Fibre is not exactly the sexiest nutrient around. The things that immediately come to most people’s minds are prunes and bran! However, only 1 in 10 UK adults are meeting the daily recommended intake of fibre (30g). Most adults can benefit from having significantly more than 30g too. Eating a fibre-rich diet is associated with a lower risk of many chronic lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, bowel cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Here are my top ten tips to get more.
1. Eat Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes with their Skins on
Don’t throw them away! The peel contains contains vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium and other nutrients such as riboflavin. A medium baked potato contains 5g of fibre.
2. Introduce Legumes
Legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are loaded with fibre, protein and micronutrients. Start by adding some cooked beans to a soup or on a salad. Progress to lentil curries (dal) and Mexican bean chilli. Add a tablespoon at a time and build it up from there gradually as it can take your gut a while to adjust to the increased fibre.
3. Choose Plants Where Possible
Animal products contain no fibre so where possible, base meals around vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes.
4. Choose a High-Fibre Breakfast Such As Porridge
Oats are a great source of soluble fibre (beta-glucans). Half a cup of rolled oats has 9g of fibre. Two Weetabix have 3g of fibre.
5. Snack on Unsalted Raw Nuts
A small handful of nuts can have up to 3g of fibre. Almonds pack the greatest punch when it comes to fibre.
6. Switch to Wholegrain Pasta.
Wholegrain spelt pasta has around 7x more fibre than white pasta.
7. Snack on Fresh Fruit
An apple with the skin on has 4g fibre and one cup of raspberries has a whopping 9g of fibre. You can also have a small amount of dried fruit.
8. Try Grains such as Pearl Barley, Farro, Quinoa and Buckwheat
Quinoa has 5.2g fibre per cooked cup compared with just 0.6g fibre for white rice.
9. Opt for a Green Smoothie over a Green Juice
A green smoothie has around 10g of fibre per serving compared to 0g from a typical green juice, where the fibre has been stripped away.
10. Eat Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, as rich in fibre and nutrients. A 100g cooked serving of brussel sprouts contains a hefty 3.5 grams of fibre.