Soluable and Insoluble Fibre:

Fibre is basically an indigestible (and therefore calorie-free) complex carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables and grains. There are two types, and each one provides its own benefits.

Insoluble Fibre comes from certain fruits and vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower and potato skins. It also comes from popcorn, dried beans, seeds, brown rice and whole grain pastas, breads and cereals. Essentially, this type of fibre provides bulk and assists in moving food through our digestive systems. Some research claims it may even reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Soluble Fibre is found in prunes, fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, pears, peaches and grapes, as well as in dried beans, oatmeal, barley, rye, psyllium and vegetable such as carrots. This fibre mixes with liquids in our bodies and forms a gel-like substance, which soaks up cholesterol and exits the body as waste. Soluble fibre is known to prevent and control diabetes, as it slows the absorption of sugar in our systems. Certain foods contain different amounts of one or both types of fibre, so it’s important to eat a wide variety everyday!

Tips for Getting More Fibre:

  • Start with a high fibre cereal in the morning, or add a couple of tablespoons of wheat or oat bran to your regular cereal.    
  • Ditch white flour whenever you can and opt for whole grain breads, pastas and cereals.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruit (rather than juice) and include the skins.
  • Choose natural, food sources of fibre over supplements as often as possible, as they are higher in valuable nutrients.
  • And when you add fibre to your diet, do so gradually. Hitting your system with too much too quickly can lead to intestinal discomfort.
  • Make sure to increase your water intake as well.

Health Canada recommends a daily intake of 20-35 g of fibre a day

1 cup brown rice, cooked = 3.3g fibre
1 medium size apple = 3g fibre
½ cup raspberries = 3g fibre
½ cup blueberries = 2g fibre
10 whole dates = 7g fibre
10 whole prunes = 6g fibre
½ cup black beans, cooked = 6g fibre
½ cup navy beans, cooked = 6g fibre
½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds = 8g fibre
1 half avocado = 5g fibre
4 whole dried figs = 13g fibre
12 halves dried apricots = 5g fibre

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