Wholemeal cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes or nuts are some of the types of food in your shopping basket that contain higher fibre levels, an essential nutrient to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You might think that your fibre intake is adequate, but your body may be sending you signs that say the opposite. Pay attention to these 4 signs telling you to eat more fibre in your diet.
1. You often have a bloated stomach
Not eating enough fibre can cause your stomach to bloat. This annoying discomfort happens because food gets trapped in your digestive tract. Fibre is essential to help your intestines recover their normal activity.
2. You feel sleepy or tired after eating
Does all food make you sleepy? If you fall asleep after eating, it can be a clear sign of fibre deficiency. The reason is that fibre is crucial to stabilise blood sugar levels. If your meals are fibre deficient, it’s likely that your blood sugar levels will drop and you’ll feel more tired.
3. You are not regular
Constipation is the key symptom of fibre deficiency in your diet. Luckily, it is easily solved: eat more fruit, vegetables and wholemeal cereals!
4. You are hungry shortly after eating
This is another unmistakable sign that your body needs more fibre. Eating foods rich in fibre makes you feel fuller. If you are constantly hungry and the feeling doesn’t go away after eating, it’s time to check your diet and add more fibre to it.
What does fibre do to your body?
- Fibre balances your intestinal flora by passing undigested to the large intestine, where it nourishes the good bacteria in your body.
- Fibre is useful to treat obesity, because, as we said before, foods that are rich in fibre make you feel fuller.
- It helps you maintain a healthy heart.
- It helps you keep your blood sugar levels stable, which is extremely important in diabetes prevention.
- It keeps you regular and helps prevent diseases such as colon cancer.
How to increase your fibre intake
If you think that your daily fibre intake is not within the acceptable levels, you’ll have to make some changes to your diet:
- Base your breakfast on high-fibre cereals.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined ones, at least, for half of your total intake: wholemeal pasta, wholemeal rice, wholemeal or rye bread…
- Follow a Mediterranean diet.
- Add bran to your hamburgers or other meat preparations, as well as to your baked recipes such as cookies or cakes.
- Choose wholemeal or spelt flours to make bread and cakes.
- Increase your intake of legumes. If you don’t like legumes, you can try Gallo’s 100% legume-based pastas. You’ll enjoy the flavour of a delicious pasta dish and the nutritional benefits of legumes.
- Eat whole fruits instead of juices or smoothies.
As you can see, fibre is an essential nutrient in order to maintain good health. Remember that, to improve its effects, it is best to eat it with lots of water and to exercise regularly.