Some types of fiber interfere with your bodyвЂ™s ability to absorb important minerals such as iron and zinc. It is thought that your body adapts to a raised intake of fiber over time by increasing the percentage of these minerals absorbed in the intestine. But, if you are making a conscious effort to eat more foods high in fiber then taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement at the same time will overcome this potential problem.
How much fiber should children eat?
Toddlers and children all benefit from a varied diet which includes wholegrain foods, fruits and vegetables. You should not, however, start adding tablespoons of bran to their meals. Excess fiber may fill them up too much so that they do not get enough calories and nutrients. The phrase вЂmuesli belt malnutritionвЂ™ was coined to convey the message that you can be over-zealous when applying adult healthy eating messages to children. Take a sensible approach and they will get the benefits from the naturally occurring fiber in the normal, healthy foods the rest of the family are also eating.
What is beta-glucan?
Beta-glucan is the soluble fiber found in oats that acts like a sponge during digestion, soaking up and helping to remove some of the excess cholesterol in your digestive system. Eating oats as part of an overall healthy diet appears to help to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as filling you up and keeping your energy levels steady for longer.
To raise your oat intake and, therefore, your beta-glucan levels, take a look around the cereal aisle in-store. Handy breakfast products containing oats include Be good to yourself oat sachets, and Super naturals multi wholegrain porridge and, of course, Scotts porridge oats; and you can even get organic oats these days. In summer, a bowl of muesli is a good alternative to porridge. Or just soak oats in milk, apple juice or yogurt overnight, then stir in chopped nuts and fresh or dried fruit before serving. These are all foods high in fiber and ideally should be part of your diet on a regular basis.