What is Fibre?
Fibre is the indigestible part of plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes. Mainly a carbohydrate, it is broken down by the gut bacteria in our large intestine. This helps feed our good bacteria, which is why it is a significant contributor to gut health. A healthy gut can help our immune system, mental health and overall health.
Fibre is kind of a big deal in the nutrients world. It can help with many health issues, including high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, weight management and reducing the risk of certain conditions such as bowel cancer and haemorrhoids.
The Different Types of Fibre
You heard us right, there are THREE different kinds of Fibre! #WhoKnew
It doesn't dissolve in water and adds bulk to your stools. This helps speed up your stool through our large bowels and can help with constipation.
Grab these foods to UP your Insoluble Fibre Intake:
- Fruit (Hot Tip - if you leave the skin and seeds in, you get even more!)
- Wholegrain products (Bread, Pasta, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Barley)
- Nuts and Seeds
- Rice Bran
This one DOES dissolve in water, giving your stool a gel-like and softer feel. This type of fibre helps slow the movement of the stool through the large bowel and makes it nice and soft (read: easy to pass). Soluble fibre can help with diarrhea as it slows down and thickens stools.
If you're looking for some thickness in your stool, reach for some of these foods:
- Oats and Oat Bran
- Legumes and Pulses (Kidney Beans, Chickpeas)
You can also find soluble fibre in supplements such as psyllium husk (Metamucil) and wheat dextrin (Benefibre). These are great options if you feel like you can't consume enough fibre through food.
This fibre feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
You can find this gut bacteria-loving fibre in:
- Cooked and cooled potato
- Unripe (Slightly Green) Bananas
- Rolled Oats
A Fibre-Full Day!
Here's a little guide to getting your recommended fibre (25-30g) into your day!
Breakfast - 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats with Banana
Morning Tea - 1 Cup Air Popped Popcorn
Lunch - Salad Sandwich on Wholegrain Bread
Afternoon Tea - Apple
Dinner - 1 Cup Brown Rice with Chicken Stir Fry that includes Carrot and Broccoli (1-2 cups)
Supper - 30g Almonds
Total Fibre Count = 29g
Here are a few little tricks of the trade to get your daily fibre count right where you need it:
- Add a new fruit or vegetable to your diet every week. Frozen and canned count!
- Add a new wholegrain product every week, like bread, crackers or cereal.
- Try some different herbs to add new flavours to your cooking (Extra Tip - Oregano is a GREAT source of fibre).
- Use mixed beans in soups, salads and stews.
- Add frozen fruit to probiotic yoghurt, smoothies and oats.
- Swap meat for tofu, beans, chickpeas or lentils once or twice a week.
- Add a sprinkle of mixed seeds to your breakfast.
- Choose mixed unsalted nuts for a snack.