Fitness & diet, Health & Fitness

How (and why) to eat more fibre

Dietary fibre plays an important role in the proper functioning of the body: digestion, regulation of blood sugar
levels, energy distribution, immunity, cardiovascular health and more. Discover 6 types of fibre-rich
ingredients to add to your plate and determine the right amount of fibre for you and when to consume it,
according to your body.

Why eat more fibre?

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Fibre in food is a component that cannot be digested by the body. It is classified into two categories according
to its ability to dissolve in water: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Each category has its own advantages, and
food rich in fibre should be included in your diet.

Soluble fibre

Soluble fibre, when in contact with liquids, turns into a viscous lubricating material that aids digestion and
nutrient transport, while helping to maintain the body’s balance:
● It reduces the absorption of fats in the gut, including blood cholesterol and triglycerides, thus playing a role in preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease.
● It slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and, therefore, helps to regulate blood sugar peaks: by
adding soluble fibre to your meals, you have a better chance of avoiding the slumps associated with
eating fast sugars.
● It helps you feel full: you only eat what your body needs, without excess.
● It is gentle on the intestines and non-irritating.
● It helps maintain the balance of the intestinal flora, which promotes good immunity.

Insoluble fibre

Insoluble fibre also swells in the presence of liquids but is made up of bulkier material, such as cellulose. Its role
is mainly to clean the intestinal walls, although it also helps regulate appetite. It helps prevent constipation by
facilitating digestion.

Fibre: the right amount and best practices

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To get the full benefit of these foods, keep yourself well hydrated when eating high-fibre foods, especially
soluble fibre. Be sure to introduce fibre gradually into your meals so that your digestive system gets used to
your new diet slowly and does not become uncomfortable, especially in the first few days.
Spread your fibre intake throughout the day in your meals and snacks to maximise its effect: the body can only
carry a limited amount of fibre at any one time. If you have a sensitive digestive system, choose cooked food
over raw fruit and vegetables.
With the advent of processed foods, the average fibre intake has decreased significantly in recent decades.
According to the WHO, an adult should include at least 20 to 25 grams of fibre per day in their meals. Some
health authorities even recommend consuming 25 to 30 grams of fibre per day, most of which comes from
cereals. By eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, a large part of this intake is already provided!

6 food groups to enrich your meals with fibre

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Your best allies for eating more fibre are these food groups, as dairy and meat products do not contain fibre:
● Cereals, and in particular whole grain cereals, where the husk has been preserved: barley, wheat germ,
oats, whole grain rice, wholemeal bread, rye, etc.
● Vegetables: spinach, artichokes, chard and cabbage (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) are among the
vegetables richest in fibre. You can also easily add some green to your plate by accompanying your
meals with a salad!
● Fruit: choose between fresh berries, nectarines, apples, bananas or figs, and also dried fruit, such as
dates, dried figs or sultanas.
● Pulses: dried beans, lentils or chickpeas, you’re spoilt for choice!
● Seeds: almonds, walnuts and other oil seeds, such as chia seeds are also a good source of fibre.
Sprinkle them on your yoghurts, dishes and desserts.
Depending on your dietary preferences, you can vary your meals with healthy, high-fibre ingredients to stay in
shape for a long time!

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