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The new spring clean – an internal fibre broom

Spring has sprung! Although, you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise with the recent storms and downfalls of snow that have hit some parts of the country. The arrival of Spring may have your thoughts turning to the yearly clean-out; getting rid of any junk that you may have accumulated and giving your living quarters a thoroughly good scrubbing. This is a great way to come out of your winter ‘hibernation’; having a clean and comfortable environment can often make you feel fresh and revitalised. But have you ever thought about giving your insides a ‘spring clean’ too?

While it needn’t be confined to just spring time, increasing your dietary fibre intake can help significantly in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system and keeping your bowels moving regularly. Additionally, adequate fibre intake can also help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and healthy blood glucose levels in healthy individuals. Some of the best foods to help increase your fibre intake include:

  

  • Wholegrains – this group can include wholemeal breads, but try to also broaden your diet to include grains such as quinoa, barley and brown and wild rice. Adults should aim for between 4 and 6 servings each day .
  • Legumes – this includes lentils, beans (such as black, kidney and navy beans) and nuts and seeds such as almonds and sunflower seeds. These foods are all excellent sources of fibre and should be included as part of a balanced diet.
  • Vegetables – as well as the myriad of other nutritional benefits vegetables offer, they are also high in fibre. Broccoli, corn, carrots, artichokes (the list goes on!) are all great choices to make for a well-balanced, high-fibre diet. Generally speaking, the more vegetables we can eat every day, the better! You should however aim for 5-6 servings per day of vegetables and legumes.
  • Fruit – most of us find this group the easiest to eat regularly. With their deliciously sweet flavour, fruits should be enjoyed in moderation, for a well-balanced high fibre diet. Berries, figs, grapes, oranges and apples and pears are all great choices for a high-fibre diet.  Aim for 2 servings of fruit daily.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provides detailed information and guidelines for a healthy diet. These guidelines can be accessed on their website here:

http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines_0.pdf.

So, if you want to give your insides a ‘reboot’, why not think about tweaking your dietary intake to include more fibre. It may just leave you feeling full of the joys of spring!

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