The consumption of fibre is essential for proper functioning of the gut. Evidence also links it to a risk reduction for a number of chronic diseases including heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. Always remember though that when you eat high fibre containing foods you need to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day or you won’t feel the positive effects.
There are two types of fibre, soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. In Australia men are recommended to include 38g of fibre (either type) each day while women are suggested to include 28g.
Insoluble fibre is found in the skins of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds. It is the hard, scratchy outer skins and surfaces that aren’t easily digested. This kind of fiber adds bulk to helping you to feel full and helps to keep your digestive system in sync.
Soluble fibre is in some vegetables, fruit, oats and legumes. This kind of fibre dissolves in water to form a thick gel like substance that helps to slow down the digestion of food. This helps you to feel fuller for longer and can help to maintain your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes, due to a slowed rate of absorption.
The best dietary sources of soluble fibre include:
- Legumes: 1 cup of black beans has 4.8g of soluble fibre and 1 cup of kidney beans has 4g.
- Oats: A bowl of oats made from 3/4 cup of dry oats contains 3g of soluble fibre.
- Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts have 2g per 1/2 cup of soluble fibre. Sweet potatoes also are high with 1.8g, as is asparagus with 1.7g.
- Oranges: Oranges are the top pick for fruits with soluble fibre, with 1.8g in one small orange, (to compare 4 x apricots provides 1.8g).
- Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds have an impressive 1.1g per tablespoon. An easy way to incorporate these is to sprinkle them on oats or toss through salad for a delicious crunch.
Remember if you’re increasing your intake of fibre, be mindful of your fluid intake and make sure you have lots of hydration during the day. Cocobella coconut water makes for an excellent way to hydrate as it is high in electrolytes (such as potassium, magnesium, sodium), fat-free (including those saturated fats talked about earlier) and with no added sugars. There are some naturally containing sugars in coconut water, which give it that slightly sweet taste, making it delicious! Plus the small amount of carbs and a good source of electrolytes are a great quick way to replenish your glycogen and electrolytes after a big sweaty workout.
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