Dietary fibre is a term used for plant-based carbohydrates that are digested in the large intestine or colon.
Dietary fibre can be separated into two categories: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre is found in foods like fruit and oats, it can be dissolved in water and supports our gut health as it is easily digested. Insoluble fibre can be found in wholegrains and nuts, it does not dissolve in water and is more difficult for your gut bacteria to digest.
Fibre-rich foods typically contain both types of fibre.
How much Fibre should I be Consuming?
- 2-5 years, 15g per day
- 5-11 years, 20g per day
- 11-16 years, 25g per day
- 17 years +, 30g per day
(Based on the 2015 UK government recommended daily fibre intake guidelines).
Fibre rich foods:
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals
- wholewheat pasta
- wholegrain bread
- Oats, barley and rye
- Fruit such as berries, pears, melon and oranges
- Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn
- Peas, beans and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
- Potatoes with skin
How Fibre could benefit your health:
The NHS states that eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer and constipation, as well as playing a key part in supporting our immune system. It is an essential nutrient to include within a balanced diet.
Many sources of fibre, such as fruit and vegetables, also contain lots of other beneficial compounds such as vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and polyphenols – all of which contribute to keeping our bodies fit and healthy.