Fibre is an incredibly important part of a healthy eating plan. Not only for keeping you ‘regular’ and for general bowel health but it has also been found to be incredibly important in weight loss and weight management.
Fibre Up Ladies: There are more benefits than you may think to eating fibre!
What is fibre?
Fibre refers to a type of carbohydrate that keeps our digestive systems healthy. Fibre is parts of plant food that our guts cannot digest. It is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain breads and cereals.
Different Types of Fibre
Soluble fibre helps to slow the absorption of glucose, it lowers blood cholesterol and slows down the emptying process so your body fells fuller and has time to absorb nutrients more effectively. Foods that are high in soluble fibre include whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa and buckwheat, legumes sees, fruits like apples and citrus and vegetables.
Insoluble fibre helps the body to absorb water to soften what is in our bowels and encourage regular bowel movements. It also provides feelings of fullness so you are less likely to overeat, alleviates constipation and helps feed our healthy microbiome.
How can Fibre Assist weight loss?
Fibre-rich foods absorb more water, which helps to keep us feeling full. Fibre also slows glucose absorption, which assists in blood glucose control to prevent low blood sugar levels. These can lead to needing sugar hit.
Fibre also helps keep our bowels regular and that makes sure our food is being digested at an even rate.
Why is this important?
To absorb nutrients, feed our healthy gut bacteria and balance blood sugar levels. If things slow down, we are at risk of fermenting the food we have eaten in our colon, releasing toxins to be reabsorbed in our body, which will cause inflammation and feeding bacteria that we don’t want to thrive.
Diets high in fibre have been shown to reduce our risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. A high-fibre diet is also key in managing weight and weight loss because high-fibre foods keep the body feeling fuller for longer.
Typical High-Fibre Meals
Oats, quinoa, chia seed pudding, wholemeal bread with baked beans, porridge with LSA or dried fruit.
Try these recipes from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
Crackers made of seeds, apples and nut butter, brown rice pudding, hummus with veggie sticks, back bean brownie.
Lunches and Dinners
Vegetarian meals based on lentils or legumes, brown rice dishes, quinoa tabbouleh, cabbage slaw, cauliflower mash.
How much fibre do we need each day?
- Women aged 19-60 years need 25g per day
- Pregnant women 28g per day
- Lactating women 30g per day
The increased requirement during pregnancy and lactation is due to the slowing down of the digestive tract. This happens as our bodies become more effective in absorbing nutrients, such as calcium. But what that also means is that our bodies absorb more water from our foods, making our poops harder. I had shocking constipation with both bubs and so was almost like a vegetable compost machine chowing on carrots trying to up my fibre.
Access more High Fibre Recipes on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!
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