The importance of fibre in a healthy balanced diet
Fibre is found in the indigestible parts of plant foods and plays a role in our digestive health. According to the NHS, healthy daily fibre intake has been associated with a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes.
As most adults currently eat less than the recommended fibre intake, it's important that we find ways to include more fibre in our diets. While children don't need as much fibre as adults, it's important to encourage them to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and fibre rich foods so they are getting a healthy daily fibre intake.
Insoluble and Soluble Fibre
Both insoluble fibre and soluble fibre are important for your health and in aiding digestion.
Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in fluids and eating enough insoluble fibre can help to relieve and prevent constipation and promote healthy stools as it adds bulk to the stool and gets things moving.
Some good sources of insoluble fibre include:
- Root vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits with skin
- Dried figs
Soluble fibre does dissolve in fluid and is fermented by the bacteria in our gut and provides fuel for the beneficial bacteria to thrive.
Some good sources of soluble fibre include:
- Chia seeds
- Beans such as black beans or kidney beans
- Brussel Sprouts
Incorporating Fibre into your Diet
Although it is interesting to know about the different types of fibre, instead of tracking how much of each type of fibre you are getting, try to include a variety of fibre rich foods in your daily diet. Here are some ways to incorporate fibre into your healthy diet:
- Eat the rainbow - include a variety of different coloured fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.
- Add milled chia and flax seeds to breakfast cereals and porridge
- Opt for wholegrain bread over white bread
- Change from white rice to brown rice and white pasta to wholegrain pasta or a bean based pasta.
- Add pulses like beans and lentils to your soups, stews and curries.
When introducing more fibre into your diet, be sure to do so slowly and gradually.
There are supplement options that can help increase your fibre in take and improve digestion and gut health:
Circle Of Light FIBRE89 Flavoured with Ginger
Circle of Light FIBRE89 is 89% inulin, a prebiotic (soluble) fibre extracted from chicory root. Enhanced with ginger, it’s a delicious and convenient drink to support gut health, improve digestion and overall health, and to help you reach your daily recommended fibre intake. This supplement is 1/5 of your recommended daily fibre intake, is gluten-free, fat-free and vegan-friendly. It is also Keto-friendly, caffeine free and contains no added sugar, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
Fybogel Fibre Chews Citrus Flavoured Chewable Tablets 60s
Fybogel Fibre Chews are tasty citrus flavoured chewable tablets that helps to relieve constipation and maintain regularity. These tablets are easy to take, are suitable for 12+ years and come in a convenient on-the-go tablet format. Fibre Chews works naturally with the body and uses the ingredient Fibersol -2, which is a type of fibre, to help get you back to regularity.
Symprove contains 4 strains of live and active bacteria that support our gut health. Not only does it deliver these strains of bacteria alive in the targeted areas of the gut where it is needed to get to work, but these thriving bacteria also help to feed the good bacteria that is already there.
We need these bacteria to ferment fibre so they can create short chain fatty acids, and short chain fatty acids have many health benefits including reducing inflammation.
Ensuring that our gut bacteria is as balanced and healthy as possible and making sure we include a variety of fibre rich food in our diet is important for not only our digestive health but our overall health too.
It's important to take it slow when increasing your fibre intake so that your gut has time to adjust. Speak to the team at Meaghers if you have any questions in relation to fibre and gut health.