Dietary fibre is an essential part of good nutrition and health maintenance. It is the fibrous part of plants that we consume from vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes. Found in whole grains, wheat bran, vegetables, and fruits, it aids in proper digestion and improves heart health, aside from helping with managing diabetes and preventing diseases. Insoluble fibre inhibits constipation and improves digestion. Soluble fibre aids in blood sugar maintenance and reduces cholesterol levels, and it is found in legumes, certain vegetables and fruits, oats, and barley.
Many foods contain both types of fibre, and we need both in our daily meals. Fibre is beneficial for people of all ages, especially adults and seniors who are at risk of heart disease and other conditions.
Note: Whenever you or your loved ones make changes to their diet, it is wise to consult a Physician or personal Caregiver from one’s senior home care services to suit each individual’s circumstances, like addressing allergies, sensitivities, and how to properly meet all nutritional needs. Fibre is healthy and beneficial to most, but the foods that contain it may not be suitable for everyone in any amount.
A great way to ensure you are getting enough fibre is emphasizing on whole, plant-based foods. Fibre isn’t found in meat, dairy, or eggs. Fibre helps with diabetes because it slows digestion and stabilizes blood sugar levels after eating. It also lowers cholesterol levels, which promotes heart health. It is also great for managing blood pressure, increasing the feeling of fullness while eating, regulating bowel movements, and weight control.
Generally, to get more fibre, choose whole grain bread, cereal, pasta, rice, and other grains. Eat plenty of lentils, beans, and peas in soups, curries, and salads. Choose fresh fruit over juice because the flesh is the part with the fibre; fruit juice is mostly sugar and water. Snack on healthy nuts like almonds, pistachios, and pine nuts, and add seeds like ground flax and chia to baked goods, salads, smoothies, and snacks. It is important to always drink lots of water to help balance and support a higher fibre intake. Check out the following list from Huffington Post of high fibre foods to incorporate into your next shopping list. Be sure to tell your personal caregiver that you want to increase fibre in your diet.
- Apples: with peel, a medium sized apple has 4.4g of fibre. The peel also contains helpful phytochemicals.
- Pears: with peel, a medium pear clocks in at 5.5g of fibre.
- Parsnips: a 9-inch piece of this root vegetable provides 5.8g of fibre.
- Brussel Sprouts: these delicious green wonders are packed with 0.5g of fibre per piece.
- Carrots: versatile carrots are great cooked or raw and come with 2.3-2.9g of fibre (cooked to raw).
- Spinach: a nutritional powerhouse, this dark leafy green packs 7.5g of fibre per bunch.
- Whole Grains: choose 100% whole wheat and other whole grain products and avoid refined flours. White flour is an unhealthy filler. Fibre varies by grain.
- Quinoa: one cup of cooked quinoa contains 5.2g of fibre. It also packs a lot of protein with 8.1g in the same cup.
- Beans: they are a vegetarian’s best friend, with black beans providing 15g of fibre and white beans providing 18.6g, plus lots of protein.
- Flax seeds: they have insoluble and soluble fibre, and a ground tablespoon contains 1.9g of fibre. It is easy to add to other foods you are preparing like oatmeal or smoothies.
- Chia seeds: true fibre superstars, these seeds have 10.6g of fibre per oz.
Be sure to follow the preparation instructions when preparing all of these foods, like chia seeds, which should be soaked prior to consuming, and quinoa, which is best to rinse before cooking. Last but not least, always seek the advice of a physician or caregiver before making any major changes to diet.
Article Submitted By Community Writer