The recommended average intake of dietary fibre is 18g per day. However, most people in the UK do not meet these recommendations, with women and men consuming around 13g/day and 15g/day respectively.
Fibre has been shown to be beneficial in helping to prevent certain diseases, including; heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Fibre is also essential for digestive health, with a low fibre diet associated with constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and more chronic illnesses such as bowel cancer. It is therefore important to eat a variety of dietary fibre sources every day.
There are two sources of dietary fibre; soluble and insoluble fibre – both aiding in digestive health. .
Dietary fibre is found in plant sources, with foods such as meat and dairy products containing no fibre.
Great sources of fibre include; cereal grains (including oats & barley), vegetables (peas, beans, chick peas, celery, onion, chicory), fruit and potatoes.
When increasing dietary fibre levels, it is important this is done so gradually.
Try this recipe for a fibre boost:
Black Bean and Vegetable Pasta:
200g packet whole wheat fusilli pasta
125ml vegetable stock
50g fresh spinach, chopped
½ medium red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
200g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
75g frozen broccoli
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 25 mins
1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions; drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Reduce heat, and mix in spinach, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir in the black beans and broccoli. Continue to cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Stir the tomatoes into the saucepan, and continue cooking 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Serve over the cooked pasta. Garnish with Parmesan if desired.