Dietary fibres for a healthy diet

Dietary fibres for a healthy diet - Berry Flirt Smoothie

Eat more fibres

Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is well known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.


What are fibres?

Fibre is actually a type of carbohydrate, and more precisely, they are non-digestible polysaccharides (more or less long chains of different simple sugars). They are found in plants and enter into the structure of plants (leaves, roots, fruit skins).

There are mainly two types of fibre: soluble fibre (dissolves in water)  and insoluble fibre.

  • Soluble fiber. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley.
  • Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk.  Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.

Benefits of a high-fiber diet

A high-fiber diet:

  • Normalizes bowel movements. 
  • Helps maintain bowel health. 
  • Lowers cholesterol levels. 
  • Helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Aids in achieving healthy weight. 
  • Helps you live longer. 

If you aren't eating enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. 

  • Whole-grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Tips for fitting in more fiber

  • For breakfast choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal —  Opt for cereals with "whole grain," "bran" or "fiber" in the name. Or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
  • Use whole grains. Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label. Experiment with brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur wheat.
  • Eat more legumes. Beans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of fiber. 
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. 
  • For your snack. prefer fresh fruits, raw vegetables, low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crackers. A handful of nuts or dried fruits also is a healthy, high-fiber snack (beware they are high in calories)

But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a few weeks. This allows your digestive system to adjust.

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