Most of us know the powerful disease-fighting properties of fibre, but how many of us are consuming enough of this important nutrient? Sydney-based nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin said Australians need to concentrate on eating three different types of fibre, with men and women aiming to consume at least 30 and 25 grams of fibre per day respectively to feel the benefits.
Follow these 10 easy tips to boost your daily fibre intake.
1. Instead of white bread, rice and pasta, go for grain based or wholemeal varieties of bread, and brown or wholemeal varieties of rice and pasta.
2. When buying cereals, look for wholegrains. Choose products with wholegrain ingredients at the beginning of the list (wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, rye, millet, sorghum or triticale etc) and look out for words such as whole, wholegrain, mixed grain, cracked, flaked or kibbled next to the name of the grain.
3. Add legumes such as baked beans, kidney beans, lima beans, soybeans, chickpeas, dried peas and lentils to soups, casseroles, salads and sauces.
4. Sprinkle chopped fresh or dried fruits, wheatgerm or seeds on breakfast cereal.
5. Try a handful of dried fruit and nuts as a snack or add some nuts to a stir-fry.
6. Instead of a milkshake, try a fruit smoothie made with a banana or other fresh fruit. You may also wish to add in rolled oats as an additional fibre boost.
7. Eat unpeeled fruits such as apples and pears, and vegetables like potatoes wherever possible as the skins are a valuable source of fibre.
8. Skip fruit juices as they contain virtually no fibre and go for a fresh piece of fruit instead.
9. Instead of sour cream or cream cheese-based dips, try a spicy bean dip or some hommus, which is made with chickpeas
10. Look on the nutrition panel of food products and choose those which provide at least 2 grams of dietary fibre per serve.
What are your favourite fibre-friendly foods?