Why should fibre be a priority in your diet?

Today’s food fact of the day’s spotlight is on fibre. I recently did a presentation in the community and was asked a lot of questions about fibre.. what is soluble fibre? what is the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre? How do I know what foods to eat? Well here is my short summary to understanding fibre. To begin.. fibre is FANTASTIC for our health.

blueberry-bliss-baked-oatmeal

Fiber can’t be broken down and absorbed by your digestive system. As fibre moves through your body, it slows digestion and makes your stools softer and easier to pass.

  • fibrous foods help create and maintain a healthy digestive system
  • bowel regularity  😉
  • have beneficial effects on blood sugars
  • play a role in heart health

What is soluble fibre? 

  • Absorbs liquid in our bodies (e.g. think oats soaking in water)
  • Plays the main role in lowering cholesterol
  • Helps to control blood sugars (glucose)
  • What foods does soluble fibre come from?
    • Some vegetables & fruits, lentils, legumes, beans, oatmeal, berries, nuts

What is insoluble fibre? 

  • Does NOT absorb water
  • Creates a healthy colon by keeping you regular!
  • What foods can you find insoluble fibre in?
    • seeds, skins of fruit, whole grains, brown rice, wheat bran, etc

Adult women (19-50years) need 25 grams of fibre per day and males of this age group need 38 grams per day. 

Try some of my recipes packed with high fibre ingredients: Blueberry Oat Pancakes , The Ultimate Trail Mix Cookie!Vegan/Vegetarian Quinoa ChiliTrail-Mix Energy BitesGranola CupsThe Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (Dairy Free)Blueberry Crumble Bars (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-free)

 

Find out about Flax!

FlaxFlax contains many healthy benefits including it’s protein, fibre (soluble and insoluble fibres) and omega-3 fatty acid content (usually found in fish sources). Therefore, it is a great idea to incorporate flax into your diet. There are three different forms of flax for consumption: seeds, ground flax, or flaxseed oil.

Flax seeds can be added to smoothies, granola, cereals, baked goods etc. Flax meal can be used in baking to add flavour and nutrient content. Flax can also come in the form of flaxseed oil, generally used to make salad dressings. It is not wise to cook with flaxseed oil as the nutrient content is diminished under high heat.

So what type of flax would be most beneficial to add into your daily routine? 
Ground flax! aka flax meal

Why is ground flax the best form? 
Ground flax is made from the grinding of flax seeds which allows for easier absorption of nutrients throughout the body. It provides the body with a great source of fibre therefore, helping to maintain regular bowel-movements and keep a healthy digestive system. Incorporating even a tablespoon of flax into your regular muffins, breads, and cookies recipes will add nutrients and many health benefits.

Ground Flax Nutrient Content (per 1 tbsp):
Calories: ~36 cals
Protein: 2g
Fibre: 3g
Omega-3 Fats: 2.46g ALA (alpha-linoleic acid)

Flaxseed oil is great to use in making salad dressings as the omega-3 fatty acid content greatly increases in the oil form (2.59g ALA per 1 tsp!).

To refresh your memory on the importance of ALA in the diet check out my Food Fact of the Day on Chia Seeds