11/25/2013 09:50 EST

The Fibre Quota: Eating Fibre, Not Just Because It's Trendy

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You don’t have to be living in a retirement community in Florida to appreciate the benefits of fibre. Besides (ahem) keeping you regular, fibre also helps control your weight, lowers your cholesterol, and evens out your blood sugar levels. But did you know that Health Canada advises a daily fibre intake of 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men? To put that into perspective, that’s 13 slices of whole wheat bread a day for women and 20 for men! Luckily whole grain breads aren’t the only, or even the best, source of fibre; here are some easy ways to meet your daily fibre quota without feeling like you’re chewing on cardboard all day, or having to eat (shudder) Brussels sprouts on a daily basis.

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Cereal to the rescue

Too lazy to cook? Don’t feel bad about having cereal for dinner; a high-fibre cereal can provide nearly half of your daily recommended intake of fibre. You don’t have to eat it the traditional way either -- sprinkle it on yogurt or make it into a dessert for a guilt-free indulgence.

Yo quiero beans

Beans beans, the musical fruit… well, you know how the rest goes (what are you, eight years old?). Beans are an excellent source of both fibre and protein, meaning they’re a healthier, low-cost alternative to meat. And because we’re all mature adults here, we won’t even bring up the long-running stereotype about what beans do to your digestive system.

Awesome avocado

Bring on the guacamole! Avocados are a great source of fibre, offering about nine to ten grams of fibre per fruit. Tortilla chips also have a fair amount of fibre too. Healthy, delicious, loaded with fibre: guacamole and chips are the perfect party food. Or they could also be the perfect sitting-in-your-underwear-watching-Beaches food; we’re really not judging.


They’re great for growing furry green pets and also for helping you get your fibre intake -- Chia seeds are loaded with the good stuff with 5.5 grams of fibre per tablespoon. This means the only tricky part is figuring out how to eat them without getting them stuck in your teeth or creating a congealed, gloopy, unappetizing mess. But that’s all on you, tiger.

Movie time!

When it comes to getting more fibre, it may seem like you’ll have to load up on boring fruits and veggies and grains -- AKA, the healthy stuff. Not so! Popcorn, the delightfully sinful salty snack we all love, is loaded with fibre -- around 8 g in a bag of popcorn, to be precise. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should order an extra large with extra butter at the theatre though; sorry to be a downer, but air-popped corn with just a bit of butter or olive oil is always the best way to enjoy this theatre standard.

Thank you berry much

One of your best sources of fibre is something you probably actually enjoy eating: berries! Raspberries are the best fruit in terms of fibre, offering 8 grams per one cup. Strawberries and blueberries are no slouch either, offering 2g and 3.6g per cup, respectively.

The more skin the better

For best fibre benefits, we should enjoy our fruits and veggies the same way we enjoy Ryan Gosling -- showing as much skin as possible. The skin of items like potatoes, citrus fruits, carrots, and cucumbers often contain valuable fibre and nutrients that we usually just throw away. So lose the peeler and enjoy as is. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, an orange peel is edible; it may just take some getting used to. Try throwing the skin in your blender for a smoothie if you really can’t stomach it.

Not your grandmother’s fibre

Forget the Metamucil; if you’re struggling with getting enough fibre, there are plenty of options out there these days that won’t make you gag. Your local supermarket has a variety of fibre-rich granola bars, trail mixes, and even chocolate bars that can help you boost your fibre intake with a quick, healthy, and delicious snack.