are you getting enough fibre?

with KIND’s Registered Dietician Orlaith Danaher

At KIND®, we’re keen to keep you up to date with the latest nutrition trends.

Gut health has taken the spotlight & it seems it’s here to stay. The evidence emerging is overwhelming that improving our gut health is not only linked with overall health & wellness, but can also reduce the risk of chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes & cardiovascular disease.

Improving our gut health requires increasing the number of healthy bacteria in our gut, collectively known as our ‘gut microbiome’, of which fibre plays an important role.

We have long known that fibre is an essential nutrient for digestion & normal gut function. We now know that an increase in the amount & diversity of fibre in our diet, can increase the number of healthy bacteria in our gut.

Current Department of Health guidelines recommend that we consume 30g of fibre each day from a range of sources including fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses, beans, seeds and nuts.

In the UK, we do not eat enough fibre. The average adult consumes only 18g a day. To meet your daily dose of gut-boosting fibres, aim for 5 portions of fruit & veg, 3 wholegrains, and 1-2 portions of nuts, seeds or legumes.

We thought we’d share some top tips to help you increase your daily fibre intake with a food first approach & remember, diversity of fibre from a variety of sources is key.

  • Eat the rainbow; eat a range of different colours of fruit and vegetables.
  • Food swaps; swap your diet staples around. If you regularly eat rice, swap for quinoa, buckwheat, whole wheat pasta or other wholegrain options. If you’re keen on chickpeas – change it up and go for kidney beans, butter beans and black beans.
  • Sprinkle it on; add nuts and seeds to meals such as porridge, yogurt, salads or stir-fry’s.
  • Snack smart; snack on whole fruit, nuts and seeds.
  • Reading labels can often be confusing, if there is 6g of fibre or more per 100g, the food is considered to be high in fibre.
  • With increasing your fibre intake it is also important to drink plenty of water. Aim for 8-10 cups spread throughout each day.
  • It’s recommended to increase your fibre intake gradually to allow your gut to adapt & to avoid gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating & gas.

Set yourself a challenge: aim to eat a variety of 30 different plant-based foods in a week. Let us know how you get on at @kindsnacksuk