Most of the population do not consume enough fibre. The Heart Foundation recommends adults should aim to consume approximately 25g-30 g/day. This might seem high but the average amount of fibre an Australian consumes daily is 20.7 grams (this equates to ½ cup of oats, 1 apple and 2 carrots). So how exactly do we get all this fibre into our diet? Good question! Let us start by considering what is fibre?
What is fibre?
Fibre is the indigestible parts of plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes. Unlike other carbohydrates (such as sugars and starch), Fibre is not digested in the small intestine and reaches the large intestine or colon to be broken down. It is type of a carbohydrate that helps keep our digestive systems healthy.
How does fibre help our body?
- Fibre and other nondigestible carbohydrates help to slow the digestive process, which eases the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. When glucose enters the bloodstream more slowly, cells are better able to use it for energy. This slow release is particularly important for individuals with diabetes in managing their blood sugar levels.
- Fibre keeps your colon healthy by adding bulk to stool (while also helping to block the absorption of potential toxins into your body) reduces your body’s absorption of toxins.
- Higher amounts of fibre consumed is associated with reduced chronic disease risk- such as heart disease, diabetes, and colorectal cancer.
- Some fibres (ie: prebiotics) also help to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria and probiotics like the Lactobacillus casei
Ways to increase fibre intake:
There are many ways to increase the fibre content in your diet. Consuming 30g of fibre is the gold standard recommendation but even an increase of 7g of fibre a day has been shown* to reduce diet related diseases including:
- A 9% decrease in your risk of both heart attacks and cardiovascular disease
- Protection against colorectal cancer
What 7 g of fibre looks like:
- 1 large baked potato with the skin on
- ½ a cup of baked beans
- 1 large bowl of bran flakes and a piece of fruit
Consuming fibre is an important key to a healthy digestive system. Implementing additional foods into our diet that are rich in fibre can help to provide food for the good bacteria in our intestines and improve our quality of life. For more information go to https://www.yakult.com.au/health-wellbeing/nutrition-lifestyle/