In the words of Travis Lane Stork, “I think the most important thing when you’re planning a meal is… balance”. This statement holds a universal truth – we all need to consume a balanced diet in a sustainable manner – for today and the days to come.
An essential portion of an everyday diet is a fibre – a type of carbohydrate – the good kind because it cannot be broken down into sugar molecules and passes through the body undigested. It helps regulate the body’s use of sugar, helping to keep the hunger and sugar levels in check. – Ref: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
Two kinds of fibre exist for daily consumption – soluble fibre (oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples & blueberries) and insoluble (wheat, bread, whole grains, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers & tomatoes). We need a balance of either kind in our diets – some in our breakfast, and others in our lunch & dinner.
According to Stork, he recommends that people read nutrition labels so they know, for instance, how much fibre they are getting. Children and adults need typically 20 to 30 grams of fibre in a day. For example, an energy bar gives you almost 8 grams of dietary fibre in one shot, an apple gives you 4.5 grams, 1 cup of boiled lentils gives you 15.5 grams and 1 ounce of chia seeds provides up to 10 grams. Ref - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948
Your best fibre choices include – whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds. Therefore, we recommend adding more proportions of breakfast cereal, energy bars, seed mixes and nut butter to your diet. These can be proportionately added to meals of the day; for example, cereal can be added to your breakfast, or as a mid-meal snack, energy bars can be considered a to-go breakfast and seed mixes for the evening hunger pangs!
How to sneak in fibre into your foods. Here are some fun ways:
- An energy bar a day can give you almost 10 grams of fibre – Gouri’s Goodies gives you a wonderful choice of flavours – conveniently packaged for a busy day.
- Fix up some nut butter to go on a whole-wheat sandwich for a quick lunch – choose from almond butter, peanut butter, nut & seed butter, walnut butter. Make these at home with ingredients of your choice – for a delectable fibre fill!
- Skip the chips – carry a seed mix or a nut mix – OR carry some Gouri’s Goodies Energy Balls for a quick snack before popping into that important meeting or while you rest between afternoon & evening. Choose the Black Pepper Happy Laddoo for a spicy punch with sweetness. Each laddoo is able to give you almost 7 grams of essential dietary fibre without compromising on taste!
- Bake some oatmeal bread – so many recipes floating around, find what works best for you! Just 1 cup of uncooked oats (which would go into your bread batter) contains almost 9 grams of fibre – as an insoluble variant – this one kills your hunger pangs while still not raising your blood sugar levels. Pssst! Gouri’s Goodies Mighty Oats Cereal Mix is the perfect replacement for plain oats in your recipe. We’ve got a mixture of oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins and some almonds – a fibrous boost to your diet!
- As a regular smoothie maker, choose more green spinach instead of the berries or powders. Add a carrot or two, gain your fibre content for the day and improve your bowel conditions at the same time!
- If you are a rice eater for dinner, replace regular rice with brown rice – a more fibrous and tastier alternative. If you are adventurous, go a step further and chop up some cauliflower finely and use it in place of rice. Mix it up with some finely chopped broccoli for a colourful mix. FYI, 1 cup of broccoli offers 2.4 grams of fibre and cauliflower offers 1 gram per cooked cup. Put these together with some cooked beans of your choice and you have a tasty and nutritious meal for yourself!
What else does fibre do? There is so much that consuming fibre can do you for your health and nutrition. Below are just a few of the benefits associated with dietary fibre:
- Lowers cholesterol – reduces the risk of heart disease
- Regulates blood sugar levels – slows down the digestion process and prevents the rapid rise of sugar levels
- Weight control – keeps you fuller longer and prevents overeating
- Relieves constipation – fibre helps in regulating bowel movements and helps to produce stool which helps in relieving constipation
Pro-tip: Increasing fibre immediately in your diet and too quickly can increase intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramps. It is advisable to increase the fibre content in your food gradually and at a controlled pace to reap the benefits without harming your health. Drinking plenty of water while consuming fibre works best to reduce constipation.
As we always say, too much of anything is rarely a good thing, especially in the case of fibre; loose stomachs in the summer are never a good experience. According to Robert Ulrich, “a healthy outside starts from the inside”. I couldn’t agree more!
PS – Here’s a quick link to some fantastic nut butter - https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/ak-round-up-10-homemade-nut-butter-recipes/