Fibre in general is great for your digestive system and overall health. However, insoluble fibre and soluble fibre are digested differently and have different health benefits.
What’s the Deal with Fibre?
According to Dieticians of Canada, adults over the age of 18 should consume 21-38 grams of fibre daily. Individuals who eat a high-fibre diet are less likely to be obese, and have lower levels of diabetes, heart disease, and digestive conditions. Eating fibre also helps your body to absorb necessary nutrients from the food you eat. However, most people are consuming less than half the amount that’s recommended!
Soluble fibre absorbs water as it digests to form a gel, which helps to slow down digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Because of this, soluble fibre intake has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss. Intake of soluble fibre is also shown to be helpful for lowering blood sugar and `bad ‘cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Sources: Oat bran, nuts, seeds, legumes, psyllium husk, passionfruit, and avocado.
Unlike soluble fibre, insoluble fibre does not break down in the digestive system. This means that it’s great for treating and preventing constipation, as well as other digestive issues like hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
Sources: Whole grains, seeds, broccoli, cucumbers, popcorn, rolled oats, and dark leafy greens.
Awesome High-Fibre Foods
- Beans are awesome because they’re a source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Try using hummus as a sandwich spread, make a decadent-tasting chickpea cookie dough dip, or try a new-to-you meatless dinner option like burrito bowls or bean burgers.
- Chia Seeds. Just a single serving of chia seeds has 1/3 of the recommended daily fibre intake, as well as plenty of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Try using chia seeds as a yogurt topping or whip up a quick chia pudding.
- Lentils are another great vegetarian protein that pack a fierce fibre punch. They also have plenty of nutrients, like folate. Try a lentil salad this summer, or make your own lentil-walnut taco meat in Oh She Glow’s Ultimate Green Taco Wrap Recipe.
- NutraCleanse™. If you’re having trouble getting enough fibre, Nutracleanse™ is a great option. One serving contains 14 grams–more than half of the daily recommended intake! Add it to a smoothie, or try adding it to baked goods for a fibre boost.
- Popcorn is a whole grain, so it’s high in insoluble fibre but is also low in calories. Add fresh herbs for a savory snack, or drizzle melted dark chocolate for a sweeter treat.
- Heart-healthy avocado is also a good source of both kinds of fibre. Guacamole, anyone?
- Oatmeal is a top pick because it has an ideal mix of both soluble and insoluble fibre to help keep you feeling satisfied. A bowl of oatmeal in particular can help to lower cholesterol as it contains a special kind of fibre called beta-glucan.
- Just one cup of this summer fruit contains 1/3 of the daily recommended intake of fibre, so be sure to toss some raspberries on your next salad or bowl of cereal.
- Flaxseeds. These tiny seeds are packed with fibre, not to mention heart-healthy omega-3’s! Try adding a tablespoon to your smoothie or morning bowl of oatmeal.
Janelle Martel is a freelance writer and psychology student based out of sunny Tsawwassen! She also writes a healthy lifestyle blog at http://whollyhealthyblog.com/.