Fibre is a type of complex carbohydrate that’s found in all types of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables and grains. It is an essential part of every healthy diet. The main reason why we need fibre in our diets is to keep our digestive system in good working order. Fibre also helps us feel fuller for longer, it can improve our cholesterol and blood sugar levels and can also assist in preventing some diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer.
There are three different types of dietary fibre- insoluble fibre, soluble fibre and resistant starch. They all have different functions and benefits for our health, so it’s important to include all of them in our diet.
Insoluble fibre passes through our system without being broken down. It adds bulk to stools and keeps things moving smoothly, thus the regularity benefit of fibre. Insoluble fibre can be found in wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat bran and the skins of fruit and veggies.
Soluble fibre on the other hand dissolves in water, forming a gel which keeps our bowel content soft. It’s the type of fibre that lowers bad cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre can be found in fruits, vegetables, oats, barley and legumes.
Resistant starch passes through the digestive system to the large intestine, where it ferments. This is where prebiotics come in, promoting gut health. Resistant starch can be found in unprocessed cereals and grains, under-cooked pasta, unripe bananas, potatoes, lentils and rice.
|Age (years)||Recommended intake of fibre|
|2-5||15g per day|
|5-11||20g per day|
|11-16||25g per day|
|17 and over||30g per day|
Unfortunately, most of us are not including enough fibre rich foods in our daily diets. So what are the 12 fibre rich foods to eat?
|1. Chia Seeds||34,4 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|2. Popcorn||14,5 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|3. Almonds||12,5 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|4. Dark Chocolate |
(cocoa content of 70–95%)
|10,9 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|5. Oats||10,6 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|6. Artichoke||8,6 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|7. Split Peas||8,3 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|8. Lentils||7,8 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|9. Chickpeas||7,6 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|10. Avocado||6,7 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|11. Raspberries||6,5 g of fibre per 100 grams|
|12. Banana||2,6 g of fibre per 100 grams|
To increase your daily fibre intake try following:
1. Choose a high fibre breakfast cereal or porridge and add some fresh fruit, dried fruit, seeds and/or nuts with it.
2. For snacks try fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes, unsalted nuts or seeds.
3. Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.
4. For a sweet pit crab a piece of dark chocolate.
Fibre is an important part of every healthy diet. Benefits of having more fibre to your menu may include weight loss, better cholesterol levels, healthier heart and better digestion.
As most of us don´t consume the recommended daily Intake, try adding some of the foods from the list above to your diet.