People typically only think about their fibre intake when they’re constipated, yet we should all ensure that we’re eating enough of it because…
- having sufficient fibre in your diet reduces your risk of bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease
- fibre rich diets are thought to improve your gut health and provide a favourable environment for your gut bacteria
- it helps to slow the absorption of sugar and improve your blood sugar levels
- and yes, it absolutely helps to prevent constipation by bulking up your poo, moving it along more quickly and making it softer.
So what foods are rich in fibre?
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in plant based foods, which the body can’t digest. So think…
- Fruit – particularly berries, pears, melon & oranges
- Vegetables – particularly broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn and leave the skin on your potatoes
- Pulses, beans & lentils
- Grains – wholegrain bread (particularly rye), pasta, cereal, rice, etc.
- Nuts and seeds – particularly almond
And the useful table at the bottom of the page from the fabulous folk at The Gut Stuff gives you a more detailed guide to refer to.
How much fibre should I be eating?
Current guidance suggests that adults should be eating around 30g a day, which is significantly more than most people are consuming.
So as always, look for progress not perfection. Don’t try and jump straight to 30g, (assuming you’re short of the target by quite some way), instead:
- switch up your white bread, pasta, rice, etc. for wholegrain
- add one more item of veg to each meal
- snack more on veg, fruit, nuts and seeds (in appropriate portion sizes of course!)
- look to add 5g more each day and see how you go