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The whys and hows of fibre

The typical ‘Western Diet’ of high carbohydrate, high fat, highly processed foods, basically all the foods in the middle aisles of the supermarket, are low in dietary fibre.

Dietary fibre refers to the cell walls found in plants that are not digestible by humans and are passed through the gastro intestinal tract.

A low fibre is linked to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, diverticulitis, constipation, colon cancer, kidney stones, gall stones and auto immune diseases just to name a few.

Functions of fibre:
• Binds with water as it passes through the colon and increases the size and softness of stools. This helps with both constipation and diarrhoea.
• Used to make short chain fatty acids (SCFA) which play important roles in gut function.
• Increases feelings of fullness by slowing the rate of food absorption.
• Lowers cholesterol
• Maintains suitable bacterial flora, which is synonymous with good health.
We should eat around 10-13 grams of fibre for every 1000 calories consumed. For a typical adult diet of 2000 calories we should aim to eat 20-26grams of dietary fibre.
How to increase dietary fibre:
• Eat whole grains instead of white processed grains and food.
• Include 2 dessert spoons of oat bran to your breakfast
• Add LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds, almonds) or LSC (chia instead of almonds) to smoothies, cereals, baking or as a sprinkle on salads.
• Eat at least nine servings (2 cups) of fibre-filled fruit and vegetables each day, including apples, oranges, broccoli, berries, pears, peas, figs, carrots, and beans.

The Herbal Dispensary and Organic Food Store 07 825 7444.

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