This might sound a bit brutal but as wonderful as it is to eat, what goes in needs to come out reasonably quickly – the backside way! Eating fibre-rich food is good for making that happen.
There are two types of fibre – soluble and insoluble fibre. Both of them are incredibly important for your health.
Soluble fibre dissolves in the gut and forms a jellylike substance. This type of fibre slows down the release of sugar into the blood and thus makes you feel full for longer.
Insoluble fibre does what it says on the tin – it doesn’t dissolve. What it does do is absorb water in the digestive tract, making the food contents bulkier and easier to pass through the body. Insoluble fibre is somewhat like the chimney-sweeper of your intestines.
Eating food rich in insoluble fibre reduces the time food waste spends inside the body and reduces the risk of infection, or cell changes due to carcinogens that are produced when some foods, particularly meat, degrade.
“A frequent meat-eater with a low-fibre diet can increase the gut transit time of food from twenty-four to seventy-two hours, giving time for some putrefaction to occur.” (Patrick Holford – “The Optimum Nutrition Bible”)
Whole cereal grains contain both types of fibre. The ground up fibres you find in wholemeal flour is quite inefficient on the other hand – bread made with this type of flour is not a good source of fibre.
Oats, beans and lentils are all rich in fibres and very good at slowing down the release of sugar into the blood.
Starting your day with porridge is really good for you. I spruce up my porridge with lots of tasty and healthy extras (see Porridge Recipe). Or try my Bircher Muesli – which is very handy to take with you to work if you don’t have time or feel like eating before you leave in the morning.
There are so many tasty ways to add beans and lentils to your diet – take a look at my Vegetarian Recipes, Soup Recipes and Salad Recipes.
Vegetables and fruits are also rich in fibres – especially if you eat them raw. Much of the fibres in vegetables are destroyed by cooking.
Fruit and vegetable juices are devoid of fibres and this is the reason the sugar in them are fast-releasing and causes your blood sugar to shoot up.
It is a great idea to eat a salad with your cooked food on most days. And for more fibre-rich ideas - have vegetable sticks with some hummus as a snack and/or a couple of fruits per day, such as an apple, pear or plum.
Go on - fibre up your tummy!