It’s all very well and good to list ‘healthy foods’. But for those on a low-fibre diet, it’s not so easy to include nutrient-dense options in their daily diet. This is very common in complex gastrointestinal problems, as well as prior to and recovering from surgery. However, the most common lists of low-fibre foods are focused on refined foods – definitely not what I would consider healthy low-fibre foods that are ideal for daily consumption.
So today, I thought I’d share some of my top recommendations for healthy low-fibre foods to include if you have fibre restrictions.
Healthy Low-Fibre Foods For A Restricted Diet
Fruit & Veg
Watermelon – packed full of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your heart. It’s also high in water, so can keep you hydrated over the summertime.
Papaya – this is full of enzymes that can help your body break down proteins. Great to marinate meats in to tenderise and make easier to digest.
Plums – one of the tastiest options to keep your vitamin C intake high – each plum has about 10% of your RDI. And really, who stops at just one?
Spinach – definitely my favourite of the healthy low-fibre foods! It’s full of minerals including iron and magnesium, as well as oodles of antioxidants. Plus, it’s easy to chuck in a smoothie!
Carrots – they might not help you see in the dark, but carrots are packed full of eye protective antioxidants, including carotenoids (the plant precursor to vitamin A) and lutein.
Beetroot – one of the healthiest veg options for heart health, as it contains a compound that can maintain a healthy blood pressure, as well as heart-protective antioxidants.
Asparagus – a little known fact is that asparagus has a good serve of iron in it – about 11% per 100g. It’s also well absorbed, thanks to the vitamin C content.
Zucchini – a good serve of vitamin C – about 30% RDI per 100g – and you can make them into healthy noodles. What’s not to love?
Olive oil – one of the healthiest fats in the world, olive oil is packed with fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants.
Coconut oil – properties in this oil can actually kill harmful bacteria naturally, while giving you steady energy levels.
Eggs – packed full of zinc, protein and fat-soluble vitamins. The yolk is particularly nutrient-dense, so don’t skip it!
Grass-fed meat – grass-fed meat contains higher amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, as well as abundant protein and minerals.
Fatty fish – one of the best sources of omega-3s, as well as other minerals such as zinc.
Herbal tea – so many different options to choose from, all with different benefits. Just make sure you drink it away from medications, just to be safe – some can interfere with absorption.
Green tea – one of my favourite superfoods! It has one compound that boosts focus and concentration, another that reduces stress hormone levels, and it’s full to the brim with powerful antioxidants.
Bone broth – also known as ‘broth’ or ‘stock’ for those of us who grew up with it! Add some vinegar or lemon juice to draw more nutrition out of the bones. A great source of gut-supportive amino acids and minerals.
All of the foods listed above have an average of 3g or less of fibre per 100g. However, if you don’t tolerate it well – don’t eat it! Always follow the guidance of your healthcare practitioner, and your body.
Some other nutrient-dense suggestions I’ve made to previous clients looking for healthy low-fibre foods include:
- Small serves of hulled tahini – a great source of calcium, and about 1.2g of fibre per tablespoon
- Small serves of pumpkin seed butter – an excellent source of zinc, and about 1g of fibre per tablespoon
- Add non-spicy herbs and spices to your food. Although they are generally high in fibre, you would generally use 1 tsp or less per meal. They’re also packed full of healthy antioxidants!
So how do you incorporate these healthy low-fibre foods into a balanced diet?
I would recommend that these foods make up at least 50% of your diet, given how nutrient-dense they are. Add some low-fibre carbohydrate options, and the occasional treat, and you’ve got a much more balanced diet that still supports your health.