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Fibre? What’s that all about?

Fibre is probably the least talked about nutrient in food as proteins, carbs and fats hog the limelight. But fibre is crucial in maintaining a healthy digestive system and healthy body.

Fibre is the stuff from plant foods that the body can’t digest and so it passes through our gut without being absorbed. If you want more detail then look up the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre, but for the purposes of this, we’ll be assuming that like lots of people you aren’t eating enough of either!

As fibre passes through it pushes food through your stomach and intestines, but on the way it scoops up waste, toxins that might be login around, cholesterol particles and excess hormones. It’s something of a brush that goes through cleaning out whatever your body doesn’t want hanging around in there.

If the reasons above aren’t enough to convince you to eat enough fibre, then how about these:

Fibre can help regulate blood sugar levels

Fibre can help you manage a healthy bodyweight

Fibre can lower blood cholesterol levels

Fibre aids in digestion and detoxification

So now that we’ve got you convinced that eating fibre is a good thing, the only questions left to answer are:

How much and where does it come from…

In terms of how much, different people tolerate different levels and any changes should be approached gradually as suddenly bumping your fibre levels up way past where they usually are can lead to some unwanted side effects.

A nice simple guide is that anywhere from 25-40g per day sits well with most people. Obviously if you eat more food then you should probably be looking at the higher side of that range. It is not the case of more is better as when people get way more than they need or way more than they are used to, they tend to report a lot of bloating and toilet based dramas.

So where are you going to get this fibre from? How about adding some of the following to your daily food intake and see how it makes you feel, look and perform:

Avocados

Bananas

Berries

Beans

Seeds

Chickpeas

Oats

Lentils

Sweet potatoes

Whole grain versions of bread products

If you do start to add some fibre to your diet, please let us know how it goes!

If you’re interested in learning more about the nutrition coaching work that we do at Second City Fitness then check this out

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