Importance of fibre

The days of being ‘entertained’ by Gillian McKeith collecting poo in tupperware may be over but, like it or not, she had a point! Not the ‘putting it in a tupperware’ bit, but the ‘getting familiar with it’ bit!

Some of us have a chance to get acquainted with our waste matter daily, and it’s a comfortable and reliable relationship. For others, it can get prickly and punctuated with strain or pain. Who has time for constipation these days? Move proceedings along with fibre.  Therapy for your bowel.

Not for everyone

High fibre may not be advisable if you have IBS or other medical condition that has reduced fibre as part of the treatment plan – speak to your GP or dietitian if you are unsure if you should increase or decrease your fibre intake.

How much do I need?

The recommended fibre intake for adults is 30g per day (this must be alongside a good fluid intake). Current UK national average fibre intake is 15-21g per day so eat up!

Where can I find fibre?

20 High Fibre Foods

This is NOT a complete list of high fibre foods. All fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds and wholegrain products will contain useful amounts of fibre.
Fibre SourceFibre (g) per 100g
Linseed / Flaxseed (ground)41.2
Chia seeds37.5
Linseed / Flaxseed (whole)28
Legume pastas (varies)23
All Bran15
Branflakes14.7
Shredded Wheat10.1
Oats9.8
Pumpkin8.3
Muesli / Granola (varies)8
Sesame seeds7.9
Prunes7.1
Raspberries6.5
Peanuts6.3
Yellow split peas5.9
Wholemeal bread5.8
Sunflower seeds5.7
Almonds5.6
Kidney beans5.5
Brazil nuts5.4

There is probably no need to count grams of fibre – if you are eating enough fruit and vegetables, choosing wholemeal / wholegrain versions of breads, cereals, rice and pasta, enjoy eating nuts, seeds and pulses, then you are likely getting enough fibre – but ultimately, your bowel movements will be your best indicator.

(For reference, a food can be considered high fibre if it contains 6g (or more) of fibre per 100g. You will find this information on food labels).

And by the way…

The benefits of fibre do not end with keeping you “regular”. Fibre is also important for control of:

  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose
  • Colorectal cancer risk
  • Weight

So why wouldn’t you eat more?

Final word

In honour of World Digestive Health Day 2018, resolve to improve your relationship with your bowels, keep them happy with more fibre if necessary, and get familiar with your ‘output’.

But don’t put it in a tupperware.

Going too far.

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