Top 5 High Fibre Foods for Healthy Aging

Thank you to Jennifer Barnes, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, for preparing this guest post. 

Fibre rich diets have many health benefits and are key to healthy aging

Senior woman eating apple outdoorsFibre can be divided into two groups:  soluble, those that dissolve in water and insoluble, those that do not. Soluble fibre is a soft fibre that helps lower blood cholesterol and can help control blood sugar.  The best sources of soluble fibre are oats, legumes and pectin rich fruits such as apples, pears and berries.  Insoluble dietary fibre provides the bulk that pushes food through the digestive track quickly and helps keep you regular.  The best sources of insoluble fibre are flaxseeds, whole grains such as whole wheat pasta and brown rice.

While fibre has many health benefits most Canadians only get half of the fibre they need every day.  Ideally you should be aiming for 25-35 grams of fibre per day.  It is important to choose a variety of fibre rich foods to get a healthy balance of soluble and insoluble fibre.

Try these top 5 high fibre foods when planning your meals:

1. Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils provide an excellent source of fibre and can be easily added to your daily recipes.

When combined, legumes provide a powerhouse of fibre intake.  Soups are an excellent way to add legumes to your favourite recipes. 1 cup of split pea soup provides 16 grams of fibre and 1 cup of lentil and vegetable soup provides 14 grams of fibre per serving.

2. Whole Grains such whole wheat pasta, oats and brown rice include good sources of soluble and insoluble fibre.

Start your day with a fibre rich breakfast such as oatmeal with raspberries.  1 cup of oatmeal with raspberries provides 8 grams of fibre.  1 cup of whole wheat spaghetti with your favourite vegetables such as broccoli provides 11 grams of fibre per serving.

3. Fruits such as apples, pears and especially berries are fibre rich foods.

Snack on fibre rich fruits and vegetable such as apples, raspberries, carrots and broccoli.  1 cup of raspberries provide 8 grams of fibre and a medium size apple delivers 5 grams.  Go ahead and eat the skin, it increases your fibre intake.

4. Vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes and squash have good sources of fibre.

Make these high fibre vegetables a part of your day.  Add raw broccoli on your salad, ½ a cup provides 3.5 grams of fibre.  1 medium artichoke cooked provides 10 grams of fibre and is also tasty when added to salads. 

5. Seeds such as flax, chai and quinoa have many health benefits and are excellent sources of fibre.

Add flax seeds to smoothies, salads and soups.  Whole fax seeds provide 3 grams of fibre per tablespoon.  Quinoa cooked provides 5 grams per cup.  Quinoa is easy to digest and gluten-free, making it one of the ultimate fibre foods. 

Remember as you increase your fibre intake, you should also drink more fluids.  This helps prevent gas, bloating and constipation.

Go ahead and eat your fruits, vegetables and whole grains and enjoy the many health benefits of a fibre rich diet.