Nutrition Focus: Fibre

Nutrition Focus: Fibre

According to the NHS, most of us are missing out on 1/3 of the recommended dietary fibre every day. Adults should be consuming 30g, and children between 15g and 25g depending on age.

Fibre is essential to our health, with strong evidence suggesting that a higher fibre diet is associated with lower risk of stroke and heart disease, diabetes, and bowel cancer. Fibre can also help to make you feel fuller for longer, and aids digestion to avoid constipation.

So how do we make sure we’re getting enough fibre?

Whole Grains

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Whole grain, or whole wheat, foods are a great way to increase your daily fibre. Choosing brown bread and wholemeal pasta and rice are easy swaps you can make to your everyday foods to boost your consumption of natural fibre. Try some more unusual whole grains, like buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, or barley for a change to your usual cupboard staples. These grains can be bought pre-cooked in most supermarkets for a quick and easy side.

Beans and Pulses

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Adding beans to your meals not only increases the levels of fibre, but also is an inexpensive way to pad out meat based dishes like pasta sauces, stews and casseroles, and chillies and curries. Experiment with all different type of beans to find which works best added to your favourite recipes. I like to add lentils to mince-based sauces, chick peas to curries and stews, and kidney beans to chillies. Try adding edamame to East Asian cuisine, and green peas can be added to most dishes. For a tasty fibre-rich snack, why not dip raw vegetable sticks into hummus?

Fruit and Veg

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We all know we should be getting our 5 a day, and an easy way to do so is making sure we’re having a couple with each meal, as a side or main component. Whether it’s fresh, frozen, canned, or dried – they all count! Fruit and veg are a perfect way to add fibre to your diet. A smoothie is a great way to quickly get some fruit-based fibre, put lots of vegetables together in a stir fry, or prepare a simple salad for a fibre-rich side. If the skin is edible, leave it on to ensure you’re getting the highest quantity of fibre.

So how does this look everyday?


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If you usually have toast, swapping from 2 slices of white to brown can increase the fibre quantity from 2g to 5.4g, on average. Or have a bowl of porridge oats (4.2g/50g serving) or whole grain cereal like shredded wheat (5.5g/45g serving) or wheat biscuits(3.8g/26g serving). Adding a sliced banana (1.4g/average) and a 150ml glass of fruit juice (roughly 1.2g) adds extra nutrients and fibre.


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A jacket potato is a perfect option, with around 4.7g of fibre. If you add half a tin of baked beans, you can increase your fibre by roughly 9.8g – giving you aproximately half of your recommended daily intake in just one meal! Finishing your meal with a piece of fresh fruit, or sliced snack veggies, is a perfect way to boost your fibre intake, as well as adding plenty of vitamins and minerals.


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Adding a tin of lentils to your chillies, bolognese, and stews will boost your meal with 5.8g of extra fibre per half can. Serving with whole grain pasta (10.6g/200g serving) or brown rice (7.4g/185g serving) will help you reach your goals with little fuss or change. To boost the fibre in your quick serve meals, try quickly making your own chips or wedges and leave the skins on the potatoes. Whether on the side or in the sauce, make sure your evening meal has plenty of vegetables like carrots (2.8g/100g), broccoli (2.6g/100g) and even tomatoes (1.2g/100g) to add a high fibre nutrition boost.


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If you’re busy it can be difficult to think about fibre content, so be prepared with your snacks. 30g of nuts like almonds contain roughly 3.8g, and 30g of dried fruit like raisins contains 1.2g. Popcorn is also a great fibre-rich snack, with 14.5g/100g. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try a dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content (70%+) to add 10.9g/100g.

What’s your favourite way to increase your dietary fibre?

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