Many factors can cause constipation: certain medications, disease, a sedentary lifestyle, not drinking enough water and most obviously, a junk diet. Some scientists have pointed out that chronic constipation is a far greater problem than previously thought, as it increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Many adults only consume 15 grams of fibre each day, this being way lower than the recommended 28 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Fortunately, by making dietary changes you can nearly always resolve the problem of constipation. Starting to eat more foods that are high in fibre will not only help prevent constipation, but it can also reduce the risk of suffering from colorectal cancer in the future.
In this article, I will talk about 8 fibre rich foods that can be easily incorporated into your diet, giving details of their fibre content and some other important nutrients they include.
Probably one of the world’s healthiest foods, broccoli is not only a rich source of vitamin C and multiple minerals, but it is a great way to get fibre without adding many calories. A full cup of cooked broccoli provides you with 3 grams of fibre and gives you all the vitamin C you need in a day.
Black beans are a great source of energy, protein and fibre, but they also contain great amounts of the minerals magnesium and iron. Having a 185 gram portion of boiled black beans will give you a 15 gram boost of fibre, helping you to stay full for longer.
This kind of berries are very high in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants that help to fight free radicals. A cup of blueberries (120 grams) gives you 8 grams of fibre with only 62 calories.
Dark chocolate is a good source of fibre, but it should be consumed in moderation as it is high in saturated fats and calories. A 30 gram portion provides 2 grams of fibre and 160 calories, while the same portion of milk chocolate only has 1 gram of fibre.
Nuts are full of fibre as well as heart healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids which help lower blood cholesterol levels. Almonds are far higher in fibre than most nuts: while 30 grams of walnuts provides 2 grams of fibre, the same weight of almonds will give twice as much fibre. However, although nuts are healthy, they should be consumed in moderation due to their high calorie content.
Try replacing white bread and other foods such as pasta with their unrefined alternatives, which are far more nutritious and come with fewer calories. 100 grams of wholemeal bread has 7 grams of fibre, while the same amount of refined bread contains 3 grams. Some types of wholemeal bread are enriched with seeds such as sesame, providing over 10 grams of fibre per 100 grams.
If you want to get a lot of fibre without putting on calories, boil some artichokes and include them with your favourite dish. One medium boiled artichoke will give you 9 grams of fibre as well as adequate amounts of many minerals and folic acid (vitamin B9).
Whether you eat them raw, cook with them or make delicious guacamole, you will still be getting large quantities of vital minerals and vitamins, good fats and huge amounts of fibre. Consuming avocadoes is a healthy and extremely effective way of topping up on fibre: just one avocado (200 grams) contains 13 grams of fibre. Again, it is important not too abuse on this fruit, because it is high in calories and fats.