Numerous studies show that dietary fibre may reduce risks of chronic disease. Aim for at least 25 grams a day but increase gradually as too much, too quickly can cause bloating or gas.
There are so many ways to increase your fibre intake and here are some suggestions:
- Look for cereals with at least 6 grams per serving. If you are not used to eating the higher fibre cereals, start by mixing half your regular with half the high fibre one and over time keep mixing until you are only eating the higher fibre varieties.
- Vegetables, fresh or frozen contribute valuable fibre. Eat one serving at both lunch and dinner. They are good as a side dish, in a salad or eaten raw with dip as a snack. Add extra vegetables to a sandwich, omelette, quesadillas or pizza. Grill eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, corn, zucchini on the barbecue.
- Lentils, beans, legumes are all super fibre sources. A 3/4 cup (175ml) serving of lentils has 6 grams, 3/4 cup (175ml) black or kidney beans, 12 grams, 3/4 cup (175ml) chickpeas, 8 grams. Add beans to salads, chili, soups, stews, in tacos or burritos or snack on chick peas.
- A cup of lentil soup has 6 to 8 grams, 1/4 cup (50ml) hummus has 3.5 grams.
- Get more fibre from whole grains as a side dish, salad or even a main course. A cup of cooked quinoa has 3 grams, bulgur has 7 grams or whole wheat pasta has 5 grams.
- Fruits such as apples, berries, pears are all fibre stars. Eat them raw, in a fruit salad, in a cold soup or in a smoothie. A half-cup of raspberries has 4 grams, a pear 5 grams, an apple 2.5 grams.
- Make a snack mix with high fibre cereal, nuts (1/4 cup/50ml almonds = 4 grams) and dried fruit (3 prunes = 3 grams, 1/4 cup/50ml dried apricots = 3 grams) and flax (3 grams/Tbsp).
- Look at labels of crackers and breads and choose the ones with higher fibre values.