Fibre is an incredibly important part of a healthy eating plan. Not only for keeping you ‘regular’ and for general bowel health but it has also been found to be incredibly important in weight loss and weight management.
What is fibre?
Fibre is effectively carbohydrates which are indigestible. It is the plant material which our bodies cannot digest which is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain breads and cereals.
Why is it good for bowel health?
When the plant material is eaten and adequate water is also consumed, the plant material absorbs the water, swelling and therefore making the stool large and soft. Hope you are not reading this over lunch, not only for queasy reasons, but for unconscious eating reasons too!
The increased consumption of fibre has been linked to the reduction in cancers such as colon cancer. But this is not just the actual fibre working, but a combination of the nutrients in the fibre rich foods, vitamin and minerals, and the phytochemicals such as antioxidants.
How does it assist in weight loss and weight maintenance?
Fibre rich foods, due to their bulky nature, fill us up without yielding much energy. Less energy in weight loss is the key. These fibrous foods also absorb more water in the digestive tract which adds to the feeling of satiety.
Fibre also slows glucose absorption which assists in blood glucose control. This is not only important for weight maintenance and the dropping of our sugars, but especially in type 1 diabetics. Most fibre foods are low in GI (glycaemic index) but not all low GI foods are high in fibre. Therefore it is actually often better to eat a high fibre diet to kill two birds with one stone.
Therefore we fill fuller for longer without consuming more energy/calories/kilojoules! We also do not get the ‘lows’ off a high sugar hit, and do not scramble for our next hit of food due to the low blood sugar levels. Win win I say.
Our Healthy Mummy Smoothie range is high in fibre and also low in GI. Go Healthy Mummy!
How much fibre do we need each day?
- Women aged 19-60 years need 25g per day
- Pregnant women 28g per day
- Lactating women 30g per day
The increased requirement during pregnancy and lactation is due to the slowing down of the digestive tract. This happens as our bodies become more effective in absorbing nutrients, such as calcium. But what that also means is that our bodies absorb more water from our foods, making our poops harder. I had shocking constipation with both bubs and so was almost like a vegetable compost machine chowing on carrots trying to up my fibre.
How to get more fibre in your diet
Foods which are high in fibre are:
- Wholegrain cereals
The Healthy Mummy Smoothie range also has a good amount of fibre per serve, 6grams!!!
You also need to add your fruits and other yummies to it which can also increase your fibre content further. Have a look at some common ingredients for smoothies below.
- 1 medium banana gives you 2.4g of fibre
- 1 cup of frozen raspberries gives you 6g of fibre
- 1 medium pear (no skin) gives you 3g of fibre
- 1 tbs of rolled oats gives you around 9g fibre
- 1 tbs of dried coconut gives you15g of fibre
So if you had a banana coconut Healthy Mummy Smoothie you would get over 23grams of fibre.
Have a raspberry and Healthy Mummy Smoothie with 1 tbs of rolled oats and you are up at 21grams of fibre. Well and truly close to your daily requirement of fibre and you have just had breakfast!