By Dr Megan Chircop
Fibre is often forgotten or overlooked. However, it is a powerhouse when it comes to optimising our health and wellbeing.
What is it?
Dietary fibre or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. It has two main components:
What are the health benefits?
1. Regulate your weight
2. Keeps you regular
3. It is a natural cleanser - fibre binds toxins and eliminates them from the body, including metabolic wastes products made by your body, as well as chemicals that your body makes in excess of need (e.g. cholesterol).
4. Reduces blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels
5. Improves glucose tolerance and the insulin response following a meal
6. Reduces risk of some cancers, particular colon cancer
7. Positively modulates colonic microflora
8. Can alleviate symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel diseases as in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
What happens if you don't have enough?
Some people develop some of these symptoms as a result of specific food intolerances (e.g. lactose intolerance, or an intolerance to certain FODMAPS), and certain diseases. So, if you have been drinking adequately and have been eating >25 grams of fibre a day for at least a couple of weeks and your gut still isn’t happy, I would recommend you see your GP.
Low fibre diets have been linked with colon and rectal cancers, as well as vascular disease.
There is also evidence emerging that low fibre diets generate disturbances in the diversity of the microbiome, which can contribute to weight gain or an inability to lose weight (among other things).
How much fibre do you need?
Most Australians do not consume enough fibre.
The Heart Foundation recommends that adults (.18 years) should aim to consume at least 25g (females) to 30 g (males).
Children aged between 4 and 8 should consume 18 g of fibre each day. Girls aged 9 to 13, and 14 to 18 years, need 20 g and 22 g per day respectively. Boys aged 9 to 13, and 14 to 18 years, need 24 g and 28 g per day respectively.
I still have gut symptoms...Do I need more fibre?
Assuming that you don’t have a bowel disease, then you might require more than the recommended amount of fibre. This may be the case if are consuming high amounts of protein or fat
Ways to increase fibre intake
A sudden switch from a low-fibre diet to a high-fibre diet can create some abdominal pain and increased flatulence (wind). Also, very high-fibre diets (more than 40 g daily) are linked with decreased absorption of some important minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium. This occurs when fibre binds these minerals and forms insoluble salts, which are then excreted. This could increase the risk of developing deficiencies of these minerals in susceptible people.
Introduce fibre into your diet gradually to avoid any negative outcomes
ensure to increase your water intake along with an increase in fibre
What does a healthy plate of food look like with sufficient fibre?
The Body Sculptors Australia team prides itself on developing nutritious recipes that are absolutely delicious. You will wonder why you have not eaten like this your whole life when food tastes this good.
Our mission is to help as many people as possible achieve their ideal healthy, lean and active body to have confidence and happiness in their everyday lives.
Do you know...
How much you need to eat to achieve your body goal?
How to turn healthy food in to delicious meals?
then let us teach you how....its easy...
we do all the thinking and calculations for you (to take the stress out of every day),
all you need to do is follow the plan!
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Diet sabotage – drinking your calories
Carbs are not the enemy - its all about portion-control. Try our top 5 potato recipes.
Understanding portion sizes
Five deliciously nourishing salad dressing recipes to get you through summer
Why is it so hard to lose the last 5-7 kg?
Diet Misconceptions - Should I Go Keto?
Transform your life, health and body today
Feel fantastic again in your own skin by learning what foods your body needs to nourish itself
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At Body Sculptors Australia, we believe in NOURISHING YOURSELF from the inside out! Because YOU are worth it. And good health, happiness and confidence comes from within.
Understanding your own nutritional requirements can often be confusing, especially as we age and our hormones change. I am in my 40s, a single mum to a 6yr old daughter, whom has boundless energy and I want to keep up. So I understand how difficult it can be and how time-poor we all are and therefore put ourselves last, especially as parents.
With my experience, I can help you understand your body and what nourishment it needs to feel happy, lighter, & confident in your own skin.
I am also a keen sportswoman, and have extensive knowledge of sports nutrition. So, if you are looking to up your performance to achieve your best, reach out.
Dr Megan Chircop
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