On any given day the human body is under a lot of stress; workplace, lifestyle, family, relationships, food and health. Obtaining the maximum benefit from the food you eat is the key to a happy healthy life at this time. Having a body which functions well is the first priority, then finding and eating food that responds well to your needs.
Metamucil is a great source of 100% natural psyllium fibre. Visit the Metamucil Facebook page for more #SuperPsyllium ideas on how to incorporate it into your diet.
Question: What is psyllium?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: Psyllium comes from the outer husk of the seed of a particular plant. It's an incredible source of fibre and soluble fibre in particular.
Question: Why has psyllium become the latest superfood ingredient?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: Because it has the potential to assist with blood glucose control, reduce constipation, reduce blood levels of -bad' LDL-cholesterol, lower blood pressure and may help in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Question: How can we consume psyllium?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: You can simply dissolve in water and drink, or add to smoothies, yoghurt, pancake or muffin mixes, or even through mashed potato.
Question: How often should we be having psyllium and why?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: Of course not everyone needs to have psyllium if you have other good sources of fibre, especially soluble fibre, in your diet. However the majority of people fall short on fibre requirements and adding psyllium on a daily basis is one of the easiest ways to boost your intake.
Question: Why is fibre so important for our diet?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: It's important primarily for gut health – keeping us regular, feeding the good bacteria in our gut (which in turn boosts immune function) and helping to prevent gut problems. But it also helps with blood glucose and insulin control as well as promoting healthy cholesterol profiles.
Question: Can the right amount of fibre help us lose weight?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: Yes because fibre-rich meals help to fill us up and feel sated after the meal. This can help to stop you raiding the biscuit tin between meals. By lowering blood glucose and insulin you can also potentially boost fat burning and keeping hunger pangs at bay.
Question: What are the top five natural grains we should incorporate into our diet?
Scott Mathias: 1 – Chia – the new Aussie breakfast cereal taking the country by storm. High in fibre and when soaked they become gelatinous, Chia seeds are little vitamin and trace mineral bombshells also containing rich plant proteins.
2 – Buckwheat – this is a seed not a wheat, and gluten free. High in protein and trace minerals buckwheat soaked overnight, rinsed and dried in the sun or in a dehydrator can be kept and used as a great breakfast cereal alternative to absolutely anything from a packet.
3 – Psyllium – a great addition to any gluten free bread, wrap or tortilla, the fibre from the hull from the seed can contain as much as 50gms per 100gms of raw dietary fibre. The most recognised brand available in Australia is 100% psyllium husk – Metamucil.
4 – Sunflower – one of nature's true -sunshine foods', sunflower seeds are rich in an amazing array of vitamins and trace minerals including Vit E, Vit B1 and B6, Copper, Selenium and Magnesium. They are great for children's lunches because they meet the -no peanut' ban.
5 – Amaranth - this actually grows wild in most parts of Australia. Characterised by a long stem of tightly bunched -reddy purple' seeds, Amaranth outdoes wheat or rice in the nutritional stakes containing more iron, calcium, protein and other phyto (plant) nutrients.
Part of an optimally functioning body is the successful processing and release of toxins each day.
Question: How can we tell if we have too many toxins in our body?
Scott Mathias: There are a lot of indicators, but some key ones to watch out for include:
If you feel overly tired after lunch, it could be a symptom of a dietary intolerance, such as gluten or lactose, or that you have eaten too much animal protein. Why not try to eat smaller portions or cutting some animal protein out of your lunchtime menu?
If tiredness is an ongoing issue, it could be due to over-worked adrenals – the collection of glands around the kidneys controlling stress and blood pressure.
Another symptom not often associated with toxins is loss of clarity in thought, such as forgetfulness and indecision, along with mild anxiety and a fear to move forward. When the body wants to close down the cerebral fluid literally becomes toxic and cannot feed the brain with the appropriate nutrients it needs. The mind is therefore affected by a lack of -good food' in the cerebral cavity.
Question: How can we eliminate toxins using our diet?
Scott Mathias: Try including whole fruits with your breakfast. They have enzymes, which assist in processing yesterday's waste, and provide great brain food too.
More generally, it's important to make sure you're getting enough fibre in your diet to assist in the efficient distribution of nutrients and the removal of bad bacteria from the lower intestinal tract - the National Health and Media Research Council recommends a daily fibre intake of at least 30 grams.
If you're not getting enough through the food you eat, try a good fibre supplement like psyllium. Metamucil is 100% psyllium and a recognised and reputable brand.
Question: What's your daily diet look like?
Dr. Joanna McMillan: For breakfast I have either muesli with fruit, natural yoghurt and milk, or I have eggs (poached, boiled or made into an omelette) with plenty of veggies like spinach, tomato, mushrooms and a slice of wholegrain toast with avocado. Lunch is often leftovers, a soup during winter that includes beans, lentils and often chicken, or I make a salad and add a can of tuna or salmon and drizzle with an extra virgin olive oil and vinegar dressing. Dinner could be anything but I use my Dr Joanna Plate (see drjoanna.com.au) so half my plate is veggies, then I add a protein-rich food, a smart carb and a healthy fat. I try not to snack but if I'm hungry between meals I have a veggie-based smoothie, nuts, fruit or a bowl of natural yoghurt with berries and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds. Oh and there are usually a few coffees and teas in there too!
Interview by Brooke Hunter