Canadians only get about half of the recommended fibre in their diets. On average we are getting about 15 grams of fibre per day. We should be aiming for 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Wow!
How do we increase our fibre intake and why is it important?
Fibre comes only from plant foods, not from dairy, meat or fish. One more great reason to increase your intake of plants foods
First of all why is fibre important? There are two kinds of fibre which each have their own role in digestion. But both are critical to preventing constipation and ensuring healthy digestion, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Soluble fibre attracts water in your digestive system and turns to gel slowing digestions and therefore slowing the absorption of sugar by the body. Soluble fibre is found in foods such as oats, nuts seeds, fruits with skins, asparagus, brussel sprouts and lentils. Click here for more foods with soluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre helps to move things along in the digestive tract and is critical in preventing constipation. Insoluble fibre is found in foods such as: whole grains, most beans and lentils, flaxseed, cabbage, bell peppers, cucumbers, peas, popped corn, dates and prunes.
Eating a whole foods diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains will ensure that you are getting the fibre that you need for maintaining health. Anyone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may need to speak to their doctor regarding the amount of fibre they should have in their diet to manage symptoms.