Let's talk about fibre

Let's talk about fibre

Posted 7th Aug 2018 by Peter Byrne

A week doesn't go by without there being some latest must-try diet or 'superfood' we should be incorporating

However, while they always sound good in theory, they don't always translate into everyday life. Yet one of the least interesting areas of nutrition - dietary fibre - is perhaps the one that should be getting way more attention, as we find out here...

Research has actually found that having a decent intake of fibre-rich food is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health.

So, what exactly is fibre?

Dietary fibre is a plant-based carbohydrate that the small intestine cannot digest - instead, it goes to the large intestine or colon.

Its main function is to maintain a healthy digestive system – as such, it can be classified into two groups; soluble and insoluble.

Some of the most soluble fibre rich foods include rye, oats, barley, beans, lentil, bananas, pears, apple, carrots, potatoes and golden linseeds. These help to hydrate your intestines and are particularly useful if you're suffering from constipation.

In comparison, foods that are high in insoluble fibre include wheat bran, dried fruit, corn, wholegrain cereals and bread, nuts and seeds - this type is called roughage, and will pass through the gut without being broken down, helping the digestive transit by providing bulk.

So, how much do we eat and are we getting enough?

It's currently recommended that we eat 30g of fibre each day - however, findings from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) revealed only nine per cent of adults actually hit this target.

So, why should you actually eat fibre?

It's been found that a fibre-rich diet is highly beneficial, lowering cholesterol and reducing the threat of heart disease, cutting the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and helping to maintain a healthy digestive system.

If you'd like to incorporate more fibre into your diet...

1 Opt for healthy snacks that contain dried fruit and nuts or high-fibre grains - for instance, Ryvita Crunchy Rye Breads, which are high in fibre and are simple to enjoy when combined with your favourite toppings.

2 Make small changes to your diet – for instance, eat more vegetables and switch to wholemeal varieties of pasta, rice, bread and breakfast cereals.

3 Add beans, pulses and lentils to your daily diet - they're easy to include in soups, salads and one-pan meals.

4 Eating the skin on your vegetables and potatoes is a quick fix to boost your fibre intake.

5 Smoothies are classed as two of your five-a-day - you can boost their fibre content by adding nuts, seeds and oats.

6 If you eat dishes like salads, yoghurt, porridge and stir-fries, you can sprinkle seeds and crushed nuts over them.

7 Dried fruit is a tasty, high-fibre topping for yoghurt or porridge - these fruits will work well when they're added to savoury dishes.

Ryvita has teamed up with Rob Hobson, Nutritionist, to be part of their Positivity Panel alongside Davina McCall. The panellists were handpicked to help inspire women across the nation to feel confident and happy, whatever their age, through advice, tips and tricks.  Head to https://www.ryvita.co.uk/living-well to find out more.

healthy eatingfoodnutrition

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