Fibre is found in plant-based foods and is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are two types of fibre:
- Soluble fibre dissolves in water in the gut. It can help prevent and relieve constipation and also plays a role in reducing blood cholesterol. You'll find it in oats, apples, bananas, carrots, beans and peas.
- Insoluble fibre�isn't digested, so provides bulk and helps move food through the digestive system faster to maintain healthy regular bowel movements. It's found in cereals, brown rice, nuts and seeds (especially linseeds).
Eating a varied diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses and nuts will provide you with both types of fibre. See the below table which shows how you can achieve the recommended 30g fibre a day intake.
Tips to increase your fibre intake:
Opt for high fibre breakfast cereals such as Weetabix, All Bran, Shredded Wheat, no added sugar muesli or porridge
Choose wholegrain varieties of everyday foods e.g. wholemeal or granary breads and wholewheat pasta and brown rice
Get your 5 A DAY - eat plenty of vegetables by adding them to soups and casseroles or have an 80g portion with meals or raw as a snack, alongside fruit
Eat plenty of fruit with the skin and seeds such as apples, pears and berries
Avoid peeling potatoes as their skin contains most of their fibre
Eat more pulses and lentils - they're high in fibre and protein and will bulk up your meals and increase satiety
High fibre snacks include fruit and vegetables, houmous, nuts, oatcakes and rye crackers
Read food labels - a food can be called 'high in fibre' if it contains more than 6g fibre per 100g