Fibre and the Gluten Free Diet

You're either constantly rushing to the bathroom or you're forcing yourself just to get in there. Sound familiar? Getting the gluten free lifestyle to work for you takes patience... a lot of patience. And fibre is incredibly important to maintain good bowel health . What's more, high fibre foods can help you maintain a healthy weight by reducing hunger pangs - which is always welcome, when you have so much to do and so little time!

In my experience, too often the gluten free diet can mean missing out on important sources of fibre and can lead to other undesirable side effects! Why? According to my research it's because many of the foods prohibited on a strict gluten free diet include good sources of what is known as insoluble fibre.

You might be asking what insoluble fibre is. This was what your grandparents called roughage and includes all cereal grains and products that retain the outer coat of grain. This can make it hard for those of us on a gluten free diet to get enough fibre, as the most commonly found grains, barley, oats, wheat and rye (and their derivatives) are banned on a gluten free diet.

However, not all is lost. Gluten free sources of insoluble fibre include whole kernel grains like quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice and millet. As well as nuts and seeds and most vegetables, which sometimes have 'soluble' fibres too - the gummy, jelly-like components of some foods. Think legumes (beans, peas and lentils), apples and pears, psyllium and strawberries and blueberries.

To ensure I'm getting my fibre quota for the day, I find that NatureFirst Premium Breakfast Booster LSA Mix is great. Plus it's great when you're in a hurry and tastes delicious. In fact this is what I spinkle on my breakfast most mornings! I keep a jar of NatureFirst Premium Breakfast Booster LSA Mix on my desk and keep some fresh natural Greek yoghurt and berries in the fridge to assemble an easy breakfast.

In case you're wondering, LSA simply stands for linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds which have been finely ground up to form a mix. LSA is full of essential nutrients including fibre, magnesium, omega-3 fats, vitamins E, D, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), biotin, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and numerous other micronutrients. Plus it is gluten free, wheat free, high in fibre, GM free and only costs between AU$5 to AU$7 (depending on the supplier). The NatureFirst Premium Breakfast Booster LSA Mix can be bought at Coles stores in Australia. For those not living in Australia, I would recommend trying:

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Hi Fiber, 16-Ounce Jars (Pack of 2)

This mix can be stirred into juices and smoothies; or added to cereal, yoghurt and batter mixes. The nutritional content is: 37% protein, 43% fibre, 9% beneficial fats, 0 net carbs (after subtracting for fibre.)

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