The Importance of Fiber

Did you know that in Western Countries 95% of adults are not getting the minimal daily recommended intake of fibre in their diets?

The recommended daily intake of fibre in adults is 20-25 grams per day for women and 30-38 for men. For children, it is between 19-30 depending on their sex and age. Harvard Health reports that on average, adults in America only eat between 10-15 grams per day.

Fibre helps us normalise bowel movements(and make them more comfortable to pass), lose weight, regulate blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, feed good gut bacteria, increase energy levels, a good mood and keep you feeling fuller for longer!

It is essential to the production process of short-chain fatty acids which are vital for a healthy micro-biome and balanced immune system (if our immune system is compromised we are more likely to gain weight and develop autoimmune diseases).

Fibre moves through the digestive tract unchanged from the moment we consume it.This process means that it picks up and scrapes down other foods that may have got lodged in nooks and crannies of the intestine and helps to create a digestion with more flow and regularity. The reason why fibre remains whole and unchanged is because humans lack the enzymes needed in order to break it down. However, we do contain the microbes in our micro-biome that can break it down and use it purposefully. In fact, those microbes THRIVE off fibre and they unpack it and transform it into new, polished short-chain fatty acids which have healing effects on the entire body. These short chain fatty acids help to regulate cytokines and fuel the production of Butyrate which is needed to fight off anything attacking, and bring the immune system back into balance. This way, the body doesn’t attack itself as a result of an overactive immune system and has the resources to keep you functioning optimally and not gaining ‘storage weight’ because your system is in panic mode.

As always, balance is key... and fibre helps to enable that balance.

The fact that fibre gets so little air time must be down to the fact that flax seed and chia seeds aren’t as ‘sexy’ as protein shakes and energy bars. Lets change that though, and encourage the people around us to increase their consumption of fibre to reap all its great benefits and feel their best.

Find a list of some fibre rich foods below with ways to incorporate them into your already favourite meals. When it comes to fibre, it isn’t about swapping things out which is why it can be so easy to get more of it into your diet without much effort. It’s simply about having sources of fibre at home, and adding them to dishes that you already know and love as toppings or for some extra flavour.

  • Beans
  • Broccoli Avocado
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grains
  • Apples
  • Dried fruits
  • Potatoes
  • Pulses (lentils, chickpeas, peas)
  • Bananas
  • Seeds
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Artichoke
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Edamame