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Dietary fibre and prebiotics - why do we need them?

Dietary fibre and prebiotics - why do we need them? | Mr Vitamins
Overall Australians do not eat enough fibre. Fibre is the indigestible part of plants that passes through the stomach and intestines and helps to keep the digestive system healthy. It can be soluble (beans, lentils, berries, chia seeds, flax, oats) or insoluble (fruit, vegetables, wheat, wheat bran and brown rice). It’s the insoluble type that helps move things through your gut without unpleasant side effects.

Why do you need fibre?

As well as keeping your digestive system healthy, fibre also helps to stabilise cholesterol and glucose levels. It can play a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure, promote weight loss, improve immune system and of course is important for promoting good toilet habits.

What foods contain most fibre?

Increasing dietary fibre is easy when eating a good wholefood diet. Here are a few suggestions:
  • If eating breakfast cereal, choose a variety high in fibre and low in sugar
  • Choose wholemeal or multigrain bread
  • Include fruit and vegetable skins where possible (remember to wash them well before preparing/eating)
  • Include snacks such as nuts, seeds and fruit
  • Include a few teaspoons of psyllium husks, unprocessed bran and ground flaxseed to cereals, smoothies, desserts, soups, casseroles etc.
  • Add legumes and lentils to soups, casseroles and salads
  • Choose brown rice instead of white rice
  • If having fruit/vegetable juice, choose a nutrablender or use a juicer that keeps the fibre in the juice

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are a form of dietary fibre, that pass through the gut undigested. They encourage the growth of good bacteria in the large intestine producing a healthy balance of gut microbiota, improving nutrient absorption and reducing intestinal inflammation and infections. Prebiotics are high in foods that contain fructans and galacto-oligosacharides.

What foods are high in prebiotics?

Prebiotics can be found in many foods that are high in fibre. The highest sources include unprocessed bran, raw Jerusalum artichoke, raw or cooked onion, raw leek, raw banana, raw dandelion greens, raw garlic, raw asparagus, raw chicory root, raw wheat bran and baked wheat flour.

How do you increase fibre in your diet?

If you haven’t been including them in your diet it is best to introduce high fibre foods gradually over 7 days.

Want to know more?

You can join Mr Vitamin’s Naturopath Janne Ramsay as she takes you through an informative and fun presentation on the basics of healthy digestion healthy gut microbiota and the use of probiotics.. Discover how your digestive system directly impacts your health.

Naturopath Janne RamsayGood-Digestion

Janne Ramsay Naturopath has a special interest in digestive health. Janne is passionate about the ongoing developments in gut health and the use of probiotics and the role they play in your health. She has a strong belief that good digestion and good liver function are soulmates to achieving good health. 80% of illnesses are linked in some way to digestive health. To achieve good health and wellness in 2016 make an appointment with Janne to review your health and learn more about maintaining better wellness and energy………. Learn more about Janne here...