Getting Gluten-Free Fibre
why fibre is important
Foods contain a mix of fibres, which have different effects in the body. Soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. Insoluble fibre, which dramatically declines in a diet that cuts out wheat and other gluten-containing grain foods, helps to prevent bowel disorders such as constipation, and it protects against colon cancer.
Health experts recommend that adults consume a minimum of 30 grams of fibre per day. Societies that have the lowest occurrence of colon cancer may eat as much as 40–50 grams of fibre daily because of their choice of primarily unrefined plant foods.
gluten-free fibre tricks
If health considerations require you to give up gluten, then it’s vital that you eat a variety of high-fibre, gluten-free grains and maximise your intake of other gluten-free foods such as legumes, nuts and vegetables. Here are some suggestions:
Try high-fibre, gluten-free breakfast cereals such as muesli topped with ground linseed (flaxseed), rice bran, soy grits or psyllium husks.
Prepare brown rice, buckwheat porridge, millet or polenta for your main meals. Most of these can be cooked in a rice cooker to save time.
Include legumes (beans) at least three times per week as the focus of your main meal. Try bean chilli with brown rice or chickpea and quinoa salad.
Round out your meals with colourful vegetables and salads—broccoli, carrots, purple cabbage etc.
Make toast and sandwiches from whole grain, gluten-free breads and wraps.
Eat two to three pieces of fresh fruit through the day, including kiwi fruit, oranges and pears, and eat the skin whenever possible.
Nibble on plain nuts, seeds and dried fruit, but limit yourself to small servings if you’re watching your waistline.
PUBLISHED IN SIGNS OF THE TIMES MAGAZINE.