Monday, 29 February 2016

Not Sexy and not a 'Superfood'?!

Fibre - The Ultimate Functional Food.



Can you have too much of a good thing? When it comes to fibre, probably not, just be sure to take your mineral supplements and some medications 2hrs away from certain fibres.

Anti-Cancer Action

Recent research out of Harvard Medical School suggests that high fibre intake during adolescence may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Fibre's oestrogen modifying effect is what's thought to exert its anti-cancer effect. After all, oestrogen instructs  cells to grow and this is an example of where you can have too much of a good thing.

Essentially, fibre is a carbohydrate we can't digest. Passing through the body undigested, fibre regulates blood sugars, cholesterol, sex hormone production and gut microbes. We need a minimum of 20-30 g per day though the average Aussie consumes around 15g a day. Traditional diets contain a heap more fibre, roughly 100g per day, excuse the pun!

What are the different types of fibre?

  • Soluble fibre- dissolves in water, regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Oats, nuts, beans, lentils, psyllium, flaxseed, apples with skin & blueberries are good sources.

  • Insoluble fibre- as its name suggests, doesn’t dissolve in water and helps to promote ‘movement’ through the bowel; preventing constipation and maintaining regularity. Good sources are whole wheat, brown rice, flaxseed, rice bran, legumes, carrots, cucumbers & psyllium.

It is ideal to consume a mix of insoluble and soluble fibres. My favourite fibres are psyllium husks and/or seeds and flaxseeds. These fibres improve the pH in the colon, make our gut flora happy, bind with toxins, cholesterol, excess oestrogens and other sex hormones; they help to prevent diverticular disease, are protective against bowel cancer and encourage regular bowel movements. 

A tablespoon daily provides approximately 10g of fibre, potentially doubling the average intake of fibre in one fell swoop. Remember to always follow your fibre with an extra glass of water.

Fibre isn’t particularly sexy, nor is it marketed as a ‘superfood’ though it is possibly one of the most important steps you can take towards improving your health.

Fibre Fix

  • Linseed meal
  • Almond meal
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Rice bran

Combine seeds and bran (after being ground) together in equal quantity by weight.
Keep refrigerated. 

Serving suggestions: Take 1-3 tbsp daily with porridge /grated apple / stewed plums and plain yogurt.
Check out a simialr recipe here...