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How much fibre do you eat daily?
It's likely that you're not getting enough. Our average intake in the UK is 18g a day, a lot less than the recommended 30g. In comparison, some tribes in the world eat up to 100g of fibre every day.
But what exactly is fibre?
Fibre is the non-digestible part of plants, such as fruits, vegetables and pulses. It is not absorbed by your body, but simply goes through your digestive tract. Various types of fibre can be found in food, such as pectin, in apples and pears, and arabinogalactans in leeks and radishes.
So what does fibre actually do?
The main function of fibre is to bulk and soften the stools. Prebiotic fibre, such as F.O.S, also acts as a ‘fertiliser’ for your beneficial gut bacteria and prevents the growth of pathogens. As good bacteria thrive on fibre, they also produce lots of useful molecules. For example, butyrate, which can help reduce inflammation, maintain the structure of the gut lining, and support immunity. Fibre can also support weight loss by increasing satiety, and reducing insulin and blood glucose levels. Another way fibre can support your health is by binding to hormones in your gut, after they have been detoxified by the liver. This is in the case of the fibres G.O.S and inulin, for example. This is why it is so important to increase your fibre intake for conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids. But getting enough fibre in the diet is not always easy, so here are a few tips to help you achieve this. An easy change you can implement is swapping your white carbohydrates for whole grain alternatives, which naturally contain more fibre and more nutrients. You can also add a few handfuls of green vegetables to your stews, soups, or curries. And why not add grated apples and carrots to your porridge, for example?
Or, if you prefer a savoury breakfast, make sure you have a handful of greens with your egg on toast. You can also add a fibre supplement, which can easily be added to soups or smoothies, or simply sprinkled on food. Some people might avoid fibre because of a sensitive gut. The trick here is to make sure you slowly increase your fibre intake to allow your digestive system to adjust. Now that you know more about fibre, I really hope that you are ready to make fibre your best friend.
Got a question?
The brand you can talk to:
We have a team of Nutritionists at the end of our advice line, open to you, for product support and advice (5 days a week). 0121 433 8702 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or head to our advice page where you can find Healthnotes.
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