller for longer.  Good sources include oats, beans, nuts, apples, berries, cucumber and root vegetables.

Insoluble fibre helps move the gut contents along, and can be useful for those with constipation.  Soluble fibre includes whole wheat flour, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and beans.

Many food types contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Nature, once again has provided us with the ideal balance. 

If you are constipated and the bowel contents are impacted, then eating insoluble fibre alone may add to the traffic jam, where soluble fibre can help soften the blockage and help get this moving.

My two favourite recommendations for anyone with constipation are ground flaxseeds, and chia seeds with plenty of water.  

Try including some of the following good fibre choices in your diet;
Breakfast - bowl of oats, with crushed nuts and berries.
Lunch - mixed salad of leafy greens, a little kale, grated carrot, avocado and tuna.
Dinner - a tasty stew including beans, lentils or chickpeas with a range of veg.
Snack on fruit, mixed seeds, nuts, vegetable sticks and hummus.
Add chia seeds or ground flax seeds to your juices and smoothies. And don't forget to drink plenty of water to keep things moving along.

A high fibre diet does not have to exist of all bran and similar, which for most people can be too aggressive on the gut lining, but gorgeous, tasty, fresh foods.

Fibre - another fab food!

Samantha is a registered nutritional therapist (CNHC & BANT) with a keen interest in womens health, digestive issues and stress management. Her approach is in line with Functional Medicine, which focuses on the client, looking to re-balance all components that lead to optimum health. These components include diet, lifestyle, exercise, genetics and medical history. For more information, please visit Samantha's website

Tags: bridge centre for natural health, complementary therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, samantha farmer

Treatments: Nutritional Therapy

Practitioners: Samantha Farmer

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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