Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Nutrient You Need More of...Now!

There are so many nutrients we need to consume each day to be healthy, but some are easier to obtain than others. Those, we don't have to worry so much about. There are, however, others that we have to work a little to seek them out and ensure we're obtaining them in our diets, but it's well worth the effort. Fibre is one of those nutrients, and it's getting easier to meet your daily fibre intake each day.

Fibre is crucial in our diets. Did you know that aside from it's function in digestion, the gut is actually your largest immunological organ? It's true, and fibre keeps our gut lining healthy and strong to keep bad bacteria and toxins out. Fibre is also an essential component in maintaining heart health - it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and it helps keep diabetes at bay by lowering blood sugar levels and helping you keep your weight in check. So why is this nutrient often lacking in people's diets?

It's not because fibre is hiding, that's for sure. Fibre is present in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. It's also added in to granola bars, breads and cereals, plus you can drink it down as a lemonade, pink grapefruit, orange or flavourless fibre supplement. You need between 25 and 30 grams each day, and an easy way would be to start your day with a high fibre cereal like fibre 1 (14g), an apple and pear during the day (about 4g each = 8g), a granola bar as another snack (4g), 1 cup of broccoli with dinner (2.5g) plus your daily 1.5 oz of almonds or nuts sprinkled throughout the day (5g). That's 33.5g; even more than is recommended each day and it was so easy.

As you can see, however, breakfast is a key component and an easy way to get in lots of fibre each day. Otherwise, you'd have to reach for 2-4 other fruits or veggies or other whole grains like bread or pasta during the day, which is easily doable for many people, but not everyone.

So think heart smart and boost your overall health by keeping fibre in mind when choosing snacks and meal components throughout the day!