We all know it is important to "get enough roughage". But what exactly does that mean? Dietary guidelines recommend consuming 26 - 35 grams of fibre a day. If you are diabetic this recommendation increases to up to 50 grams of fibre a day. The average Canadian, however, consumes about 14 grams of fibre a day. So why should we increase our fibre consumption?
The health benefits of consuming adequate fibre go far beyond keeping you regular. Many toxins, including excess estrogens, are excreted through stool. Consuming fibre, therefore, actually improves your body's ability to detoxify. It can also help make you feel fuller longer and thereby aid in weight loss. Furthermore, fibre helps control blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. With the incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease on the rise, it is important for us all to pay more attention to our fibre intake. How can we increase our daily fibre?
Fibre is found in whole grains, seeds, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Legumes, (lentils and beans), are excellent sources of fibre that help reduce cholesterol and blood fat levels. Eating a diet rich in plant-based, whole foods will ensure that you get plenty of fibre. If you need help in consuming sufficient fibre, you can always add a fibre supplement to your regime.
Dr. Stephanie Andrews, ND