Welcome to our fibre challenge! This week, we challenge you to find ways to increase your daily fibre intake.
Why is fibre so important?
Fibre is an essential nutrient that helps with digestion, weight management, and overall health. The recommended daily intake for adults is 25-30 grams of fibre per day, but most people fall short of this goal. Here are some reasons why it’s important to get enough fibre in your diet:
- Promotes digestive health: Fibre helps to keep our digestive system healthy by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It can also help to prevent or alleviate digestive disorders like diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and haemorrhoids.
- Lowers cholesterol levels: Soluble fibre binds to cholesterol in the gut and helps to reduce the amount that is absorbed into the bloodstream, which can help to lower overall cholesterol levels.
- Helps control blood sugar: Fibre slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which can help to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. This is particularly important for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
- Supports weight management: Fibre helps to keep us feeling full and satisfied, which can help to reduce overall calorie intake and support healthy weight management.
How is this connected to our gut?
Fibre is good for our microbiome because it serves as food for the trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in our gut. These bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining our overall health, including supporting our immune system, promoting healthy digestion, and even influencing our mood and behaviour!
When we consume fibre re-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, the fibre passes through our digestive tract undigested until it reaches the colon. Once it reaches the colon, it is fermented by our gut bacteria, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate, propionate, and acetate.
SCFAs provide energy for the cells that line the colon, helping to maintain their health and integrity. They also have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help protect against chronic diseases. Additionally, SCFAs can help regulate our appetite, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and even affect our brain function and mood.
Increasing our fibre in our diet can help support a healthy and diverse microbiome, which in turn have numerous positive effects on our overall health and fertility.
When it comes to our fertility, fibre is important because it helps regulate the hormonal balance, aids in digestion, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Eating a diet high in fibre can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as insulin resistance, obesity and type 2 diabetes all of which can have a negative impact on our reproductive health.
Fibre promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which plays a crucial role in fertility. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is important for our fertility health. Fibre helps eliminate excess estrogen from the body, which can be beneficial for women with estrogen dominance. High levels of estrogen can lead to irregular periods, anovulation, and infertility.
Nua Fertility Fibre challenge
Small change, big difference
Take on this weekly challenge equipped with our meal planner, tips and recipes to get more fiber in your life.
By making small changes to a recipe, such as swapping from white to wholemeal flour, the amount of fibre provided can be easily increased.
- Increase your daily fiber intake for a week.
- Increase the fibre provided by a recipe or meal.
- Think about ingredients that can be added or swapped to increase fibre, such as using whole meal flour, seeds, fruit, vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils.
- Swap white bread for whole grain bread
- Swap white rice for brown rice
- Swap regular pasta for whole grain pasta
- Swap regular flour for wholewheat flour in baking
- Swap sugary cerals with high fiber cereals like bran flakes or oatmeal
- Swap mashed potatoes for mased sweet potatoe
- Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes
- Swap spaghetti for spaghetti squash or courgette noodle
Planning meals in advance can be helpful in ensuring that we meet our daily fibre intake goals, as we can intentionally include fibre-rich foods in our meals. This can also prevent us from resorting to quick, processed foods that may be low in fibre. By having a meal plan, we can be more mindful of our food choices and make healthier choices that support our overall health and fertility.Download our weekly meal planner here
- Overnight Oats: Mix rolled oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and your favorite toppings (like nuts, berries, or honey) and let it sit in the fridge overnight for a quick and filling breakfast.
- Smoothie Bowl: Blend frozen berries, spinach, banana, and almond milk together for a nutrient-packed smoothie. Top with chia seeds, granola, and sliced banana for extra fiber.
- Avocado Toast: Mash half an avocado onto a slice of whole grain toast, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Pair with a side of fresh fruit for added fiber
- Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, mixed berries, and granola in a jar for a high fiber and protein breakfast.
- Breakfast Burrito: Scramble eggs with spinach, black beans, and cheese, then wrap in a whole grain tortilla for a hearty breakfast.
5 Lunch Ideas:
- Quinoa Salad: Cook quinoa in vegetable broth, add diced veggies like cucumber, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and top with feta cheese and lemon vinaigrette.
- Chickpea Salad: Mix chickpeas with cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, red onion, and herbs like parsley and mint. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Lentil Soup: Cook lentils with carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in vegetable broth. Add spices like cumin, turmeric, and chili powder for extra flavor.
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad: Mix canned tuna with white beans, diced red onion, lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with mixed greens or on whole-grain bread
- Spinach and Feta Omelet: Beat eggs with chopped spinach, crumbled feta cheese, and diced tomatoes. Cook in a nonstick pan and serve with whole-grain toast.
5 Dinner Ideas
- Lentil and Vegetable Curry: Cook lentils and mix with chopped vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower in a curry sauce made with coconut milk and spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander.
- Quinoa and Black Bean Salad: Cook quinoa and mix with black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, and avocado. Add a vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil, lime juice, and spices like cumin and chili powder.
- Grilled Salmon and Asparagus: Grill salmon and asparagus and serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa. Add a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle with chopped herbs like parsley or cilantro.
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili: Cook the sweet potatoes and black beans in a chili sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and spices like chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Serve with a side of brown rice or a baked potato.
- Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese: Roast spaghetti squash in the oven and serve with a turkey bolognese sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and spices like basil and oregano.
So, let’s make it a priority to meet our
daily fibre needs this week!