The recommended amount of daily fibre is 26-35g, a number which not nearly enough of us are reaching.
There are two main types of fibre: Soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is more water retentive and therefore more viscous which makes it gentler on the digestive system. A good example is oats.
Insoluble fibre on the other hand is fibrous material which is indigestible by us. Think of the fibrous part of broccoli, that stringy part of the celery (the only time I would peel these are when serving as a crudité at a fancy schmancy dinner party, however I do find it quite funny when someone has a stringy piece dangling from the corners of their mouths not knowing exactly what to do next) – (slight diversion) or beans and pulses. These act like a brush in your gut and sweeps the intestines clean.
In the 1930’s and 40’s white bread became fashionable, some even thought it was healthier than good old whole wheat. However, in the 1970’s fibre made a comeback when Dr. Birkett studied black Africans and discovered that compared to Western Europe they had virtually no bowel disease. After this study was published more people started eating fibre.
Three ways to ensure you are getting enough fibre:
• Add ground or soaked flax seeds to your porridge or yoghurt in the morning
• Snack on raw veggies such as peppers, sugar snaps and broccoli
• Have one portion of beans or pulses everyday.
Remember to increase your water intake when you eat more fibre. Fibre without enough water will be like ‘cement’ and contribute to the stool being very hard to pass.
Good bowel health may need more than only fibre, it also needs lots of friendly bacteria. Join me next week to find out more.
If you have uncomfortable or painful and unresolved issues with your tummy why not book a private consultation and nip the problem in the butt once and for all.