In this article, I wanted to briefly discuss the importance of fibre. Fibre is such an essential part of your overall health, yet I find it to be such an underrated part of our diets. Dietary fibre can be categorized as either ‘soluble’ or ‘insoluble’ fibre, and both are very important for us to consume. Soluble fibre slows down our digestion and helps us feel more “full” after meals. Insoluble fibre helps to bulk up the stool, making bowel movements easier to pass.
Below are just some of the many health benefits of fibre:
- Fibre keeps us “regular” and prevents constipation
- Fibre helps reduce your cholesterol levels
- Fibre balances your blood sugar
- Fibre helps reduce our caloric intake
- Fibre can assist with weight loss
- Fibre helps with detoxification
- Fibre can help to balance hormones
Fibre is especially important for our digestion. Fibre acts as a ‘prebiotic’, which means it will provide a fuel source for your ‘good’ bacteria. Fibre helps to bulk up stools by attracting water into the intestinal tract. Increasing our dietary fibre helps to make bowel movements easier to pass and keeps us more ‘regular’.
Below are some easy tips to help you incorporate more fibre into your diet:
- Easily increase your fibre intake by adding 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or chia seeds to your diet.
- Make sure to have variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day.
- Have a handful (1 ounce) of nuts as a healthy, high-fibre, snack daily.
- Include legumes in your diet daily; legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.) are high in fibre.
- Substitute any refined grains with ‘whole grains’ in your diet. Whole grains have a higher fibre content.
Now that we’ve discussed how important dietary fibre is to our overall health, you’re probably wondering how much fibre you need to consume in your daily diet. Currently, the average dietary fibre intake for adults is approximately 15 grams of fibre per day, which is too low. Below are some targets for your daily fibre intake:
- Women under 50 should aim for 25 grams of fibre per day.
- Women over 50 should aim for 21 grams per day.
- Men under 50 should aim for 38 grams of fibre per day.
- Men over 50 should sim for 30 grams per day.
Yours in health,
Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor
16655 Yonge St., Newmarket, Ont.
905-898-1844 ext. 135