What is fibre?
Fibre is that part of a plant which gives it structure. It passes through our digestive systems but cannot be digested. There are two forms: insoluble and soluble fibre and we need both in our diet. Insoluble fibre is found in the outer shells of whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Soluble fibre is soft and moist found in fruit (the inner but not the skins) vegetables, oats
Why do we need fibre?
Studies have shown that dietary fibre is great for our hearts: it significantly decreases the risk of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest and congestive heart failure. It also helps lower cholesterol.
Fibre is important for a healthy functioning of our digestive system too by moving waste products through the digestive tract, reducing constipation and improving bowel regularity. It can also help regulate blood glucose and help with weight loss. Adults need around 30g fibre a day in a healthy diet.
Excellent sources of fibre include bran, which also provides B vitamins, copper, zinc and magnesium.
Another is dried fruit which is also high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and helps boost your nutrient intake. Being dried, the fruit has a higher fructose (sugar) content than fresh fruit so be careful with portion control but don’t exclude them altogether as they are a healthy choice in moderation.
Here’s a recipe for a Bran Fruit Loaf that I make regularly. It’s simple to make and enjoyable to eat with or without butter/spread. Have a slice with your afternoon tea or take some out to fuel you on your run or walk. It’s a great way to get your dietary fibre and a lot of other good stuff too. A nice treat for the weekend.
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