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Fibre Facts Worth Knowing

Posted May 02 2008 11:01am
If you’ve been looking for a way towards a high octane diet, you may find fibre to be exactly what you need. Even though research has shown fibre to be powerful, many people aren’t taking this nutrient seriously at all.

To help you fuel your health with fibre, here are some facts that may help you.

  1. Fibre fights diseases. A diet high in fibre can help to prevent colon cancer and heart disease. High fibre helps the body to eliminate cholesterol by binding it in the digestive tract. For thousands of years, fibre has been used to stop constipation.
  2. Fibre can actually help with over eating. All high fibre foods will take longer to chew and digest, making you feel satisfied longer.
  3. Most popular foods don’t have enough fibre. If you like the more popular foods, you probably need to increase your intake of fibre.
  4. Grains offer the most fibre. Dietary fibre is actually plant matter that we cannot digest. The best sources are whole grains and concentrated grain
  5. Kids need fibre as well. Children that are older than 2 years of age should consume a daily intake of fibre. Kids are most receptive to fibre found in
    fruits, vegetables, and even fortified breakfast cereals.
  6. More fibre needs more water. In order to keep fibre moving through your digestive tract, you’ll need to consume a lot of water. With your diet of
    fibre, you’ll need eight or more glasses of water every day.
  7. Fibre cannot be cooked out. When you cook your fruits and vegetables, don’t worry about cooking the fibre out, as it stays. The fibre found in
    fruits and vegetables aren’t just in the skin or in the peel.
  8. You can get enough fibre. If you eat more than 50 grams of fibre in a day, you can get diarrhoea and bloating, which can interfere with your body’s
    absorption of other key minerals.
  9. Getting the right amount of fibre in your diet doesn’t have to be hard. Even though you may think so, getting the amount of fibre you need isn’t very
    hard to do. All you have to do is eat the right foods and you’ll be well on your way to a fibre rich lifestyle.
  10. Nuts also contain fibre, and a high fibre diet is thought to help prevent heart disease as well as diabetes. Yeast has a nutty, cheesy, and creamy flavour that makes it an excellent cheese substitute and is often used by vegetarians as a substitute for parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast comes in the form of flakes or powder, and can be sprinkled on to almost anything, from popcorn, bread, and vegetables, to pizzas, pastas, and casseroles.
  11. Bran and whole grains are other good sources of fibre. Although bran can cause rumbling and intestinal gas and even some mild cramping, so it should be eaten in small amounts at first. The amount can be increased as the body gets used to it.
  12. Beans - in particular garbanzo beans added to salad will increase its fibre value. Though beans do create gas for some people, there are products available that will generally take care of this problem i.e. Trio Flora or similar.

Insoluble fibres include whole wheat, wheat and corn bran, flax seed and vegetables such as celery, green beans and potato skins.

The purpose of insoluble fibre is to assist in slowing down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. This can help people who suffer with diabetes by regulating the sugar levels and preventing spikes of sugar overload. Insoluble forms of fibre (also known as roughage) work like a broom to sweep the intestine clean of debris. Research has shown that high fibre diets decrease the risk of colon diseases, including Crohn's, Colitis and even cancer.

Soluble fibre is found in various amounts in legumes (peas, soybeans, and other beans) oats, rye, chia, and barley, some fruits and fruit juices (particularly prune, plum and berry juice). Certain vegetables such as broccoli and carrots as well as root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions (skins of these vegetables are sources of insoluble fiber) and lastly - psyllium seed husk, which is a mucilage soluble fibre.

Soluble fibres may also be beneficial for alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal discomfort, such as diarrhoea and/or constipation.

As one of the key ingredients to healthy eating, fibre is something you don’t want to skip. If you aren’t getting enough fibre in your diet - you should do something about it now rather than later.

You can find guidelines for fibre intake at: The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and The British Nutrition Foundation

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