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Benefits of Soluble Fibre | Managing Diabetes

Soluble fibre is one of the simple foods that you can incorporate into your diet and yet it’s so effective in increasing your feeling of fullness and slowing the release of sugar from the food you eat.

It is a little old school, but tends to be forgotten in most standard dietary prescriptions these days. You should shoot to get ideally 50 g of fibre into your diet every day. Most standard dietary recommendations are for about 30 g.

The type of fibre you choose is also really important. Most people tend to think that bran is the best type of fibre to eat. The bran is actually insoluble and doesn’t get digested. It’s more like a scouring pad to the intestine. So it’s really great for keeping you regular, but it just can’t help your health the way that soluble fibre can and you’ll find soluble fibre in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and most whole grain.

Bacteria in your gut metabolizes the soluble fibre in these foods and that’s where the benefits start. The beauty of soluble fibre is it can help lower cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin, prevent cancer or help to prevent cancer, balance hormone levels, remove excess oestrogen, make vitamins and minerals and provide food for colon cells and more. So it’s easy to see how crucial soluble fibre is to good health.

A clinical study compared people who with Type II diabetes, who were eating 50 g of fibre daily with people getting the American Diabetes Association recommended 24 g of fibre daily and after 6 weeks people on the higher fibre diet had better control of blood glucose, insulin, and blood lipids.

Soluable fibre is a great strategy even for weight loss as well as for improving insulin resistance and oestrogen clearance in PCOS. The key to mastering fibre is that you just need to be getting enough in. So I always recommend people aim for about 2 cups of hard veggies a day and a green smoothie which is supercharged with fibre and nutrients.

Add fiber to your diet with coconut green juice containg chia seeds

Avoid those nasty sugar spikes which occur right after eating and which are implicated in many of the complications associated with diabetes. Start adding a tablespoon or two of chia seeds to your food or have them just after your meal.

You can also add flaxseed milk as well as the chia and both will have an incredible affect in terms of making you feel full and satisfied, but also does slowdown the release of sugar from your meal.

So if you have had your daily smoothie, if you’ve added chia and flaxseed to your meals and if you’ve had your 2 cups of hard veggies, you’d be very close to having your 50 g of fibre. So, on to the smoothie recipe which is really easy and super tasty.

I find it works really well in the afternoon when you need a boost of energy and you need something to just tide you over until dinner.

1 and a half cups of water or almonds milk

1/4 C  frozen blueberries or raspberries

1/2 C of kale or spinach

10 almonds

1 1/2 Tblsp linseed meal

2 Tblsp chia seeds

1 tsp coconut oil

 

This is the equivalent to almost half of your fibre intake. So over 20 g and we haven’t even started adding any fibre from your meals to this quantity. Remember though when you are increasing fibre, to keep up your water intake as it can take a little while to adjust to this amount of fibre. So if you’re not used to having much fibre in your diet, you might even want to just start with half of the recommended amounts of chia seed and flaxseed, just to be sure.

 

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About Gabriela Rosa MScM, ND

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