The Basics: Fibre Is Your Friend
We all know how important it is to have enough fibre in our daily diet. Fibre helps to regulate digestion, remove toxins from the body, stimulate proper bowel flora, and help to fill us up so we don’t overeat. So here are the top ten best kinds of food for increasing your fibre. The recommended amount is 25 grams per day, but for optimum health aim for 35 to 45 grams a day. Here are 9 of the best sources for fibre.
1. Bran (Corn, Wheat, Rice, Oat)
Bran is high in fibre and is the top source of both vitamin B6 and magnesium. Bran can most commonly be found in whole grain breads and is also a great addition to high fibre hot breakfast cereals like oats, rye, and buckwheat. Crude corn bran provides the most dietary fibre of any food with 60g per cup, and 3.75g per tablespoon. Rice and Wheat bran provide 25g of fibre per cup, 1.6g per tablespoon. Oat bran provides 14.5g per cup, 0.9g per tablespoon.
2. Dried Herbs, Spices, and Peppers
Dried herbs and spices are packed with the vitamins and minerals you need. Start making it a habit to add more dry herbs, paprika, or chili powder to all the dishes you eat. Ground cinnamon contains the most fibre providing 53.1g per 100 gram serving, or 4.2g per tablespoon. Cinnamon is followed by ground savoury, dried oregano, rosemary, coriander, basil, marjoram, sage, fennel, caraway, paprika, thyme, chili powder, cloves, cayenne pepper, and finally, black pepper which provides 26.5g of fibre per 100 gram serving, 1.6g per tablespoon.
3. Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is showing more and more health benefits and dark chocolate is coming into vogue. A good source of iron and potassium, cocoa powder provides 33.2g of fibre per 100g serving, 28.6g per cup, 1.7g per tablespoon. Dark baking chocolate will provide 16.6g per 100g serving, or 4.8g per square. Milk chocolates do not provide enough fibre to be worth the cost of calories and should be avoided! Organic, Fair Trade is always the best choice!
4. Flax, Sesame Seeds, and Sesame Butter (Tahini)
Flax and Sesame seeds are a great source of heart healthy oils and dietary fibre. Flax seeds provide 27.3g per 100 gram serving, 2.7g per tablespoon. Toasted sesame seeds provide 14g per 100 gram serving, 3.9g per ounce. Sesame butter (tahini) provides 9.3g per 100 gram serving, 1.4g per tablespoon.
5. Dry Roasted Soybeans (Edamame)
Dry roasted soybeans are a great snack, and be sure to look for low sodium varieties to keep your blood pressure low. Roasted soybeans, or edamame, provide 17.7g of fibre per 100 gram serving, or 30.4g per cup, 1.9g per tablespoon. I recommend you only use organic, to avoid GMO.
6. Sun-dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes are a high iron and potassium food. They are great in sauce, on pizza, or even in salads. 100 grams of sun-dried tomatoes provides 12.3g of fibre per 100 gram serving, or 6.6g per cup, and 0.02g per piece. BUT, make sure they are free of sulphites.
7. Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans)
Nuts are great as a snack or as an addition to salads. Almonds provide the most fibre with 12.2g per 100 gram serving, that is 17.4gper cup of whole almonds, or 3.4g per ounce (~23 pieces). Almonds are followed by pistachios, hazelnuts, and finally pecans which provide 9.5g per cup, 2.7g per ounce (~19 halves). Always choose raw, organic, unsalted when possible.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are great as a snack or as an addition to salads, they are also a great source of vitamin E, iron, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B6, protein, magnesium, manganese, selenium, potassium, and copper. Sunflower seeds provide 10.6g of fibre per 100 gram serving, that is 14.3g per cup, and 3g per ounce. Raw, unsalted is best.
9. Beans (Navy, White, French, Kidney)
Boiled beans provide a great deal of fibre. Navy beans provide the most with 10.5g per 100 gram serving, or 19.1g per cup. Navy beans are followed by white beans, yellow beans, french (green) beans, and finally kidney beans which provide 38.7g per cup
Dr. David Manning, ND
About the Author
Dr. Manning integrates the mind-body-spirit connection into his philosophy of health to create an overall positive approach for his Naturopathic Care and Counselling practice. His unique program is based on his analysis of the best way to treat that client’s unique problems. He develops this analysis during his initial consultation, during which he understands and assesses the individual client’s condition. www.drdavidmanningnd.com