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Fibre-Rich Foods are a Must for Your Health

Woman making morning breakfast oatmeal cereals and adding ingredients in the kitchen at home. Making healthy organic meal packed with fiber and nutrients

“Eat more fibre!” is something you’ve no doubt heard before. When it comes to our health, fibre plays an important role. Despite that, most Canadians typically consume half of their daily recommended amount. Let’s have a look at fibre and its health benefits.

Fibre helps to regulate bowel function, helps you stay fuller for longer, helps with weight management and to control blood sugar levels in people living with diabetes. Fibre-rich foods can even help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Health Canada guidelines recommend that women should consume 25 grams of fibre daily, while men should consume 38 grams of fibre daily.

Many foods provide fibre such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole-grain products. In general, highly processed foods – such as pulp-free fruit juice, white bread and pasta, and refined cereal – contain little to no fibre. In fact, the husk of the grain (commonly known as “bran”) is removed during the refining process which greatly reduces the fibre content in these foods. This is yet another great reason why it’s important to eat as many unprocessed foods as possible!

Transform recipes you love into hearty, nutritious meals

We’ve all got those meals we love, dishes that are so comforting that we can’t go too long without them. Though these may not always be the most nutritious, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve the fibre content — without compromising on flavour! 

On the hunt for fresh ideas? Increase your fibre intake by adding wheat bran, flaxseed, or nuts to homemade muffins or bread (this works in either sweet or salty recipes). If you’re planning to make a Shepard’s pie, try adding chunks of cooked carrots or squash into the ground beef. Enhance pasta sauces with baby spinach or kale leaves. Don’t forget to have a look at the Nutrition Facts table when shopping for breads and cereals and opt for those with a higher amount of fibre per serving.

Is sensitivity to gluten to blame for your digestive issues?

After consuming gluten foods, a person experiencing gluten sensitivity may begin to notice abdominal pain, bloating, abnormal bowel movements (either diarrhea or constipation), fatigue, and even skin conditions like eczema. Usually, these symptoms disappear once gluten is removed from the diet. If you think you may be sensitive to gluten, check with a healthcare professional first to give you a proper diagnosis. And since gluten is found in many foods that are nutritious, such as wheat, barley, and rye, a registered dietitian can develop a treatment plan tailored for you to ensure you still get all the nutrients you need.