I find it so weird how everyone is soooo obsessed with protein and getting more of it when literally 97% of people get more then enough protein in their diets everyday. Especially with vegans and vegetarians people are ALWAYS saying “how do you get your protein if you don’t eat meat.” I mean.. why? We do not have a protein deficiency problem in the slightest, and too much of it can actually be harmful for our kidneys. The funny thing is, those 97% of people freaking out about protein deficiency are deficient in something and its not protein…. its fibre.
I think its time we switch our focus from getting enough protein to implementing more fibre in our diets because it is essential to overall health and wellbeing! Less then 3% of people get enough fibre in their diets. The recommended intake for fibre for Canadians is 25-38 grams/day, we are eating half of that. This is a real problem.
A lot of people really don’t even know what fibre is and what it does when we consume it. Well I am here to break it down for you:
Dietary fibre include parts of a plant food that cannot be either digested or absorbed by the body and is classified as a carbohydrate. Yes… it is only in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, etc. You will not find fibre in animal-based products like meat or dairy. So if your chowing down on some steak or chicken breast and think your getting a good source of fibre… think again.
Fibre is a special kind of carbohydrate because unlike sugar (that goes into our bloodstreams) fibre passes relatively intact through our digestive tracts, our small intestines and into our colon keeping us regular and promoting healthy digestion. There are two types of dietary fibre: Insoluble and Soluble Fibre
Soluble Fibre: Dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. This type of fibre will help lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. You can find soluble fibre in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits like oranges, carrots and barley.
Insoluble Fibre: Will not dissolve in water but promotes the movement of material through the digestive tract, increases stool bulk (preventing diarrhea), helping people who have irregular bowel movements or constipation. You can find insoluble fibre in foods like wheat bran, whole wheat flour, potatoes, cauliflowers and green beans.
The amount of soluble and insoluble fibre differs in each of these foods, so to get the most benefit, eat a wide variety of plant foods DAILY.
Why is fibre so important in our diets and what benefits do we get from it you ask?
- Normalizes bowel movements. If you don’t have regular bowel movements and there not consistent, theres a good chance your not eating enough fibre. Dietary fibre increases the size and bulk of your stools and also softens it preventing constipation since bulky stools are easier to pass. If you have diarrhea, fibre absorbs water solidifying it and increasing the size.
- Maintains bowel health. Alongside preventing diarrhea and constipation, high fibre diets will lower your chance of getting hemorrhoids, and diverticular disease (small pouches along your colon)
- Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre in beans, oats and flaxseed, help lower total cholesterol levels by lowering Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL Cholesterol or “bad cholesterol”). Studies have shown that fibre has other heart healthy benefits like lowering inflammation and reducing blood pressure.
- Controls blood sugar levels. Fibre slows down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream lowering blood glucose levels, therefore aids in the prevention of type II diabetes.
- Promotes healthy body weight. High fibre foods pass through the digestive tract slowly helping you feel fuller longer and avoids a spike in your blood sugar. So you stay satisfied longer without feeling the need to snack half hour later.
As you can see, eating enough fibre everyday is so important to your health and living a long life. Try eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes everyday to get your recommended daily dose of fibre and poop regularly! Having irregular, inconsistent bowel movements is a good indicator something is off and your body is telling you “Gimme all the fibre please.” Don’t ignore those signs.
Simple steps like adding chia or flax seeds to your smoothies or oatmeal, eating oats for breakfast, adding inulin powder to your coffee and adding a simple veggie dish to every meal will add lots of fibre to keep your digestive tract on track.
Try out inulin powder here –> https://amzn.to/2UWSnvZ
Chia seeds (amazing to add to oats or smoothies –> https://amzn.to/2rLF8kA,
Flax seeds –> https://amzn.to/2QGBJ5l
Alright I’m going to eat my fibre filled overnight oats now.
Talk soon! Enjoy your Wednesday loves.