What Is Fibre?
I’m sure we have all heard of fibre but do you know what it actually is and where to find the best sources? This blog post touches on what it is, the benefits and some great recipes to increase the amount of fibre you’re getting in your diet!
So, let’s begin with what fibre is, fibre is basically a non-digestible form of carbohydrates that is found in plant foods. It is also known as ‘roughage or bulk’. Fibre passes through the body relatively undigested but along the way it does a lot of work!
Types of Fibre
Fibre can be put into two categories: soluble and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre means it does dissolve in water, so therefore in the body it becomes a gel-like substance. Soluble fibre is mostly known for helping control blood sugar levels and reducing LDL cholesterol levels. Some good sources of soluble fibre come from beans, oatmeal, most vegetables, avocado, sweet potato, chia seeds, flax seeds, psyllium husk and more.
Meanwhile, insoluble fibre does NOT dissolve in water and pretty much holds its shape while in the body. Insoluble fibre helps add bulk to your stools and helps speed up the removal of waste from the intestines. Good sources of insoluble fibre are wheat bran, brown rice, legumes, veggies like cauliflower, corn and more.
Next, let’s take a look at why everyone and their mother is telling you to get enough fibre in your diet!
Benefits of Fibre
Fibre’s best-known quality as we know is its ability to help with digestion, but what does it actually do to help? It serves as an effective way to stay regular, dietary fibre normalizes bowel movements by bulking up stool and making them easier to pass. This not only making life more comfortable, but it helps maintain your colorectal health, reducing your risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis which causes inflamed pouches in the lining of the intestine.
A high-fibre diet can lower your risk for type two diabetes, as well as soluble fibre can help slow the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels for people already with type two diabetes.
Keeping your heart healthy is super important for all of us, it works so hard for us every day and fibre is actually an important element of a heart-healthy diet (specifically soluble fibre).
Fibre can also help improve your skin health by flushing out unwanted toxins in the body, overall enhancing the look and health of your skin!! (we love this)
Lastly, fibre aids in weight loss by adding bulk to our diet that helps us feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. This lowers the amount of food we are eating, helps control blood sugar levels and maintains the body’s fat-burning capacity. Meaning, we can lose weight more efficiently!
How Much Fibre Do You Need?
How much fibre should you be getting on an average day you might ask? Well, this depends- everyone is different in terms of their unique dietary needs, but the goal is between 25-38 grams for adults 19-50. Here is a basic chart based on gender and age:
|9-13||31 grams||26 grams|
|14-18||38 grams||26 grams|
|19-30||38 grams||26 grams|
|31-50||38 grams||25 grams|
|51-70||30 grams||21 grams|
|70+||30 grams||21 grams|
Easy High-Fibre Recipes
I suggest aiming to get at least 10 grams of fibre at each meal in order to reach your daily goal! Here are some super easy ways to pack some fibre into each meal.
Chia Seed Pudding
I have a few recipes here: Simple Chia Pudding
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding
1-2 slices Ezekiel bread
1 spoonful hummus
What to do: Toast your bread to your preferred doneness, spread your hummus and mash your avocado on your toast and sprinkle with salt and pepper!
½ cup rolled old fashioned oats
½ cup plant milk of choice
¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon sweetener of choice honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add ingredients to a jar, mix until combined. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Top with fresh fruit and almond butter before serving. These can be eaten warm or cold!
High Fibre Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie
1 cup plant milk
1/2 cup zucchini (frozen)
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
1/2 banana (frozen)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 tablespoon cacao powder
Add all the ingredients to a blender, blend it up and serve immediately!
I hope this post has given you some insight into why fibre is such an important part of a healthy, balanced diet!
As a quick summary, there are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre helps to lower our blood sugar levels as well as LDL cholesterol levels and insoluble fibre helps to bulk up our stool and speed up the removal of waste in the intestines. We need both kinds in our diet! The main benefits of fibre are to help us stay regular, maintain the health of our colon, lower our risk for diabetes, support a healthy heart, improve skin health and aid in weight loss. The amount of fibre each person needs depends on their age and gender. It can range from 21-30 grams per day. I suggest aiming to get around 10 grams of fibre at each meal if you can! This will help you reach your daily intake goal.
Thanks for reading!