Fibre, also known as roughages is an important part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a part of grains, vegetables and fruits that the body doesn’t digest. It is an essential nutrient which the body needs for digestive processes, which makes it possible to promote your digestive health. Fibre helps to prevent heart diseases, obesity and some cancers. Fibre also provides bulk which increases motility in the digestive system thus aiding elimination process. However, most people leave fibre out of their diet which isn’t right as the heart foundation recommends that adults should aim to consume approximately 25-30g of fibre daily. Children aged btw 4-8 should consume 18g of fibre daily. Here are 10 natural sources of high fibre foods you should know.
- Baked potato: Potato skins contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. One baked potato skin contains approximately 4.6g of dietary fibre. Soluble fibre is absorbed in the intestines by combining with the bile acids the liver produces. It produces a gel which softens the stools and aids motility. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, provides the roughage that adds bulk to faeces that aids elimination.
- Nuts & seeds: An ounce portion of high fibre nuts or seeds provides between 11-39% of that daily value. It helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body thereby preventing diabetes and heart diseases Examples include: brazil nuts, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, squash seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried coconut, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains soluble fibre and insoluble fibre that helps to curb increase cholesterol in the body thus preventing diabetes and obesity. It also gives a feeling of fullness which makes you eat less during the day.
- Beans: Beans are a great source of fibre with the average cup of beans providing 14grams of fibre which increases motility in the intestines. All beans are an excellent source of the soluble and insoluble fibre only that they contain different concentrations of the two.
- Brown rice: Brown rice is particularly high in insoluble fibre. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked brown rice offers more than 2 grams of fibre, which helps relieve constipation and keeps the bowels moving. It also reduces the risk of developing diverticular disease. This disease occurs when the small pouches form in the colon and waste gets trapped in causing it to get inflamed and infected.
- Whole grain: A whole grain is very high in fibre and low in calorie. The number of servings of grains required for each day depends upon your age, gender and calorie needs. The American Heart Association recommends that at least half of your grains are whole grains. Examples include oat, millet, wheat, barley, sorghum and corn.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are arguably the healthiest of all the food groups, and are a great source of fibre. Some great sources of fibre are Peas, lima beans, root vegetables, and green leaf. Others are veggies, okra, carrot, sweet corn, lettuce, cabbage. Onions are also great sources of fibre.
- Fruits berries; Whole fresh fruits are exceptionally good sources of fibre. The fibre content in a fruit is about 24.5 grams per cup. Fruits are low in sugars and calories, berries are great sources of fibre in fruits. Examples are raspberries, avocados, guavas, blackberries, peas, bananas and apples.