You often hear about fibre, but what do we actually know about fibre?
First you should know that there are two types of dietary fibre; soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps regulate bowel functions. Soluble fibre helps regulate cholesterol levels in the blood. Fibre has a major impact on our health, by absorbing “bad” cholesterol and helping it dissipate.
Most of what we eat contains both types of fibres, in varying quantities. For example, bran and wheat cereals, cauliflower, kale, green peas, spinach, turnip, raspberries, apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, almonds, peanuts and legumes in general, all contain higher quantities of insoluble fibre. Foods that contain mostly soluble fibres are, for example, psyllium, bran and oat cereals, red beans, peas, oranges, mango, dried prune, grapefruit, Brussels sprout, asparagus, carrots, onions and barley.
Health Canada recommends eating 25 to 30 grams of fibre each day.
Here is a list of foods that contain the most fibre:
- cinnamon with 52g of fibre per 100g of spice;
- cilantro, oregano and rosemary with 43g of fibre per 100g of spice;
- wheat bran with 25g of fibre per 100g of bran;
- oat bran has 15g per 100g of bran;
- coconut, 14.5g;
- almonds, 12.6g;
- black olives, 12.5g;
- dried figs, 11.4g;
- oat flakes, 10.6g;
- split peas, 10.6g;
- pecans, 10g;
- hazelnuts, 8.5g;
- dark chocolate (with 70% cocoa), 7g;
- vegetables, 5 to 7g per 100g portion.
Need help getting more fibre in your daily routine? Try eating more fruits like apples, raspberries and dried fruit. Go for veggies like artichoke, peas, cabbage, broccoli, turnip and unpeeled potatoes. Switch from white rice to brown rice, whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, and switch pasta and white bread with those made of whole grains. Add lentils and beans to your dishes, soups and salads. And for a snack, try nuts and dried fruit or homemade muffins with added fibre.