Our Thrive Expert, Nutritionist – Lizzy Coles guides you through the benefits of increasing fibre in your diet. Which foods have the highest amounts of fibre and how to make simple daily swaps.
I admit it; I use the ‘F’ word – a lot. And I want you to use it more too! Fibre is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that, not only helps us ‘stay regular’ and promotes a healthy gut, but also helps keep us feeling fuller for longer, prevents spikes in blood sugar after eating a meal, and can help lower cholesterol. In the long-term, it may even help prevent chronic diseases such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes. It’s recommended that adults consume 30g of fibre per day but most of us only manage to get about half of this. Read on for my top tips on how to change this, ffs (for fibre’s sake)!
Nuts and seeds are a fantastic source of fibre. Snacking on these between meals will help keep you feeling fuller for longer and prevent cravings later in the day.
Swapping simple carbohydrates (think white pasta, rice and bread) for whole grains; is an easy way to increase your fibre intake.
Many people fear snacking, but choosing smart options, in the correct portion sizes (think a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of seeds), can play a hugely important role in any healthy diet
Swapping simple carbohydrates (think white pasta, rice and bread) for whole grains; is an easy way to increase your fibre intake. As an extra benefit, you’ll consume additional micronutrients that are stripped out during processing. Choosing wisely at breakfast; for example, by having porridge or bran flakes with dates and a banana; is also an easy (and delicious) way of boosting your intake of fibre.
It’s recommended that adults consume 30g of fibre per day but most of us only manage to get about half of this.
Ensure you’re getting enough fibre by increasing your intake of fibre-rich fruits and vegetables. This can be as simple as adding an extra portion of vegetables to lunch and dinner; with minimal calories, this will not only boost your intake of fibre but also your intake of many important antioxidants!
Stay on the pulse!
Not only are beans and pulses a cost-effective way to bulk up meals, they’re also a fantastic way of boosting its fibre content. Target your curries, soups and stews this autumn/winter and you’ll soon reap the health benefits of the additional fibre.
Fibre has so many health benefits; from reducing our risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colonic cancers, to helping regulate weight and blood glucose levels. Whilst the fact many of us struggle to eat enough is difficult to digest, it’s super simple to keep things moving in the right direction.
Lizzy Colesis part of our THRIVE EXPERTS panel. She holds an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Nutrition from King’s College London