What if I told you that focusing on increasing intake of this particular foodstuff in your daily diet, you can achieve a multitude of short and very long-term benefits… and it is quite easy to do!
If those short and long-term health benefits included conditions like constipation, diabetes, diverticular disease and even heart disease, would you consider focusing on seriously including loads of it in your daily diet?
What is the foodstuff with this kind of superpowers? It’s the humble fibre or roughage, as you might want to call it. The required amounts needed to reap these benefits have not been stressed strongly enough and generally almost everyone here in the UK could do with a little bit more.
Fibre is a type of superbly important carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Although most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fibre cannot be broken down in the body into sugar molecules, but instead it passes through the body undigested.
If you can’t digest it, what do you need it for?
Fibre helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fibre per day to achieve good health, but most Brits get only about 14 grams a day.
Here’s an easy way to include enough fibre in your diet; include some fibre rich foods at every meal. Consider your first meal of the day. Does that get your engine started properly and your fibre intake to a good start? Adding a source of fibre, such as berries to your breakfast can make a big deal, as they pack an impressive amount of fibre for their size: try blueberries or cranberries on your morning meal (fresh or in powder form).
A generous handful of fresh blueberries (approx.. 30 berries) contains almost half a gram of fibre and a spoonful of blueberry powder made from fresh berries holds almost 1.5g. (!!) Adding these goodies on your breakfast makes it easy to get the fibre intake levels up and your digestion in great working order – not forgetting all the amazing vitamins and minerals that come as a bonus.
Speaking of berries, they are an incredible powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals and loads of fibre. And they taste amazing! Be sure to include plenty of fresh, frozen and powdered forms in your diet and you’ll be reaching your diet goals in no time. It’s the small changes that make a big difference! Teaspoon of Arctic Power Berries is equivalent to a handful of fresh berries!
It comes in two varieties, both beneficial to health. There is soluble fibre, which dissolves in water. It can help lower blood glucose levels as well as help lower blood cholesterol. Here are a few foods to include in your daily diet that are rich in soluble fibre; oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries. (See Arctic Power Berries recipe section for inspiration for fibre rich meals)
The other variety of fibre is called insoluble fibre. It does not dissolve in water but can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regular bowel movements and therefore helping to prevent constipation. So why not add these insoluble fibre rich foods as a staple in your diet; for example, whole wheat products, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Overall, the top sources of fibre are whole grain foods, fresh fruits, berries and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
Despite both types of fibre being super good for you, when you are changing habits, make sure you go slow. So just as a reminder, if you suddenly realise you’ve been really lagging behind on the fibre intake recommendations, don’t change that overnight! Instead, give yourself about a month to incorporate enough fibre (preferably 30g) into your daily diet and remember to drink plenty of water!
Ps. You can usually find the fibre content on the food labels at the back of the product you are buying. To make reaching recommended amounts easier, ensure the products you are buying contain more fibre than 2-3g per serving.
Here's a recipe for smoothie that Taru has broken down the nutrient content. Give it a try, it's divine!
1 ripe banana
Half an avocado
About ten soaked almonds
Squeeze of lime
2 cups of organic apple juice
2 heaped teaspoons of chosen Arctic berry powder
1. Chop ripe and spotty bananas and put them in the freezer
2. Once they are frozen put them in a blender with chosen Arctic Power Berries' powders and rest of the ingredients. If you like your smoothies a bit sweeter add two dates or a splash of local honey. You can also replace the apple juice with chosen milk.
3. Blend and pour to cups!
4. Garnish with more berry powder, mint leaves, pretty straws and enjoy!
Nutritional information (per 100g)
Of which sugars 9.5g
Fibre 1.5g (more if other teaspoon of berry powder is sprinkled on top!)
Note: This recipe packs a good vitamin C punch, at 6.4g/100g and Vitamin E is also well represented at 1.1mg/100g!