If you suffer from irregular bowel movements, or you just feel that your gut isn’t as healthy as it should be, it may be time to increase your fibre intake. Here are five foods that you can eat today that will help you to maintain a healthy digestive system and greatly enhance your gut health.
One simple way to add more fibre to your daily diet is to eat more fruit. Strawberries, apples oranges, and bananas have around 3 to 6 grams of fibre and are fairly easy to pack away and take with you for lunch. The key to getting the maximum amount of fibre from fruit is to keep the skin on whenever possible. If you’re not a fan of eating the skin, try slicing the fruit and adding a sugar free topping to mask the taste.
Vegetables are another good source of fibre, but not all of them are created equal. Broccoli, beets, and carrots are extremely high in fibre, as is collard greens and swiss chard. Red potatoes and sweet potatoes are also high in fibre, but again, it’s best to leave the skin on to get the maximum amount.
If you’re not a big vegetable eater, you may have trouble incorporating these different foods into your daily diet. But there are several ways you can sneak them in and enjoy them just like your other favorite treats. The key is to try different recipes until you have a few that you’re happy with,
If you’re looking to add more fibre but you don’t eat breakfast, then you may want to rethink that. Adding whole wheat cereal to your meal plan can yield fantastic results. When it comes to bread and grains in general, you should look for items that have at least 5 or more grams per serving. The best types of bread for maximum fibre is pumpernickel, dark rye, and cracked wheat. Wild rice, brown rice, and barley are other great sources of fibre that you can substitute for white rice.
Taking a small bag of nuts to work with you every day is a simple and easy way to increase your fibre intake. Pecans, almonds and walnuts pack more fibre than others, but if you’re deficient, any type of nut would be good to start with. Try using the unsalted version, as you don’t want to risk developing high blood pressure with the increase in salt intake. If you prefer more salt, add it on your own. You will still end up with less sodium than the packaged, salted nuts.
Popcorn is another food that’s high in fibre . You should cook the whole kernels on top of the stove instead of using the microwave kind. That’s because you don’t want the extra salt and fat that comes along with microwave popcorn. Popcorn is also a low-calorie treat, so feel free to enjoy it by the handful without feeling too guilty.
Don’t Forget Water
While it’s a great thing to eat more high-fibre foods, it’s important to also increase your water intake. The water will help to weigh down your bowels and move the fibre through your colon to help keep you regular. Without enough water, too much fibre could actually cause constipation and other digestive issues. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you’re increasing your fibre intake, then you should also increase the amount of water that you drink each day by 10 to 15%.
Fibre is definitely important to keeping your gut happy and healthy. Fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, nuts and popcorn are all simple foods that you can incorporate into your diet today that will benefit you for years to come.