I bet you’re feeling lucky today to have run across a recipe that contains three powerhouse fiber seeds that will bring regularity to your day? You may have heard from various online sources or even your medical doctor that you need to increase your fiber intake but maybe you’re not sure what that means. When I was growing up, when someone said “constipation” (usually those grown-up types) I thought, “oh, they must need more shreddies.” Well now I know there are much better ways to help speed up a slow transit time and ease up the frustrating strain than eating all those sugary cereals that line the shelves at the store. Even the healthier, whole grain, organic grain options may not be the best choice for you. In fact, if you follow a Paleo Diet you are definitely avoiding all grains but you may need some guidance in getting ample soluble and insoluble fiber into your diet. Have no fear, the poop-buster is here (if I read this to my daughter she’s really going to think I’m cool).
First off, let’s discuss why Fiber is so darn importnat. Fiber, in general, has a number of benefit in the body. Here are just a few:
#1 It helps keep you regular! Healthy poops depend on a nice balance of insoluble and soluble fiber. The first type bulks up the poop (you can never say that too much around kids, they chuckle till the cows come home). The latter helps to feed the gut bacteria and because it’s so jello-y (gelatinous for adults), it helps flush out toxins and bad bacteria and keeps things (the poop, that is) moving along smoothly.
#2 It helps give nutrition to the good gut microbes. By feeding the gut bacteria we help them improve our immunity. Those little armies just love to much on the veggies we eat to build up their resources. They especially like fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
#3 Fiber is essential in binding to and neutralizing harmful materials like toxins and ushering them out quickly.
#4 Between 25-30 grams of fiber a day does wonders for keeping your blood sugar balanced. This, in turn, helps to keep anxiety at bay.
#5 Fiber helps with weight loss by keeping you feeling full and satisfied longer. It also helps cut down on cravings.
#6 Fiber can even assist in reducing our allergic reactions to foods.(1)
#7 As an amazing bonus, fiber can help with protection against some types of cancers.(2)
#8 Soluble fiber can help lower flood cholesterol and may reduce risk of heart disease.(3)
While whole grains do contain both soluble and insoluble fiber there are plenty of reasons people (Paleo folks, for one) choose to cut out all grains. Grains, in fact, contain phytic acids which make digestion more difficult. Phytic acid, anti-nutrient, can bind with some minerals and prevent their absorption. However, if you soak grains, you are releasing the enzymes that break down phytic acids making the nutrients much more bioavailable.
Here are some non-grain sources of insoluble fiber if you have chosen or need to omit them from your diet: beans, potatoes, peas, oatmeal, pears, apples, peaches, Brussels Sprouts, spinach, lettuce, kale and collards. When possible leave on the skins to increase the amount of fiber. Soluble fiber is a bit more easy to get from non-grain sources. Try apples, berries, peaches, plums, apricots, cantaloupe, pineapple, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils.
A couple of friendly non-grain options I use in this recipe are Quinoa (yes, it’s actually a seed), Flax and Chia and they are dynamos for the digestive system. Just an important little note: seeds contain enzyme-inhibitors like phytic acid just as grains do. So again, it’s an excellent practice to begin soaking all nuts, seeds, grains and beans if you want maximum absorption.
With my Quinoa, Flax and Chia Porridge recipe, you will be consuming some insoluble fiber from the quinoa and flax but you’ll mainly be consuming the soothing soluble fiber especially important if you are dealing with Inflammatory Bowel conditions. Sometimes too much of the insoluble kind can be irritating to an ailing digestive tract.
Psyllium is yet another amazing seed although it’s not used in this recipe. It contains a good amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber. When mixed with water is starts gelatinizing very quickly so drink up and let it do its remarkable work as it journey’s down your small and large intestine.
One excellent website that displays the content of insoluble and soluble fiber is www.prebiotin.com.
This fiber-packed recipe was adapted from “Quinoa, Call Me Porridge” from Meghan Telpner’s fantastic book The Undiet Cookbook.(4)
Quinoa, Flax and Quinoa Porridge
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup quinoa (cooked the night before)
- 1/4 cup cubed nectarine
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 T Brain Octane Oil or coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamom
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 T coconut syrup
- 1/8 tsp sea salt (optional)
- 1 T ground chia
- Step 1 Over medium heat, add coconut milk to a saucepan
- Step 2 Then add quinoa, fruit, oil, spices, sweetener and salt if you choose to use it
- Step 3 Stir then cover and let simmer over medium low for 10 minutes stirring occasionally
- Step 4 Remove from heat, cool for a few minutes then stir in the chia
- Step 5 Add more coconut milk if you want. Serve with Love and Enjoy
- Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Dietary Wellness. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.
page 11, 140-143
- Kunzmann, Andrew T., Helen G. Coleman, Wen-Yi Huang, Cari M. Kitahara, Marie M. Cantwell, and Sonja I. Berndt. “Dietary Fiber Intake and Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Incident and Recurrent Adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition102, no. 4 (2015): 881-90. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.113282.
- Mirmiran, Parvin, Zahra Bahadoran, Sajad Khalili Moghadam, Azita Zadeh Vakili, and Fereidoun Azizi. “A Prospective Study of Different Types of Dietary Fiber and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study.” Nutrients8, no. 11 (2016): 686. doi:10.3390/nu8110686.
- Telpner, Meghan, Maya Visnyei, and Catherine Farquharson. The Undiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life. , Canada: Appetite by Random House, 2015.