Despite its popular association with trips to the restroom, fibre is no joke. The benefits of an efficient bowel aside, a high-fibre diet can also reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.
Fibre is something the body needs but never actually digests — in fact, it remains more or less the same from plate to toilet. It comes in two varieties, soluble and insoluble, and most plant-based foods contain a mixture of the two. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, remains unchanged all the way to the colon, making waste heavier and softer so it can shimmy through the intestines more easily. Regardless of these differences, neither type of fibre is ever absorbed into the body.
Skipping out on a daily dose of fibre often leads to constipation, which can make going to the bathroom painful and uncomfortable — hence the term “backed up.”
Eating too little fibre can make it tough to control blood sugar and appetite because fibre regulates the speed of digestion and contributes to satiety (aka feeling full).
Oats, a popular pantry staple, are a cheap and simple way to boost your fibre intake.
Whether you choose the quick-cooking variety, rolled oats or steel cut, they make a satisfying breakfast, they’re economical and are 100 percent whole grain.
Along with being a great source of betacarotene, carrots are a source of fibre, a 100-gram serving of raw baby carrots has 2.9 grams of fibre, and a half cup of cooked carrots has 2.3 grams.
Add fibre to the list of ways that an apple a day could keep the doctor away. This fruit is an inexpensive and easily available source of fibre.
Black bean is also loaded with complex carbs and protein and is a perfect post-workout meal.
Few foods deserve the title of “superfood” more than the avocado, which is jam-packed with vitamins, fibre, and healthy fats.
Try mixing it in your salads to add some creamy goodness.
Barley is a chewy, nutritious grain that contains more fibre than oatmeal and brown rice. It can be used in soup, salad, or tea.
Throw a handful of spinach in your smoothies, food or snacks to get some extra fibre, along with an iron boost.
- Split Peas
A staple in Indian cooking, split peas forms a terrific, protein-rich base for soups, stews, and dhals. It’s healthy, satisfying, and super filling.
Lentils take less time to cook and are more versatile than many other legumes. Take advantage of their slightly meatier taste and turn them into a juicy meal.
Blackberries contain a high level of vitamin C. One serving of 100 grams (g) contains 35 percent of an individual’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C.
A 100 g serving of blackberries contains 14 percent of the RDA of fibre.