22 May Fibre: Beyond Bran
By Anna Richardson, BA, BASc, MPH candidate in Nutrition & Dietetics
(edited by Zannat Reza, MHSc RD)
It may seem challenging to get enough daily fibre, especially if you’re only thinking about cereals and prunes. Spicing up your fibre sources can be easier than you think – and your body (including your gut) will thank you.
Big-time benefits of fibre
Fibre keeps you regular and scrub out your digestive tract, but also promotes health in many ways:
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Manages blood sugar
- Maintains bowel health
Bonus: People who eat more fibre live longer!
How much do I need?
Women need 25 grams of fibre every day and men should aim for 38 grams. Most of us are only eating about half the recommended amount.
It may seem daunting to eat more fibre, but doing a quick label check or adding in a fruit or vegetable can help you get there.
Sources of fibre
Fibre is more than just bran. Many fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes pack a fibre punch. Check your food labels – you want at least 2 grams in every serving!
Decent sources – 2 grams/serving
- Fruits and vegetables e.g. apples, oranges, spinach, sweet potato, dried apricots, broccoli, carrots
- Nuts and seeds, peanut butter
- Whole grains like barley and plain popcorn
Good sources – 4 grams/serving
- Berries: blackberries, raspberries
- Green peas, edamame, pears
Excellent sources – 6 grams or more/ serving
- Lentils (a Canadian-grown powerhouse)
- Flaxseed (which also comes with heart benefits)
- Avocado, artichoke, baked beans, bran cereals
A gentle reminder: Drink more water or other liquids to keep your system running smoothly and to avoid any digestive woes.
(Disclosure: Canadian Lentils, and HealthyFlax.org are clients of thrive360, but did not pay for this article.)