When you think fibre, you likely think of… ahem… digestive health. But eating the recommended amount of fibre each day has far-reaching impacts for your overall wellbeing like improving heart health, lowering cholesterol, managing blood sugar, maintaining a healthy weight, and fueling your gut microbiome. Think you’re getting all the fibre you need from your two Weetbix in the morning? It’s definitely not a bad start but getting enough fibre in your daily diet requires a little more thought and is actually more important than people realise. Here’s an easy guide to what fibre is, the benefits of fibre in your diet, and some easy tips on how to increase fibre in your diet.

 

There are two main types of fibre: soluble and insoluble

Soluble fibre breaks down in your gut and acts like a sponge – mopping up your intestines as it slowly moves along. Soluble fibre is found in foods like:

  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Beans 
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Peas

 

Insoluble or “not soluble” fibre doesn’t break down in your gut and helps to bulk up what’s in your gut to help you stay regular. Insoluble fibre is found in foods like:

  • Celery
  • Nuts
  • Potatoes 
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli 
  • Fruit and vegetable skins 

 

Why is dietary fibre important? 

Over the last century or so, humans have turned their attention towards more processed foods with decreasing amounts of fibre. This hasn’t been intentional, but the excitement behind new food creations and their convenience has overshadowed the importance of eating whole foods that are naturally high in fibre. Recent studies continue to confirm that diets high in dietary fibre reduce depressive symptoms, bowel cancer risk, and the risk of heart disease

 

High fibre foods

You’ll find fibre in foods like wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seed. Here are some foods that are high in fibre.

  • Lentils
  • Artichokes
  • Black beans
  • Pears
  • Oats
  • Broccoli
  • Green peas
  • Chia seeds
  • Apples

 

high fibre foods

 

 

How much fibre do we need to eat each day

According to the Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) for Australia and New Zealand, the average adult aged 19-70+ requires 25-30g of fibre per day (25g of fibre for women and 30g of fibre for men). So what could this look like in a day of eating?

 

Breakfast:

Oats with milk + fruit + nuts 

1 cup cooked oats: 4 g total fibre 

Fruit (ex. blueberries): 75g = 1.8g total fibre 

Nuts (ex. almonds): 30g = 4g total fibre

= 9.8g in total

 

Lunch:

Wholegrain bread with hummus spread, mustard, tuna, tomatoes, greens 

2 slices wholegrain bread: 3.8g total fibre

Hummus: 30g = 1.8g total fibre

Mustard: 2 tsp = 0.4g total fibre

Tomatoes: 50g = 0.6g total fibre

Greens: 15g = 0.5g total fibre

= 7.1g in total

 

Snack:

Celery with peanut butter to dip

Celery: 100g = 1.6g total fibre

Peanut butter: 2 tbsp = 3g total fibre

= 4.6g

 

Dinner:

Taco bowl: Brown rice, taco meat, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and salsa

Brown Rice: ½ cup cooked rice = 1.65g total fibre

Beef: 0g total fibre

Lettuce: 15g = 0.2g total fibre

Cheese (ex. cheddar): 0g total fibre

Tomatoes: 50g = 0.6g total fibre

Avocado: ¼ – ½   avo = 3.4g or 6.8g total fibre

Salsa: 2 tbsp = 0.5g dietary fibre

= 6.35g or 9.75g depending on the amount of avocado

 

This day on a plate has 27.85g or 31.25g of total fibre depending on the amount of avocado used at dinnertime. These amounts of fibre will satisfy the requirements for both women and men respectively. This includes both soluble and insoluble fibre, which as we have discovered above, are both very important! 

 

Tips for increasing fibre intake

  • Choose wholegrain options over wholemeal or white
  • Ensure half of your plate is veggies
  • Keeping the skin on your fruit and veggie – it contains extra fibre!
  • Opt for whole fruits and vegetables over juices as they remove most of the fibre

 

Want some recipes to up your fibre intake? Grab our free Food & Mood Recipe eBook below!