EAT THE RIGHT TYPE OF FIBRE
We’re not eating anywhere enough fibre average intake is around 18g versus the 30g recommended), so the fact that more and more fibre-boosted foods – breads, cereals bars and even yoghurts – are coming on to the market would seem like a good thing. But although attempts by the food industry to get more fibre into our diets is laudable, the approach being used – supplementing products with isolated fibre sources often made in a lab rather than using whole food sources – isn’t always good for everyone.
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If you have a sensitive gut, some fibres such as inulin, chicory root and resistant starches can cause gut discomfort. This is because these types of fibre produce gas when they’re acted on by gut bacteria. Not only this, but many of the foods that fibre gets added to are inherently quite unhealthy, such as cakes and bakes, while foods with naturally- occurring fibre tend be generally more nutritious and healthy. My view? Go easy on foods that are fibre-fortified – they might be great in theory, but getting it from proper food is better. And if you have IBS, be very careful, or you could end up suffering.
You probably already know that fizzy drinks and fruit juice can harm your teeth. But if you’ve been knocking back the kombucha – the fermented tea drink with healthy bacteria in it – you’ve probably been giving your teeth just as much of an acid wash. According to the American Dental Association, kombucha drinks have a pH in the 2.5 to 3.5 region, close to pure lemon juice at 2.25. Acid harms the teeth by pitting and eroding enamel, and giving ‘bad’ bacteria the environment they need to form the plaque that harms gums and leads to tooth decay. You don’t have to give up kombucha (which, if well made, can be good for your gut), just take care how you drink it. Use a straw or swill your mouth out with water after consuming. And don’t clean your teeth for around 30 minutes afterwards, as the enamel may still be softened and could be brushed away.
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