Keep Your Digestive System Healthy: 8 Great Sources Of FibreAugust 29 2017
Dietary fibre is needed to keep our digestive system healthy. It also contributes to other processes, such as stabilising glucose and cholesterol levels. In countries with traditionally high-fibre diets, diseases such as bowel cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease are less common than in Western countries.
Most Australians do not consume enough fibre. On average, most Australians consume 20–25 g of fibre daily. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults should aim to consume approximately 25–30 g daily. Meanwhile, children aged between four and eight 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.
Since a sudden switch from a low-fibre diet to a high-fibre diet can create some abdominal pain and increased flatulence (wind), and very high-fibre diets (more than 40 g daily) are linked with decreased absorption of some important minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium, it is better to add fibre to the diet from food sources rather than from fibre supplements.
Here are the 8 best and natural sources of fibre:
Lentils and Legumes
Chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans are loaded with dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. They’re also low in kilojoules relative to other food and fill us up more easily, which can help with portion control and weight management. If opting for canned and dried varieties, look out for salt.
Affordable and versatile, it’s delicious even if steamed, roasted, mashed or boiled. Stir sweet potato mash through pasta sauces, risottos and stews for those picky little kids.
Adults require 2 serves of fruits daily. Fruit juice is nothing compared to the real deal, so choose to eat an apple or opt for an unpeeled pear for that fibre oomph!
A fantastic substitute for white rice, pack it in your lunch box and serve with avocado and tomato slices on top.
Wholemeal pasta has improved a lot. Good quality whole-wheat varieties are widely available, with many top pasta brands offering rustic recipes
Whole Grain Bread
There are lots of whole grain combinations right now, but if you prefer your loaves lighter, a generic wholemeal offers more fibre than a white bread.
Whole Grain cereals
Check boxes for the whole grain profile of your favourite breakfast brands.
Wheat Biscuits/Digestive Biscuits
The digestive biscuit is a source of whole grains and fibre, but you may be better off eating it as a treat rather than as a regular part of your diet. A biscuit is still a biscuit.
For more practical and professional advice on healthy eating, call to schedule an appointment with one of our health and nutrition professionals at 03 5229 5192 (Myers Street Family Medical Practice), 03 5241 6129 (The Cottage Medical Centre), 03 5264 8838 (Torquay Medical Health & Wellness Clinic). For Corporate Care Program, visit Workplace Health & Safety Victoria.