WHAT IS FIBRE? AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that humans can’t digest. Instead, it continues down the digestive tract into the large intestine, where it reaches our community of microbes that live within our gut. I like to think of Fibre as the fertiliser for the trillions of microbes.
Fibre is essential for healthy digestion, helping to thicken the contents of our gut and keep everything moving regularly. Ideally you should pass a bowel movement 1-3 times per day. As well as keeping our gut health, Fibre also plays a role in weight management, metabolism, reducing sugar cravings and supporting energy levels.The recommended daily intake of fibre for an adult is 30g. It is easier to add more fibre into your diet by eating wholegrains, fruit and vegetables.
HOW CAN YOU INCREASE YOUR FIBRE INTAKE?
If you want to increase your fibre intake, the first thing would be to eat whole grains over refined carbohydrates such as white pasta and white bread. Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables (with the skin on) can really help to boost your fibre. Other tips for boosting fibre include:
- Sprinkle nuts and seeds on your soups & salads
- Swap 1/3 of the mince in a Bolognese for lentils
- Add Beans to soups and stews
- Snack on nuts, seeds and dried fruit
- Try having a fruit and/or vegetable smoothie as a a fibre rich breakfast.
Diversity is key when it comes to fibre. I recommend aiming for 30 different types of plant-based foods every week! Variety is just as important. If we eat the same foods over and over again, we may be missing vital nutrients.
One helpful tip is to try one new fruit or vegetable every week to help you to try new foods.