Are You Getting Enough Fibre? Include These Top 3 Food Sources!

It’s every dietitian’s favourite nutrient… and by the time you’re done reading this, it will be yours, too! I’m talking about fibre (or fiber for my American friends). We’ve all heard we need more of it, but how important can something be if our bodies can’t even digest it? (Pretty important, it turns out.) Fibre does a lot more than keep us “regular” – and you can find it in some pretty tasty places. Read on for more about why you’ll want to up the fibre in your diet!

What is Fibre & Why is it Important?

 Fibre refers to the parts of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. It sounds nonsensical to eat stuff that your body can’t digest, but fibre does a lot of good for something that passes on by!

A key thing to know is there are different types of fibre that have their own health benefits. First of all there’s insoluble fibre, which – you guessed it – isn’t water soluble. This type of fibre provides bulk to waste from your digestive system to keep things moving regularly. It’s a fantastic way to support your body’s natural detoxification (no need to pile on the supplements).

Soluble fibre, on the other hand, binds with water to form a gel-like substance that helps waste move smoothly. Soluble fibre also binds with substances like cholesterol and sugar, slowing down their absorption into the bloodstream – and lots of it is found in your favourite Gabriella’s Kitchen Superfood Teff Pasta!

Fibre has significant anti-inflammatory effects, which is helpful in lowering your risk of heart disease. High fibre diets have also been shown to boost long term weight loss and reduce diabetes risk by slowing down the absorption and movement of food through your stomach. Participants in one study were able to keep weight off effectively for at least 3 years following a low fat, high fibre diet!

If you’re still not convinced that fibre is pretty high up on the good-for-you list, check this out: A high fibre diet, especially when combined with reduced dietary fat, can reduce circulating estrogen levels and may reduce your risk of breast cancer. Fibre is also top of my list for reducing your risk of colorectal cancer, improving kidney function, and maintaining healthy gut bacteria.

Why Arent We Getting Enough Fibre?

We know that fibre is super healthy, but most of us don’t get enough of it. The recommendation for everyone over 1 year old is 14 grams of fibre per 1000 kcal every day. That means we’re looking for at least 25 grams of fibre per day for adults, preferably more, as there’s currently no upper limit defined. Canadians, on average, aren’t getting nearly that much – and neither are Americans, who eat an average of 16 grams per day.

Why aren’t we eating enough fibre? Well, high fibre diets are typically full of vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains (such as Gabriella’s Kitchen skinnypasta). Sadly, these whole food ingredients are seriously lacking in the heavily processed and refined foods that are taking over our dietary habits.

It’s every dietitian’s favourite nutrient… and by the time you’re done reading this, it will be yours, too! I’m talking about fibre (or fiber for my American friends). We’ve all heard we need more of it, but how important can something be if our bodies can’t even digest it? (Pretty important, it turns out.) Fibre does a lot more than keep us “regular” – and you can find it in some pretty tasty places. Read on for more about why you’ll want to up the fibre in your diet!

Which Foods Are High in Fibre?

 By now, I’m sure you’re jumping out of your seat to ask where you can find something so good for you. Well, there’s good news – fibre is found in every whole plant food.

  1. Grains & Legumes

 Make your favourite pasta dishes with Gabriella’s Kitchen Superfood Teff Pasta or Gabriella’s Kitchen High Protein Pasta for an extra dose of fibre, and replace white bread with a whole grain version.

If you’re baking at home, you can easily substitute whole grain flour for at least half of the white flour in a recipe to up the fibre content. Brown rice, oats, barley, and quinoa are all whole grains that make high fibre bases for healthy meals – especially when topped with legumes like lentils, beans, and peas.

Tossing lentils and beans into chili and soups gives you a fibre boost at dinner, as well.

Roasted chickpeas make for a satisfying and crunch high fibre snack, and swapping legume-based dips (like hummus or black bean dip) for mayo-based dips gives you even more fibre at snacktime.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables

 All fruits and vegetables contain some fibre, but you’ll get even more out of your produce when you eat the skins whenever possible. Eating at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day (a serving rounds out to 1 cup fresh fruit or veggies, 1/2 cup cooked veggies, 1 cup salad, or 1 medium-sized piece of fruit) ensures that you’re getting plenty of fibre throughout your day.

Add some kale or spinach to your smoothies, make your scrambled eggs with tomatoes, mushrooms and green peppers, and load up your pasta sauce with zucchini or fennel. Add frozen berries to your yogurt or oatmeal for a convenient way to boost fibre and antioxidants.

  1. Nuts and Seeds

 Eating more nuts and seeds is one of the easiest ways to add more fibre (and healthy fats and protein!) into your diet. You can easily grab a handful of nuts as a quick snack or sprinkle toasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or flaxseeds on your oatmeal, salads, and yogurt. Some of my favourites are chia seeds and hemp seeds for their healthy omega-3 fatty acids… and you don’t need to grind them up like flax seeds.

By eating a balanced diet with a variety of fibre-rich foods, you’ll give your body what it needs to thrive and be as healthy as it can be. Ready to take our fibre challenge? How many grams are you getting each day?

Xo Christy

MSc, RD, President of 80 Twenty Nutrition

www.80TwentyNutrition.com

Twitter and Instagram: @80twentyrule