Now that Veganuary is over we thought we would shed some light on that all important and often overlooked nutrient: Fibre
As more people look to improve their diet and manufactures push for healthier foods, the fibre trend is gaining more and more significance with its gut-boosting and cardiovascular benefits.
Fibre February is a campaign launched by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) aiming to drive awareness around Fibre Action - driving Food and drink companies to increase the fibre content in their products.
ChicP Hummus and Veggie Bites are packed full of fibre and other nutrients such as Vitamin A, B and C which help contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
What is fibre?
Fibre is a carbohydrate that the body cannot break down so it passes through the gut. Fibre helps keep our body's digestive system functioning and prevent constipation. A high fiber diet also helps reduce the risk of heart complications, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
There are two types of fibre:
- Soluble fibre - provides a gel for your body to move food through your digestive system, reducing cholesterol build up and controlling your blood glucose levels.
- Insoluble fibre - aids water into your stool, preventing constipation and promoting bowel health as well as insulin sensitivity.
How much fibre do we need?
Recommended fibre intake =
- Age 2-5 years: 15g a day.
- Age 5 to 11 years: 20g a day.
- Age 11 to 16 years: 25g a day.
- Age 16 to 18 years: 30g a day.
- Adults (18+ years): 30g a day.
On average people consume about 20g/day and experts say that women in particular need to increase their fibre uptake by 75%.
Fibre can only be sourced from plant-based foods but there’s so much out there:
- Fruit & Veg
- Legumes: Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Beans
- Wholefoods: Wholemeal bread, Wholegrain Cereals, Brown Rice & Pasta
- Nuts & Seeds
- Potatoes with the Skins
Fibre found in these types of foods provide your gut with “good bacteria”. “Good Bacteria” is extremely important for your gut health, hormone balance and general health. Fibre can also help us feel full and prevent consitpation. However, to get the most out of fibre it is important to eat both soluble and insoluble fibres by consuming a variety of fibre sources.
What can you do to increase your fibre intake?
- Add fruits to your breakfast bowl of wholegrain cereals/oats OR add veggies/fruit to you toast.
- Snack on ChicP Hummus and Crudités with their peelings on.
- Lunch with whole grains, pulses, fibrous veggies and top with nuts and seeds.
- Afternoon snack on fruits like apples and dip into peanut butter.
- Eat whole fruits rather than juices/smoothies.
- Keep refined and processed foods to a minimum.
- Choose wholemeal instead of white rice/pastas/ bread.
- Check labels of the products you buy. Try to look for “High Fibre” labels
It is important that you drink plenty of fluid to aid movement of fibre through the digestive system (8 glasses of water/2L) as well as maintaining a physically active lifestyle.