If you are thinking that your fibre intake needs to increase, then a smoothie is a great way to achieve this. Smoothies contain the whole fruit goodness of fruit, whizzed to a pulp and contain soluble fibre which not only helps to lower cholesterol levels but also helps to regulate our blood sugar levels and helps us to avoid those ‘slumps’ when we reach for the biscuits or sweets to give ourselves a boost again.
In the long term, the Insoluble fibre contained in smoothies is even more important as it can help us to reduce our risk of developing very serious conditions that affect our digestive systems, such as bowel cancer. Insoluble fibre helps our bodies to produce more bulky stools that are softer to pass and thus help us to avoid constipation and piles (haemorrhoids).
It is very important to remember that if you are increasing your fibre intake, you need to increase your fluid intake at the same time as fibre soaks up water and could make you feel a little dehydrated if you do not. The current recommended daily intake of fibre is set at about 38 grams per day for men (reducing to 30 grams for men over 50) and 25 grams per day for women (reducing to 21 grams per day for women over 50).
Nutritionists recommend that you should not try to boost your fibre intake by increasing your consumption of wheat bran too much. It is not commonly known that the phytates in wheat bran can effectively rob our bodies of vital minerals as they bond to them in our bodies and make them unable to be absorbed. This is another reason to turn to smoothies for your additional fibre as fruits and vegetables are accepted as the best source of dietary fibre, along with nuts and seeds which can also be added to your smoothie.
To avoid feeling bloated and the embarrassment and discomfort of flatulence, increase your fibre intake gradually, in small steps, giving your body several days between each addition so that it can adjust to this new and healthier way of eating.
A smoothie maker will be a good investment as you will know the exact ingredients and be able to calculate the fibre content accurately as part of your recommended daily intake. Enjoy your smoothies and look forward to a healthier you!