Fibre: whole again

Simple ways to boost fibre intake and feel the difference.

By: Donna Fleming

We’re constantly being told to eat more fibre, but knowing why it is important may make us more likely to choose wholegrain bread over white. And just how do you get the recommended daily intake?

Fibre can:

What does fibre actually do?

Foods rich in insoluble fibre:

Foods rich in soluble fibre:

Tips for increasing your fibre intake:

Fibre content of foods

1 cup cooked split peas 16g
1 cup kidney beans 16g
1 cup frozen green peas 14g
½ cup baked beans 8.2g
½ cup muesli 6.5g
1 bran muffin 6g
1 cup wholewheat, cooked spaghetti 6g
1 medium pear 6g
1 cup broccoli 5g
1 cup cooked spinach 4g
1 medium potato (skin on) 4g
3 cups air-popped popcorn 4g
1 cup brown rice 3.7g
1 slice wholemeal bread 3.2g
1 slice wholegrain bread 2.6g
1 cup porridge 2.1g
1 banana 2g
2 tbsp walnuts 2g

Women need around 25g of fibre a day, while men should aim for about 30g.

Good to know...
Add extra fibre gradually to avoid possible side effects, such as bloating and wind. Make sure you regularly hydrate, as fibre absorbs water in your body. If people who don’t eat much increase their intake until they are consuming twice as much as before, they may reduce their risk of colorectal cancer by 40%.