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FIBER: FRIEND OR FOE?

laura lomax

Fiber for those of us with IBD it might be a scary word…may I even say gut wrenching (a little IBD humor hahaha). Every commercial or advertisement for fiber has conditioned us to see fiber pretty one dimensionally- fiber is for people with constipation.  So naturally with IBD its fair to say having enough bowel movements per day is NOT the problem, and often in fear of exacerbating IBD symptoms it’s easy to completely disregard/avoid fiber (and don’t get me wrong there are times that avoiding fiber is necessary such as with strictures or certain flares), but before completely forgetting about fiber lets truly understands some of the benefits it has to offer.  Along with regularity fiber has a variety of benefits including aiding in the control of blood sugar levels, increases feelings of fullness (great for weight management), lowering cholesterol, and probably most important to us IBD’ers is it helps balance and promote a good gut microbiota. The gut microbiota are the millions of microorganisms living in our intestines and keeping it filled with healthy bacteria can help with gut motility, immune function, and decrease inflammation. There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps food move quickly through the stomach and intestine- often properties not desired in the IBD population during flares. On the other hand, soluble fiber is dissolvable in water.  Soluble fiber can be beneficial for those of us with IBD and diarrhea by absorbing water in the gut forming a gel and then slowing down transit time.  While it is good to know the differences in the types of fiber, it is equally as important to understand that when consuming fiber in our diet many foods, such as oats, contain a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber. As the case with many foods and IBD personal tolerance should always be taken into consideration, however for myself these hearty oats have been a great addition to my breakfast routine.

Ingredients:

½ cup Quick Oats

1 cup Unsweetened Almond milk

½ Banana, smashed or sliced

1 Tbsp. almond butter

1 tsp. pure maple syrup

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Combine all ingredients except cinnamon and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.

Diary free, FODMAP friendly, fiber friendly

Nutritional Benefits: Fortified almond milk is a good source of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D. Good source of fiber.