Understanding Fibre, Your Diet's Dependable Worker March 05, 2016 13:03

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Do you wish to lower your cholesterol levels, enjoy a myriad of health benefits, yet don't wish to start a diet that makes you feel hungry and grumpy?

Dieting can be tough when you start to restrict calorie intake; it's what makes you starve!

And the often the consequence is a higher tendency to binge eat, starting the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuation. 

Enter fibre, your secret weapon to staying full longer when you're on a diet. 

When you add fibre-rich foods, such as salads, grains or fruits, you increase your chances of winning the cut-back-calorie battle.


Why does fibre make you feel full longer?

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is not broken down by the body.

As such, it offers more filling benefits by remaining in your stomach for a longer period of time.

It also absorbs liquid in your stomach and expands, so when you're having a fibre-rich meal such as a salad, drink a glass of water and stay full for longer.

Fibre also helps regulate the way your body absorbs sugar, making it go through your system gradually.


Health benefits of fibre

So we know having more fibre definitely helps in food digestion and bowel movement, but did you know it's got lots of other benefits too?

  • Reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Reduce the risks of intestinal inflammation as well as diabetes.
  • Helps maintain a healthy balance of blood sugar.

    There are 2 main types of fibre:

    Soluble – known to lower the risk of heart disease, this type attracts water and slows digestion. It is found in grains such as seeds, nuts, beans, peas, lentils and oat bran.

    Insoluble – not dissolved in water, and benefits your intestinal health. Find insoluble fibre in vegetables like cabbage, onions, bell peppers and lettuce.


    Where do you find fibre?

    Whole grains and vegetables  are great sources of fibre.

    Great examples are - cereals, pastas, brown rice, dried beans and oatmeal to name a few.

    Virtually all green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of fibre - e.g. Spinach or Swiss chard. These vegetables have a double bonus by being packed with vitamins. 

    These veggie numbers are impressive:

    • Spinach - packs a whopping 7 grams for every half a cup
    • Artichoke - a rich source with 10 grams for one medium size.
    • Swiss Chard - 100 grams of Swiss chard contains 4 grams.

    Other veggies rich in fibre include broccoli, beets, red cabbage and other leafy vegetables.

    It can also be found in supplements, such as fibre tablets or drinks, but it is best sourced from your food.


    How to get fibre into your diet

    Did you know that your body requires 20 to 35 grams of fibre every day?

    That's about between 4 -5 cups of fruit and vegetables.

    Getting more fibre and incorporating it regularly into your diet is pretty easy.

    If you enjoy eating vegetables on a daily basis, you're almost certain to be getting your share.

    However, if you're not exactly the green veggie type, then try these other ways.

    • During breakfast - try a whole grain cereal and top it with fresh fruit.
    • When snacking - have a snack on an apple or better yet, a corn cup.
    • For lunch - try brown rice because it has more fibre than the white variety.
    • Try eating more salads, because you vegetables give more fibre when eaten raw s when they are cooked.


      Now that you know that it's good for you, the next time when you're out having your meal, try to remember the above fibre tips and give your body the healthy boost it needs.

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