Worldwide, people are not consuming enough fibre in their diets to prevent serious illnesses – this is not fake news but the findings of recent new research!
The study* found that out of each 1,000 participants, an increase of fibre in their diet resulted in 13 fewer deaths and 6 fewer cases of coronary heart disease. In 2015, UK guidelines recommended 30g of fibre should be consumed daily, yet only 9% of British adults met this target. Worldwide the majority of people consume less than 20g of fibre a day.
However, to consume 30g of fibre a day, for many people, is a daunting prospect and will mean making significant changes to their diet.
The fibre in your diet not only helps to prevent constipation and keep the bowels healthy but research now suggests that the health benefits are far wider; prevention of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
So what foods should we be consuming to help towards the 30g of fibre a day goal?
The most convenient quick fix is to eat lots of fruit and vegetables as these can be eaten fresh, with little preparation and no cooking involved! For example, a medium sized apple contains 4g of fibre and an average banana, about 3g fibre. Two raw carrots = 6g, a large tomato = 2g, and avocado, an amazing 7g! Berries, pears, oranges, apricots, mangoes, raw nuts and seeds are all high in fibre and are great to snack on or add to your meals! However, it is also a good idea to increase other high fibre good groups to your daily meals! Wholegrains, pulses, wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta, oats, lentils, beans and brown rice are all superfoods in terms of fibre but on the most part, need preparing and cooking! Adding these foods to your daily diet though, will soon get you hitting the 30g fibre target!
There’s a great selection of high fibre recipes that can be found here on the BBC Good Food website We’ve picked out an easy to make, delicious recipe, below:
Blueberry Bircher pots
These little pots are great as a mid-morning snack to keep your energy levels up and add that essential fibre to your diet!
- 1 small apple
- 2 tbsp whole oats
- 2 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt
- some blueberries
Grate 1 small apple; mix with 2 tbsp whole oats and 2 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt. Layer in a pot with some blueberries. Leave in the fridge until you are ready to eat them!
*The nutritional review was commissioned by the World Health Organisation, authored by researchers from the University of Otago, published in the Lancet.