Dietary fibre (dietary fibre, roughage) is an essential nutrient required for proper digestion of foods, proper functioning of the digestive tract at large, and for helping you feel full. A deficiency of fiber can lead to constipation, hemorrhoids, and elevated levels of cholesterol and sugar in the blood. Conversely, an excess of fiber can lead to a bowel obstruction, diarrhea, or even dehydration.

When it comes to fibre, small changes can make a big impact on your fibre intake and overall health. Fibre intake has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and certain types of cancer.

Daily fibre intake goal:

Males 19-50 38 g per day

Males 50+ 30 g per day

Females 19-50 25 g per day

Females 50+ 21 g per day

This will be one of the most important changes you will add to your lifestyle un-diet:

Take 40 grams of fiber per day for LIFE!

Fiber is good for clearing your digestive tract of toxins and it also keeps your bowels moving. There are 2 types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Here are the differences:

Soluble Fibre – Benefits and Sources

  • Forms a gelatinous substance when mixed with water

  • Binds with fatty acids

  • Prolongs stomach emptying time so sugar is released and absorbed more slowly, which means your body won’t get blood sugar spikes

  • Binds with toxic substances in the bowel and draws it out of your system

Benefits Of Soluble Fibre

  • Lowers your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), therefore reducing the risk of heart disease

  • Regulates blood sugar

  • Expands in your stomach, giving the feeling of fullness

  • Clears heavy metals, heavy chemicals, parasites, and other toxic substances from the body

  • Keeps unwanted pounds off

Food Sources Of Soluble Fibre

  • Oats, oat bran, oatmeal Dried beans and peas Nuts

  • Barley

  • Flax seed

  • Fruits such as citrus and apples Vegetables such as carrots Psyllium husk powder

Insoluble Fibre – Benefits and Sources

  • Moves bulk through the intestines

  • Controls and balance the pH (acidity) in the intestines

Benefits Of Insoluble Fibre

  • Promotes regular bowel movement and prevent constipation

  • Moves toxic waste through the colon in less time

  • Helps prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances

  • Keeps unwanted pounds off

Sources of Insoluble Fibre Include:

  • Vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables Fruit skins and root vegetable skins

  • Whole-grain products

  • Wheat oat Corn bran Seeds & nuts

10 Easy Ways to Incorporate More Fibre into Your Diet

Adding fibre to your diet does not mean that you have to give up your favorite foods or change your lifestyle. Here are some easy ways to incorporate fibre into your diet.

  1. Choose a fibre-rich cereal. Choose a cereal that has at least 4 g of fibre per serving.

  2. Add a high-fibre cereal to your regular cereal. Choose a cereal that has at least 10 g of fibre per serving and sprinkle it on your regular cereal.

  3. Eat more fruit. Have fruit for a snack or dessert and limit your intake of fruit juice. Don’t forget to eat the skin on fruits such as apples and pears. That is where most of the fibre is.

  4. Add one more vegetable to your diet today. Vegetables are low in calories and a good source of fibre and nutrition.

  5. Add beans or lentils to your tossed salad, spaghetti sauce or soups.

  6. Choose 100% whole-grain and 100% whole-wheat breads and pasta. The package should say 100% whole grain, or 100% whole wheat.

  7. Add 75 mL (¼ cup) of wheat bran, oat bran or ground flax to your baking.

  8. Use hummus or other bean dips for spreads on sandwiches instead of mustard and mayonnaise.

  9. Add dried fruit, nuts or seeds to cereal, salads or yogurt.

  10. Substitute half the white flour for whole wheat flour in your favourite recipes.

Remember to add fibre to your diet slowly, a little day by day, until you reach your daily fibre intake goal. Switching from a low to a high-fibre diet too quickly can cause constipation and cramps.

Make sure to drink water when you are increasing your fibre intake. Aim for at least 1 to 2 litres (6 to 8 cups) per day, depending on your gender, activity level and weight.

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