Why Is Fibre So Important?
Sufficient levels of fibre are necessary for maintaininga healthy digestive system and, on average,Canadians get less than half the recommended dailyallowance of fibre in their diet.
How much do you really know about fibre and your health?
Most people know fibre is a critical part of a healthy diet. Derived from plants, its connection to bowel functions is well documented. But do you know how much fibre is enough, or too much for you? Take the fun little quiz, to find out.
1. IS ALL FIBRE BENEFICIAL IN OUR DIETS
Yes or No?
The correct answer is yes. There are two main types of fibre, and a blend of each is an ideal component of a healthy diet.
2. THE TWO TYPES OF FIBRE ARE:
a. soluble and insoluble
b. long and short
c. striped and plaid
The correct answer is a, soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre is digestible and broken down by normal bacteria in your intestine. Insoluble fibre is not digested by the body and, as you might have guessed, speeds intestinal transit, which helps you maintain regularity and a sense of well-being.
Eat at least one source of each type.
Examples of soluble fibre are oats, beans, dried peas, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Examples of insoluble fibre are wheat bran, whole-grain products, and vegetables.
3. HOW MUCH FIBRE SHOULD YOU EAT EACH DAY?
a) between 0 and 5 grams
b) between 25 and 35 grams
c) over 150 grams
The recommended daily value of fibre for Canadian women is 25 grams, and 38 grams for Canadian men each day. Five to ten of those grams should be of soluble fibres with insoluble fibre providing the rest. One half cup of navy, kidney, or pinto beans provides 4 to 8 grams of fibre, and a full cup of brown rice contains about 3 grams. Expect up to 10 grams of fibre per bowl of wheat bran cereal (check the label). Fruits with skin, such as apples and pears, provide 4 grams each, while a ½ cup of green beans will give you about 4 grams of fibre.
4. FIBRE HELPS KEEP IT ALL MOVING
Can you match the description to its proper location in the digestive system below?
- a. Saliva moistens chewed food, and enzymes begin breaking it down as it passes from the esophagus to the stomach.
- b. In the stomach, it is greeted by gastric juices that continue digestion.
- c. Food is pushed through the 20–foot small intestine by rolling waves of muscle. Nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls.
- d. Remaining particles enter the large intestine, or colon, where excess water is absorbed and waste is stored prior to each bowel movement.
Correct answers: 1) a, 2) b, 3) c, 4) d