NOURISH: Week Five
Fibre. Your Grandma Was Right.
That’s “fiber” for our non-Canadian friends.
Fibre: It’s like the cardio of the food world.
You need it. You get used to it when you get it regularly. You constantly hear that it’s “good for you.”
But it’s just sooooooo BORING.
There’s a reason nobody sells menu items with the words “high fibre,” know what we mean?
Let’s Talk About Poop
Fibre is important to intestinal transit (read: helps you poop) as it promotes contraction of the intestines and absorbs water, keeping stool soft & bulky, thus easier to pass.
It’s nature’s laxative.
High fibre intake also helps prevent or reverse constipation and hemorrhoids. If you’ve experienced hemorrhoids in pregnancy or postpartum, you can understand how attractive a smooth poop and an un-fussy bum sounds.
Have we sold you on fibre yet?
On top of great, comfy poops, fibre is super important to your overall health. We’ve known for decades that high fibre intake is associated with lower instances of heart disease, colorectal cancer and diabetes & metabolic disorders.
Focus on Fibre
We understand that, for many mamas, managing weight gain in pregnancy and encouraging a return to a comfortable weight in postpartum is a concern.
Even here, fibre is your friend!
High fibre intake slows digestion and helps control blood sugar levels and, thus, appetite and even weight gain.
Foods high in fibre also tend to be rich in vitamins and minerals, so focusing on fibre-rich foods is a simple way to improve overall consumption.
If you tend to focus on counting/tracking/metrics, instead of counting calories, count fibre grams in a day! Studies show that simply aiming to increase fibre consumption leads to better overall health and even fat loss, as low-quality foods like processed starches are replaced with high-quality foods like beans + veggies in the search for more fibre.
Not to mention that focusing on ADDING great things to your diet instead of CUTTING calories/carbs/certain foods is a much more positive and judgment-free way to look at nutrition.
Mamas Need Fibre
We’re pretty sure we’ve sold you on fibre with the whole great poops, better metabolism, lower risk of cancer thing.
But did you know that constipation is more than just an annoyance? Straining during a bowel movement can contribute to the development or recurrence of pelvic floor symptoms and even prolapse. For mamas, fibre is key!
Research suggests meeting or exceeding the recommended 25-35 g per day can help improve pelvic floor outcomes by reducing strain/constipation.
How To Do It: Part One
Wait! Dramatically increasing fibre can cause gas, bloating, cramping. It’s not fibre’s fault. You probably just weren’t getting enough before and need to adjust to a normal fibrous diet, like nature intended.
Try increasing gradually over a couple of weeks.
Instead of disgusting orange-flavoured “meta” fibre water, try boosting fibre intake by:
adding flax or chia seeds to smoothies (see Week 2 recipes)
adding grated onion, carrot or zucchini to soups and ground meat dishes like meatballs/tacos/etc.
making puréed soups like cauliflower soup or broccoli soup
making baked goods with oats/fruit/whole grain flours
snacking on nuts, seeds, and raw fruits and vegetables
adding delicious salads to 1-2 meals per day
How To Do It: Part Two
The best food sources of fibre are plants! When planning meals, try expanding your usual repertoire to include:
Beans, especially black beans
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts
Blackberries + raspberries
Nuts and seeds
Whole grains, especially oats
And because water is so important to fibre’s job in the body, we’d love for you to revisit your hydration habit from Week 1 this week, so we’ve included your Printable Hydration Tracker as well, to print and keep on your fridge to remind you to get all that water you need to absorb this delicious fibre!
So, grab this week’s DELICIOUS, family-friendly fibre-packed recipes and start adding more fibre to your days!
You’ll replace less nourishing ingredients and improve your overall health without counting calories or grams. #WINNING