There is no doubt that eating plenty of fibre, which is essentially the indigestible parts of plant foods, can help protect against heart disease, cancer and digestive problems.
In fact, some types of fibre can also help lower cholesterol, assist weight control and regulate blood glucose. However most people eat far too little fibre, far below the recommended 30g per day.
So here are 10 easy ways to add more fibre to your daily meals:
Most fruits are a good source of pectin, a soluble fibre that contributes to a feeling of fullness. A study published in the journal of the American College of Nutrition found that 5g of pectin was enough to leave an individual feeling satisfied for up to four hours.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of low-fat natural yogurt into a breaskfast bowl. Mix with 30g of wheat bran cereal, 1 tablespoon of ground linseeds and 5 large strawberries (cut in halves) for a whopping 12.2g of fibre – almost half your daily needs.
Now you may think that a teeny-weeny cracker would not make much of a difference, but do know that two normal crackers contain 0.4g of fibre, while the two same rye crackers have 2.3g of fibre!
You can start by going half and half, eventually using only wholemeal for most of your cooking needs. Adding a little baking powder helps to lighten foods made from wholemeal flour (note that you may have to add a little more liquid if using wholemeal flour).
Even sandwich chains offer wholegrain options as part of their standard menu and so you start using wholemeal bread when making your sandwiches.
Beetroots contain virtually no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, quite a bit of potassium and 2g of fibre. You can try this : roast whole, peeled beetroots for 45 minutes, chilling, then dicing into your bowl of salad.
You can actually use rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs for meatballs. Sprinkle it on top of casseroles and ice cream, bake it into biscuits and muffins, and add to homemade bread and cakes.
Dip baby carrots into a low-fat yogurt dip or salsa for a quick snack. You get about 5g of fibre from 150g of vegetables.
Eating baked potatoes with the skin on ups the fibre by at least 3g (depending on the size of the potato).
A 100g serving of kidney beans, for example, contains 8g of fibre.
Try this, replace :
– white rice with brown rice
– normal pasta with wholemeal pasta
– normal pita bread to wholemeal pita bread
By doing so, you would have increased your daily fibre intake by 10g easily without major changes to your regular meals/diet.