Easy ways to increase your fibre intake
Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet, especially as we age.
It helps keep our digestive systems functioning smoothly and can help prevent constipation, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and bowel cancer.
For all its benefits though, many people still don’t get enough each day – dietary guidelines state we should be eating 30g a day, but according to the NHS, the average adult eats just over half of that, around 18g.
While it might seem mysterious, fibre is present in a lot of foods we already eat everyday, so increasing our fibre intake doesn’t necessarily require a major diet overhaul. Here’s some easy ways to eat more throughout the week.
Try a healthy breakfast cereal
Choosing a wholegrain cereal is a simple way to start your day with a serving of fibre. Plain whole wheat cereals like Weetabix or shredded whole grain cereal like Shredded Wheat offer fibre without loads of added sugar. Porridge oats are another simple breakfast you can eat – particularly to warm up in winter – that offers a good start to the day.
Load up on vegetables
Vegetables are loaded with fibre and dozens of other nutrients we need to stay healthy. Try adding greens like broccoli, peas, Brussels sprouts and artichokes on your plate or into foods you make every week like soups, pasta sauces and curries. Artichokes in particular are very good; you can get 10.3 grams – a third of your daily intake – per serving.
Snack on fruits
Like vegetables, fruits offer fibre and are great for snacking on sprinkling over your morning porridge or cereal. Raw raspberries offer 8 grams of fibre per cup, while blackberries offer 7.7 grams per cup.
Switch out white bread
White flour is heavily processed and stripped of many of its best nutrients. Switch out traditional white breads and pastas for their wholegrain counterparts; they taste just as good and offer a lot better nutrition. When you’re shopping, look for words like ‘wholemeal’, ‘wholegrain’, ‘granary’ and ‘multi-seed’ to help point you in the right direction.
Go for legumes
Beans, lentils and chickpeas are cheap, full of fibre and offer great substance to dishes like soups, casseroles and curries. Why not make a big batch of chilli and freeze some portions for later, or enjoy some hummus with vegetables as a snack?
Do you get enough fibre in your diet? What are your top tips for increasing your intake?