How To Nail Your Fibre Intake
What is fibre?
A happy gut helps you to have a happy brain, so it’s important to include the right types and amounts of food in your diet to support your digestive health! Fibre comes from the indigestible parts of plants and is a big part of why eating enough fruit and veg is important.
There are actually 3 different types of fibre. First, there’s soluble fibre, which helps to keep food in your stomach longer, lowers your cholesterol, and stabilises your blood sugar. Secondly, there’s insoluble fibre, which helps to keep your bowels healthy and regulate bowel motions. Finally, there’s resistant starch, which can’t be digested in your small intestine, so it passes right through to your large intestine and helps to feed gut bacteria. For a happy gut, you need to include all 3 types of fibre in your diet.
Your daily fibre requirements are really quite simple. For a healthy adult, it’s recommended that men aim for 30g of fibre per day, and women aim for 25g per day. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to aim for 5g of fibre per 100g on the nutrition label when choosing packaged foods.
What are the benefits of eating a diet rich in fibre?
There are a huge number of benefits of reaching your daily fibre requirements beyond what’s already been mentioned. A healthy and varied amount of fibre helps with feeling fuller for longer, lowering cholesterol, stabilising blood sugar, maintaining healthy bowels and bowel motions, and feeding gut bacteria. As a result, this may:
- Help manage or reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease
- Control your appetite
- Help to maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your risk of gut-related diseases
- Help prevent haemorrhoids
- Reduce your risk of bowel cancer
- Potentially improve your mood as a result of a healthier gut microbiome
High fibre foods
There are lots of good options when it comes to high fibre foods. Some of these include:
- Wholemeal breads and pastas
- Chia seeds
- Fruit and vegetables, with the skin on when possible
- Psyllium husk
- Brown rice
- Potato with the skin on
- Cooked then cooled pasta, rice, and potato
Tips for a diet rich in fibre
There are many different ways to increase your fibre intake. You can add extra fibre-rich foods to meals, eat a wide variety of different fibre types and ensure extra fibre is consumed in a safe way. Here’s a list of ideas to consider!
- Add chia seeds or psyllium husk to smoothies or soups.
- Add legumes to pasta sauces, casseroles, or even salads!
- Don’t peel your fruit and veg, enjoy them with the skin on.
- Add extra vegetables to dishes and choose fruit as a snack during the day.
- Choose multigrain or wholemeal options when it comes to bread, pasta, crackers, and breakfast cereals.
- Have nuts as a snack.
- Enjoy leftover pasta or potato from dinner as a cold lunch the next day.
- Choose whole fruit and vegetables over juices, as the juicing process often removes most (if not all!) of the fibre in your food.
Make sure that as you increase the fibre in your diet, you also increase your water intake. This will help to manage the added ‘bulk’ in your digestive system and prevent constipation. It’s also a good idea to gradually include these tips as a part of your daily diet, as a sudden increase in fibre intake may lead to constipation.
To reap the rewards of a high fibre diet, eat your fruit and veg, opt for multigrain or wholemeal options, up your water intake, and enjoy!
Don't want to miss anything?
Get the latest recipes, workouts, success stories, tips and more right in your inbox.