Fibre may have more benefits than we previously thought.
An American study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that a diet high in fibre lowered the risk for heart disease, infectious and respiratory illnesses. Men and women who ate a high fibre diet were 22% less likely to die from any cause than those who ate a low fibre diet. High fibre diets were shown to improve cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation.
The average American is only getting about 15 grams of fibre per day, falling short of the recommendation of 25 – 30 grams a day.
Soluble and insoluble fibres perform different functions in the body. Soluble fibre slows the movement of food through your digestive tract which helps to delay hunger, it absorbs water which helps you feel full after eating, and it helps to lower cholesterol. Soluble fibre can be found in foods such as oatmeal, barley, legumes, apples, and citrus fruits. Insoluble fibre gives your digestive tract a workout, keeping your intestine strong and helping prevent constipation. Insoluble fibre can be found in whole grains and vegetables.
Increase your fibre intake by following Canada’s Food Guide. It recommends consuming at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday and choosing whole grains. Adding too much fibre to your diet too fast can cause discomfort so it is important to increase your fibre intake slowly and drink plenty of water. There are many simple ways to add fibre to your diet. Try adding sliced fruit to your high fibre
cereal for breakfast, add berries to yogurt, don’t peel your apple or pear, add more beans to your chili recipe, add barley to soup, and make your sandwiches with whole wheat bread. Think about your diet and if you are getting enough fibre. It’s good for your health.
By Carla Van Den Bussche