Superfoods are often claimed to provide many benefits for your health. From kale to pomegranates, a new ‘superfood’ seems to be talked about every week. However, in and amidst the latest trends, it seems many people are forgetting about basics, such as fibre.
Fibre and your health
The benefits of fibre for your health have long been supported by experts. Not only does fibre help with your digestion, but it could also help prevent conditions like bowel cancer, diabetes and lower your risk of heart disease.
Our bodies need nutrients from several food sources, and fibre is an essential part of your diet. Eating a diet rich in fibre can also help you feel fuller after meals, reducing your need to snack and helping you to maintain a healthy weight. The good news is that fibre is found in many food sources, many of which you might already be eating on a daily basis.
Are you eating enough fibre?
In the UK, it’s estimated that around 90% of people in the UK aren’t eating enough fibre. While experts say that the minimum we should be consuming is 25g a day, to really benefit we should be aiming for 30g.
The amount of fibre in your food probably isn’t as much as you think it is, meaning many people aren’t eating enough fibre. Consuming fibre-rich foods is important and some examples of foods that contain dietary fibre include:
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals
- Wholegrain foods like pasta, rice and bread.
- Fruit – including apples, oranges, pears and berries.
- Vegetables including carrots and broccoli
- Seeds and nuts
- Potatoes with the skin on.
How to get more fibre into your diet
If you aren’t eating enough fibre, then the good news is that there are ways to boost your intake to improve your fibre intake. Some things you can do include:
Eating a high-fibre breakfast
There are many breakfast cereals out there that are high in fibre. Foods such as Weetabix and Shredded Wheat are known for being good sources of fibre that will also help you feel fuller in the morning.
Meanwhile, adding oats to your morning smoothie can also help you enjoy the benefits of added fibre. Read more about the health benefits of oats to see why they should be a regular part of your diet.
Switch to wholewheat
Wholewheat foods are rich in fibre and are considered better for your diet than foods like white bread, pasta and cereals. It’s an easy switch to make for your health and applies to different foods you can have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Leave the skin on your potatoes
The skin on your potatoes is very high in fibre, which is great news for jacket potato lovers! You’ll save a lot of time peeling your potatoes and benefit from the added fibre.
Add beans and pulses to your food
Beans, lentils and chickpeas are a simple food to get some fibre from, and can easily be added to different dishes. Using these make a great alternative to meat if you’re looking to eat less meat in your diet.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are naturally high in fibre, and by aiming to eat your five a day or more, you can help boost your fibre intake.
Eating fibre is very important for maintaining your bowel health, so make sure you actively increase the amount of fibre in your diet. If you experience any ongoing issues with your bowel health, be sure to book an appointment with your GP who can find out what’s going on and perhaps recommend a fibre-rich diet for you.