Archive for Fibre
It might not be a sexy new superfood, but oats are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It also grows extremely well in Ireland so you can buy local and even organic porridge oats if you prefer. Plus it is far more economical than junky, sugary breakfast cereals.
Coming into winter a warm bowl of porridge in the morning is a comforting way to ease yourself into the day. Many people claim that a bowl of porridge ‘sets them up’ for the day. And they are absolutely right. Oats, unlike other grains, has a very high level of soluble fibre, called beta glucan. This fibre forms a gel in the digestive tract that has many positive effects. The most measurable is probably the lowering of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. It does this by trapping the cholesterol in the digestive tract and moving it out of the body. Avenanthramides are antioxidants in oats that reduce the build up of plaque in the artery walls and thereby prevent hardening of the arteries, another factor in heart disease.
Research shows that the majority of us are not getting enough fibre in our diet and this should form one of the essential parts of our diet for good health. One of the easiest ways to increase fibre intake is to use brown pasta or rice instead of white (and the same goes for bread), in addition to including more fruit and vegetables at each meal (aim for two at breakfast, two at lunch and two at dinner to reach your 5+ a day).
Also, another thing I urge clients to do is to experiment with different pulses, which are very high in fibre, such as chick peas, kidney beans or green lentils (delicious when cooked in stock!).