14 high fibre foods we really should be eating more of

We really should be eating more of these high fibre foods [Photo: Getty]

Newsflash: us Brits are not eating nearly as much fibre as we should be.

On average, most people in the UK only eat about 12 grams of fibre per day. The recommended daily amount is 18 grams per day.

Before you shrug your shoulders and get on with your day, consider the fact that increasing your fibre intake is an easy win when it comes to seriously improving your health and digestion.

Still not convinced? Increasing your fibre dosage can also help you lose weight.

Got your attention now? Thought so.

“Having a high fibre diet is crucial for our digestive health as it supports regular bowel movements, normal blood sugar levels and facilitates weight management,” explains Martina Della Vedova, Nutritionist at Natures Plus UK.

There are two types of fibre; soluble and insoluble, and both have different impacts on the body.

“Soluble fibre aids in slowing down the emptying process in our stomachs, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, as well as delivering “slow release ” carbs and sugars, so that our blood sugar levels are more likely to be under control,” explains Della Vedova.

“Soluble fibre creates also the perfect environment for friendly bacteria to thrive and maintain the correct balance versus pathogens and opportunistic microorganisms,”she continues.

“Insoluble fibre absorbs water to help soften the stools, supporting regular bowel movement, and acts as a brush in our digestive tract facilitating the removal of toxic material.”

We need both types of fibre in our diets.

With that in mind here are 14 foods you should add to your must-eat list right now…

Bran cereals

“You don’t need a lot of a hearty bran based cereal to give you an immediate morning fibre boost,” says Dr Emma Derbyshire a Public Health Nutritionist and advisor to the Health and Food Supplement Information Service.

Just 30g can provide around 7.4g fibre before you’ve even made it to your desk. “Fibre guidelines are set at 30 grams daily for adults over the age of 18 years,” she adds.

Spinach is a great source of fibre [Photo: Getty]

Edamame Beans

Not just a top bar snack, edamame beans are also great added to soups and salads. “They are high in fibre to help make you feel full and help prevent overeating and snacking,”advises Martina Della Vedova. “They also have the added benefit of being high in protein, which will also help keep you fuller for longer.”

Reduced sugar baked beans

“A small 200g tin of these provides around 9.8g fibre – a third of the dietary recommendation,” says Dr Derbyshire. “These are very easy to integrate within the daily diet – on toast for breakfast, or with eggs, with a jacket potato (providing yet more fibre) for lunch or as a meal accompaniment in the evening.”

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

Your mum was right when she told you to eat your greens! “Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are high in fibre and water – this helps create bulk without calories,” explains Martina Della Vedova. The other plus point? “The fibre helps make you feel full, which is a great way to help you to stop snacking,” she adds.

Bombay mix

Forget a packet of biscuits make Bombay mix your desk draw snack of choice. “50g of this provides around 4.4g fibre giving you the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon fibre boost,” explains Dr Derbyshire.

Upping your fibre intake can improve digestion and help you lose weight [Photo: Getty]

Flax seeds

“Flax seeds are a great source of fibre because they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, and our body needs both kinds for different reasons,” explains Martina Della Vedova. In order to make the soluble fibre available you need to remember to soak them over night in some water or nut milk of our choice or alternatively ground them just before you eat them. “Try adding a tablespoon of ground/soaked flax to your oats in the mornings,” she adds.

Chilli and Cinnamon Powder

Rather interestingly 100g of Chilli powder provides 34.8g fibre whilst Cinnamon powder provides 53.1g. “A small pinch of either of these into meals can provide a spicy kick of fibre,” Dr Derbyshire advises.

Brown rice

For a simple way of upping your fibre levels swap white rice for brown. “It may take longer to cook but brown rice can give nearly twice the amount of fibre that white rice can,” Martina Della Vedova reveals. “Brown rice is also high in magnesium, which promotes relaxation, and B vitamins, fantastic for nervous system health.”

Asparagus

Asparagus season is upon us and the little green stalks are a great choice, not only for the precious fibre they contain but also for their rich amount of sulphur they offer. “Sulphur is the third highest mineral in our body,” Della Vedova explains.

Rye crisp bread

50g of these crispy beauties provide around 10g fibre, around one third of the dietary recommendations, so stick a couple in your lunch box. “Add some peanut butter on top and your on your way to reaching those fibre benchmarks,” Dr Derbyshire adds.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

Your mum was right when she told you to eat your greens! “Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are high in fibre and water – this helps create bulk without calories,” explains Martina Della Vedova. The other plus point? “The fibre helps make you feel full, which is a great way to help you to stop snacking,” she adds.

Edemame beans can give fibre levels a boost [Photo: Getty]

Pears

To help keep things, er, moving add a pear to your daily fruit selection. “One medium pear has 5.5 grams of fibre, which can significantly support your bowel movements,” Della Vedova reveals. Who knew?

Spinach

Cooked or raw, spinach packs a punch in terms of upping your fibre intake. “Green vegetables, such as spinach, are packed full of fibre and can be a great way to give your iron levels a natural boost too,” Martina Della Vedova explains.

Hummus

“Since hummus is made from chickpeas, this dip can boost your fibre content significantly,” Martina Della Vedova explains.

Artichokes

Artichoke pizza anyone? “Artichokes are a fantastic source of fibre as well as being one of the top listed foods to support your liver,” Martina Della Vedova says. “Steaming them is the simplest way to cook them, perhaps with an olive oil garlic and parsley dressing.”

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