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Feel Good With More Fibre

Fibre has plenty of health perks. As well as helping to sustain energy and reduce appetite, fibre is your bowel’s best-friend, it nourishes your ‘good’ gut bacteria, it helps heart health, and it can even reduce cancer risk.

"Nutrition guidelines recommend that we eat 25g of fibre every day from different sources such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, beans and nuts”.  “When adding more fibre to your diet, make small changes gradually to avoid bloating and you may need to up your water intake,”

Boost your bean power
Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and red kidney beans help you feel more satisfied after eating. They’re packed with fibre which triggers nerves in your stomach that say “I’m full” to your brain. Toss beans in salads and stews, add them to meat rissoles and vegetable patties, or buy hummus on your next trip to the supermarket. “When making soups, throw in one to two tins of legumes then blend or puree them with the vegetables”.  “Try different combinations such as cannellini beans in cauliflower soup or chickpeas in pumpkin soup.”

Switch-and-swaps
“Switching out your usual food choices for more fibre-rich versions is a simple way to increase fibre intake,” says Sandra. Try swapping:
– White bread for rye, wholegrain or fibre-enriched varieties
– Jam or honey on your toast for nut butters, hummus or avocado
– White rice for red, black, wild or brown rice. “One cup of red or brown rice, contains 3g of fibre and adds a different flavour,” says Sandra. Start with this tasty red rice, roast vegetables and aduki bean salad.
– White pasta for wholegrain or pulse pastas (made from legumes)
– Dip and crackers for dip and sticks of carrot, celery, green beans, cucumber and snow peas.

Sprinkle on seeds
Seeds are packed with fibre plus healthy minerals and omega-3 fats, so it’s worth keeping a stash on hand. Think beyond sunflower seeds and stock up on chia, pumpkin, sesame, and – one of Sandra’s top foods for women – linseeds.  Throw them in salads, muffin mixes, your morning cereal, or overnight oats. You can also pan-fry pumpkin and sunflower seeds on a low heat with a dash of soy sauce, for a savoury snack. “Or add two to three dessert spoons of a mix of freshly ground linseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds to yoghurt and stewed or fresh fruit, or healthy smoothies,” For extra spice, grind cardamom pods and cinnamon powder along with your seeds for your morning oats. Store the mix in an airtight jar in the fridge and it will stay fresh.

Get snack savvy
Snacks provide the perfect way of adding extra fibre to your diet. Savvy suggestions include:
– a handful of almonds. “Around 30g (25 almonds), provides 3g of fibre,” she says.
– homemade popcorn. “Enjoy it air popped or cooked with olive oil – one cup of popped popcorn provides 1.2g of fibre,”
– prunes. Use them in smoothies or stewed with fruit or add them to these raw cacao and prune balls. They’re sweet and help keep you regular, so they’re a ‘fibre and flavour win-win’.

 

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