Fibre is essential to the body and plays a major role in improving gut health. Studies have found that diet and gut health were directly related and that foods rich in fibre had a beneficial impact on the gut microbiome.
Fibre is the indigestible part of plants. Almost all complex carbohydrate food sources you will consume have a starch element and a fibre element.
There are two types of fibre: Insoluble Fibre and Soluble Fibre.
Insoluble fibre cannot dissolve in water and helps keep your bowels regular due to its ability to absorb water and move through the digestive system easily. Insoluble fibre is found in the skin of fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, and seeds.
Soluble fibre dissolves in water and slows down your digestion. It can be found in oats, dried beans, and lentils, fruits, and vegetables.
Consuming fibre is important as the foods that contain fibre are nutritious and usually contain a variety of vitamins and minerals which are key when it comes to health. Both fibres work together to allow for gut health and better absorption of vitamins and minerals. This occurs through fermentation, bulking of food matter, and water absorption so it can pass through the small intestine and large intestine for nutrient absorption, then easily through the colon to be excreted.
The current Australian guidelines for fibre intake is between at least 25-30 grams each day. Another effective approach to fibre intake is to calculate 10- 15g of fibre for every 1000 calories consumed.
There’s always the debate as to whether to have fibre inclusive of your carbohydrates or exclusive and add in. Traditional nutrition teachings say that fibre is indigestible and does not have a calorie value.
This is not necessarily true for all fibre as mentioned above. In the fermentation process, some fibre is broken down for energy. THE BOD recommends to have fibre inclusive of your total carbohydrates. This will make the plan easier to track as well as aid in maintaining consistency.
Here are some high fibre foods for a healthy gut:
- Most fruits are high in fibre, especially berries!
- Green leafy vegetables
- If you struggle to eat enough greens, try throwing them into a soup or even a smoothie!
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- All kinds of nuts and seeds are naturally high in fibre so chuck some into your smoothie, on top of your oats, or simply grab some for a snack!
- Red kidney beans, lentils, and other legumes are a great way to sneak some extra fibre into your meals!
- Not only are avocados high in healthy fats, but they’re a great source of fibre, too! Double up your fibre intake by having avocado on wholegrain bread or try our Sweet Potato and Carrot Avocado Toast recipe!
How to increase your fibre intake:
- When reaching for snacks, try choosing high-fibre options like fruit, chopped vegetables or a handful of nuts or seeds.
- When it comes to breakfast, opt for high-fibre choices, such as oats or wholegrain cereal with some added fruit or seeds on top.
- Choose seeded or wholegrain bread and rice options instead of refined carbohydrates like white bread or white rice.
- Chuck more legumes into your meals!
Rather than relying on fibre supplements to boost your fibre intake, we encourage you to eat whole foods so that you can reap other nutritional benefits too!