Why Is Fibre So Important And What Are The Best Sources?
Dietary fibre is the part of plant foods that our bodies can’t fully digest and absorb. It seems like this would be a bad thing, but in fact, it’s a very important component of a healthy diet. So how much fibre do we need each day and what are it’s benefits?
Health Canada recommends 25-40 grams of fibre per day—on the higher end for men and lower end for women. But it turns out most Canadians eat only half the fibre they need each day. Let’s consider where we can get more fibre in our diet and the ways fibre improves our health.
Soluble fibre dissolves in the lower intestine, turning into a thick gel. This thick gel can actually slow down digestion which causes carbohydrates to enter the bloodstream in a steady manner, instead of all at once which is great for managing blood sugar. It also slows the absorption of fat and cholesterol, which can lower levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Good food sources of soluble fibre include apples, oranges, pears, avocado, artichokes, carrots, potatoes, barley, oats, psyllium, legumes, and flax seeds.
Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve and can’t be broken down so it provides bulk to the digestive tract. This can help stool move through the bowel more quickly and keep bowel movements regular and lowering the risk of certain cancers, such as colon cancer. When considering sources of insoluble fibre, consider the parts of the plant that seem less likely to break down like the skins, seeds, and leaves. Good sources of insoluble fibre include wheat bran, nuts, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables with their skin.
Make it a habit to incorporate a variety of fibre-rich foods in your diet for a happy, healthy intestine and more