Fibre is found only in plant-based foods and by no means burdens the digestive system, as was previously assumed. On the contrary, it is good for your health. The Swiss Nutrition Association recommends at least 30 grams a day – ideally in the form of whole-grain products, plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and kernels.
Helping your health
Dietary fibre reduces not only the cholesterol levels and prevents caries, it also helps combat illnesses such as arteriosclerosis, heart attacks and diabetes (type 2). An additional positive effect from healthy fibre is that it keeps your digestion in shape because it binds toxins and ensures that intestinal flora stay healthy. Because fibre takes a long time to digest, it prevents blood sugar from rising too quickly and thus saves you from sudden attacks of hunger.
Examples of fibre-rich diets
- Start the day with a bowl of Birchermüesli with fresh or dried fruit.
- You can alleviate lesser hunger pangs ideally by eating an apple or carrot in between.
- For lunch you’re best off choosing an extra portion of salad, in addition to your vegetables on the side. Taking in more dietary fibre also helps you stave off hunger pangs in the afternoon.
- For dinner we recommend rye or whole-wheat bread as an ideal source of fibre.
- And be sure to drink enough fluids, because dietary fibre soaks up lots of water as it swells.
Going over the top is unhealthy
Taking in excessive amounts of fibre can lead to stomach aches and digestive problems. This is because bacteria break down natural plant material into gas while it passes through the intestine, a process that can lead to bloating. In addition, taking in too little water can result in constipation. On the whole, though, you can rely on your digestion to do what it is supposed to do, as long as you don't go over the top with your habits.
SWICA uses contributions from COMPLETA PREVENTA and OPTIMA to enable qualified nutritionists and dietary assistants to help you analyse your diet, and it offers courses on a conscious and healthful approach to nutrition. We look forward to giving you free, non-binding advice over the toll-free helpline 0800 80 90 80.