The Importance of High Fibre Foods in Your Diet
Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet, and althought it’s incredibly important, it’s too often overlooked. Making sure that your diet hits your daily fibre targets provides a whole host of health benefits from better digestion to lower cholesterol, and even a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Fibre can even lower your risk of certain types of cancer, so when it comes to getting enough fibre in your diet, the benefits are no joke.
Why is fibre so important?
Fibre is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It helps to keep food moving through the digestive tract and can prevent constipation, diarrhoea, and other digestive problems. Fibre also plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels, which is why its so important for people with diabetes to keep track of. It slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.
But that’s not where the benefits begin and end. Fibre can lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract and removing it from the body. Fibre can also help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can contribute to your risk of heart disease.
Moreover, fibre plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of colon cancer by acting as a prebiotic that feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Yale Medicine doctors warn that colorectal cancer is on the rise in young adults and has been for years.
With Western diets notoriously low in fibre, and with low-carb, high-fat diets like the ketogenic diet on the rise, it could be more important than ever before to ensure that you’re meeting your daily fibre needs.
How much fibre do I need?
The Australian dietary recommendations are at least 25 grams of fibre per day for women and 30 grams of fibre per day for men.
Five high-fibre foods to incorporate into your diet
Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans – they’re all excellent sources of fibre, with around 7-8 grams of fibre per half-cup serving. They are also a great source of protein, which makes them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
Fruit: Seasonal fruit are a delicious and nutritious way to increase your fibre intake. One cup of raspberries contains around 8 grams of fibre, while one cup of blackberries contains around 7 grams of fibre. One cup of avocado contain 10g of fibre!
Whole Grains: Whole grains are a great source of fibre, as well as other important nutrients like B vitamins and iron. One slice of wholemeal bread contains around 2-3 grams of fibre, while one cup of cooked brown rice contains around 4 grams of fibre.
Vegetables: Vegetables are a low-calorie, high-fibre food that can be easily incorporated into any meal. One cup of cooked broccoli contains around 5 grams of fibre, while one cup of cooked carrots contains around 4 grams of fibre.
Nuts: Nuts are a great source of fibre, as well as healthy fats and protein. One serving of 28 grams of almonds contains around 4 grams of fibre.
Ways to increase your fibre intake
Most Aussies don’t get enough fibre into their diet, but all it takes is a few simple steps to start building better dietary habits. Try some of these quick and easy suggestions for increasing your daily fibre intake:
- Try eating high-fibre cereals for breakfast like granola and Weet-Bix and adding some fruit to your bowl
- Add some smashed avo to your eggs on toast for a deliciously balanced breakfast
- Swap out low-fibre white breads for wholemeal or multigrain breads
- Snack on fruit, dried fruit, and nuts throughout the day
- Add grains like quinoa to your salads for an extra fibre boost
- Try adding extra vegetables to pasta dishes
Are you getting enough fibre in your diet? Let us know your favourite high fibre meals and snacks on Facebook and Instagram. For more dietary tips read through our 12 Dietician Approved Tips.