Make Fiber a Regular part of your diet

By Dr. Chirstopher Notley DC

Key points:

    • Consume 25 to 35 g of fiber per day
    • Consume 7 to 10 servings of fruit per day
    • Don’t increase consumption quickly
    • Increase water when increasing fiber consumption

    It might be rough trying to eat enough fibre in your diet but it is a must. Fibre is a non-digestible substance. Despite it being non-digestible and that it does not contribute to your vitamin, mineral, protein, fat or carbohydrate consumption its benefits are numerous. There are two forms of fibre, soluble and insoluble, which we will discuss here.

    Fiber benefits

    Insoluble fiber benefits:

      • Improves bowel movement and prevents constipation
      • Increase speed of waste removal, less time for toxins in the bowel
      • Reduces chance of diverticulitis
      • Maintains optimal acidity in the intestines preventing microbes from producing cancerous substances.

      Note: recent studies have shown little to no relationship between fiber consumption and colon cancer
      Soluble fiber benefits:

        • Lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
        • Slows uptake of sugars thus regulating blood sugar levels which helps those with diabetes and those preventing type II diabetes.

        Where are they found?

        Insoluble fiber

            • Green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
            • Fruit skins and root vegetable skins
            • Whole-wheat products
            • Oat and wheat bran
            • Corn bran
            • Seeds & Nuts
            • Carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini
            • Couscous, brown rice, barely, and brown rice
            • Whole grain breakfast cereals

             

            Soluble fiber

              • Oat/Oat bran
              • Dried beans and peas
              • Lentils
              • Nuts
              • Barley
              • Flax seed
              • Fruits such as oranges, pears, strawberries, blueberries and apples
              • Vegetables such as carrots
              • Psyllium husk

              As you can see, all of those healthy foods your mom told you that you needed to eat contain fibre. These foods are not just good for fibre but also for important vitamins and minerals.

              The Canada food guide recommends that you consume 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Look to consume 25 to 35g of fibre a day. Do not increase your fibre consumption quickly because it may cause Gas, diarrhea, general abdominal discomfort, constipation, possible blockages, or the need for urgent movements. In addition, you will have to increase your water consumption because fibre absorbs water.

              Don’t focus on a particular fibre type. Both are very important for your health. Instead, make choices when you are deciding on what you eat. Choose a food that is higher in fibre instead of one that is devoid of fibre.

               

               

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