Bowl of berries

Fibre Does More Than Make You Poo


Written by: CDHF

Updated: March 6th, 2024

Everyone is always talking about probiotics these days, but few people actually understand what they really are and why they’re good for you. Probiotics are live cultures of good bacteria called microbes that populate your gut and work hard to keep you happy and healthy everyday. The harder these microbes work, the hungrier they get! So you need to make sure that you’re giving them the nutrients they need to do their jobs.

So, the question is, what do microbes like to eat? The answer is, prebiotics!

Prebiotics are food for probiotics

Fibre happens to be an excellent source of prebiotics. These little helpers can be found in vegetables, grain products, nuts and seeds, prebiotic supplements and the soluble fibre called inulin. As the name suggests, soluble fibres dissolve in water. Inulin is found in many plants and vegetables, such as asparagus, garlic, leeks, onions, tomatoes, and artichokes.

Considering how important fibre intake is for your health, it’s shocking that most Canadians only meet about half the recommended amount they should be consuming. Health Canada recommends 25 grams of fibre per day for women and 38 grams of fibre per day for men. I’ll bet you if you counted the grams of fibre you eat in a day, you wouldn’t come close to that number! 

It’s tough to make sure you’re hitting these goals, which is why we’ve put together some tips and tricks on easy ways for you to ensure you’re getting enough of those dietary prebiotics to keep your microbiome booming

1. Make a grocery list: A stress-free grocery shopping experience starts at home. Set aside a few minutes before you head to the grocery store to plan your shop. List your grocery items by category, grouping together: fruits, vegetables, grain products (oats, barely, rice) and other items. When you only buy what you need, you maximize time and save money.

2. Add some colour to your life! Spend time exploring the produce section, it’s the largest section in the store. Fill your cart with lots of colourful fruits, vegetables and try to buy in season. The more colour you have, the more variety of vitamins, minerals and fibre you will be eating. If a certain fresh fruit or vegetable is unavailable, look for it in the frozen food aisle.

3. Try new things! We tend to eat the same foods over and over again. Be adventurous! Try a new fruit and vegetable each week, along with a different whole grain. Online recipes can help make feeding your fibre famished friends and family fun!

4. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Avoid foods that contain more than five ingredients, list artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce. These are usually signs that the product won’t offer much in the way of fibre or nutrients.

5. Try a supplement!  For those who are still struggling to get the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fibre a day, sometimes adding a fibre supplement to your diet can really help. However, when choosing a supplement, it is important to make sure that the supplement you are choosing is right for you.Choose a soluble fibre supplement if you’re experiencing diarrhea, as it absorbs water and helps to hold your stools together. Choose an insoluble fibre if you’re experiencing constipation. You can also try an inulin based fibre option. Try a psyllium husk fibre for a natural way to get those cholesterol levels down.

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