We need to talk about fibre...

We need to talk about fibre...

Posted 6th Aug 2018

A quick perusal of the internet will reveal the latest 'superfood' or diet plan that we need to try.

While the latest scientific findings about specific foods or nutrients can be of interest, it can also be a cause of frustration, with the results often proving to be contradictory and not translating into everyday life.

Yet one of the less interesting areas of nutrition that should be getting more attention, is in fact, dietary fibre - and the way it’s viewed by many couldn't be further from the truth.

So, what exactly is fibre?

Dietary fibre is a plant-based carbohydrate that will go to the large intestine or colon as it cannot be digested in the small intestine.

Its main role is to maintain a healthy digestive system, with the fibre classified into two groups that are called 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 can be 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.

It is currently recommended that we aim for 30g of fibre intake per day - however, it has been found that only 9% of adults actually hit this target.

Instead, many of us will only eat around 19g of fibre per day.

Why eat fibre?

It's been found time and time again that a fibre-rich is beneficial - it helps to maintain a healthy heart by lowering cholesterol, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and keeps your digestive system and gut in good condition.

If you're looking for ways to get more fibre into your diet...

1 Try healthy snacks that contain dried fruit and nuts of high-fibre grains. For instance, Ryvita Crunchy Rye Breads - these are high in fibre and simple to enjoy with your favourite topping.

2 Make small changes to your diet – this can be done by including more vegetables and switching to wholemeal varieties.

3 Add more beans, pulses and lentils to your daily diet. This is easier to do than you may think - simply add them to soups, salads and one-pan meals.

4 Eat the skin on your vegetables and potatoes.

5 Smoothies are viewed as two of your five-a-day - increase their fibre content by adding nuts, seeds and oats.

6 Keep seeds and crushed nuts to hand so you can sprinkle them over dishes such as salads, yoghurt, porridge and stir-fries.

7 A tasty high-fibre topping for yoghurt and porridge will be dried fruit - this also works well with savoury dishes, in particular, middle eastern cuisine.

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.

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