Fibre is the key to keeping our digestive tract and gut clean and free of toxins. So if you’re feeling a bit backed up, you can relieve your symptoms through your diet and without resorting to over-the-counter laxatives or supplements.
Remember, if you have constipation more than once every few weeks or have severe pain or bleeding, it’s important to get this checked out by your doctor.
Here’s some great ways to get more fibre in your diet that you may not have realised.
1. Via your food
These foods are great for adding that extra fibre to your digestion:
It might be a food you only have at the cinema but popcorn is a great source of fibre – if done the right way. Pop some corn kernels at home with a dash of sea salt and you will feel the relief
Pineapple juice is a great way to regulate your digestive system and avoid constipation. Plus it tastes fantastic.
Lentils give you 15 grams of fibre per cup and take less time to cook than many other legumes. Bonus!
We’ve all heard the rhymes about beans and their tendency to make you fart, but beans are truly a great laxative – they have twice as much fibre as most vegetables. A half-cup serving of any type of beans will make you feel better in no time, and can be added to plenty of dishes
Dried fruit is really delicious and good for your digestive system. Prunes particularly are rich in fibre, vitamin A and potassium, and are a tried and test remedy for constipation.
Just like beans, broccoli are packed full of fibre, plus they’re low in calories. You’re going to want to eat your broccoli raw though, since cooking it can reduce its fibre content. Try steaming, broiling, or baking if you do want to cook it.
Pears are considered to be natural laxatives and have a way of moving the stool through the intestines.
Whether dried or fresh, peaches are not only delicious and juicy but are also packed with fibre.
Soften that stool with figs – they have fibre and ease your digestion.
Of a morning, try to incorporate multigrain or wholegrain bread, oats or bran into your breakfast.
2. Add in some more
You don’t have to just eat foods high in fibre, you can add natural fibre to other meals. Flaxseed is a great addition to oats, smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods. Chia seeds are also a great source of fibre at a huge 5.5 grams of fibre per tablespoon. Chia seeds are great for thickening smoothies, making healthy puddings, or replacing eggs in cakes and cookies.
Also, if you aren’t a big veggie fan, you can add puree cooked vegetables and add them to sauces and stews, or even swap out rice for cauliflower.
3. Forget the side salad
Which lettuce and other leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin K, C, beta-carotene and iron, they are low in fibre. So next time you’re looking for a side, opt for the veggies rather than a dressing-soaked green salad.
4. Replace fruit and vegetable juice with fruit and vegetables
If you must drink fruit or veggie juice, make sure you keep the pulp. Overall, however, the best way to ingest fruits and veggies is to eat them whole and without processing.
5. Less processed is best
Choose the least processed food option when possible, such as brown rice over white rice or wholegrain over white bread. Eat potatoes with the skin on or bake your pumpkin with the skin – even the seeds too.
Tell us, how do you increase your fibre intake?