Easy ways to increase your fibre intake
Fibre is a rock star. It can reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease plus can lower cholesterol. Fibre helps your body regulate its sugar intake and can help you feel fuller for longer. And yet, most of us in the Western world only eat about half of the recommended 25 to 30g of fibre a day.
Chances are you don't have to find fibre in new places, but rather just eat more fibre-rich foods that you already know and love. Most whole grains, fruits, legumes and vegetables are good sources of fibre.
Here are some of your best bets:
Raspberries (8g fibre per cup)
Yep, you read that correctly. These sweet, red berries pack 8 grams of fibre per cup. If fresh berries are too much of a splurge on a regular basis, look for frozen. You can defrost raspberries and mix into yoghurt, smoothies and smoothie bowls.
Pears (5.5g fibre per cup)
A medium pear has 5.5 grams of fibre. That's more than an apple (4.5g), banana (3g) or orange (3g). Be sure to keep the skin intact. That's where much of the fibre lives in fruits like apples and pears.
Barley (10g per cup)
Be sure to seek out hulled barley, which has the germ and bran of this ancient grain intact. A cup of uncooked, hulled barley contains an impressive 31 grams of fibre, which translates into about 10g per cup of cooked barley. Use it as the base for a veggie-packed grain salad, or swap it for rice in your favourite dish.
Popcorn (1.5g per cup)
Popcorn sometimes gets a bad rap. It's a whole grain with 1.5 grams of fibre per cup. Skip the cinema treatment (laden with butter and salt) and instead embrace air-popped popcorn that can be seasoned with your favourite spice mix, fresh herbs, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce or a light sprinkle of grated cheese to enjoy as a snack any time of the day.
Lentils (15g fibre per cup)
These legumes come in a range of different colours and are tasty hot or cold. You can even reheat lentils into new creations. One cup of cooked lentils has 15g of fibre. In other words, that's half of your recommended daily intake.
Avocados (10g fibre per cup)
Healthy fats? Check. Potassium? Check. Vitamins B6 and C? Check and check. Avocados are cast as a superfood for a reason. Besides a range of other nutrients, these green fruits pack 10g of fibre per cup. This fibre, along with the fat content, can help you to feel full.