80% of Irish adults are not eating enough fibre, which could be why many of us feel uncomfortable, overweight and run down.

There’s a lot of talk about detoxing in the media these days. But dietitians like Eat Well’s Sarah Keogh emphasise that our bodies are entirely capable of eliminating toxins without any special juices or supplements. What our bodies require is plenty of fibre, which isn’t news to any of us. However the reason 80% of Irish adults aren’t consuming enough fibre is that we have a tendency to overestimate the amount of fibre we are taking in.

We need to eat 24g-35g of fibre a day. You might think you’re hitting that by having a bowl of porridge in the morning, a sandwich and an apple at lunch and some pasta for dinner. But if you analyse the fibre content, you will soon see that you’re falling shy of the daily recommendations.

Porridge (3g) + 2 slices brown bread (4g) + 1 apple (4g) + 1 cup pasta (6g) = 17g of fibre

So to get past that 24g mark, you need to eat a little smarter. It is no wonder we don’t always feel full enough even though we think we have eaten loads. Try adding seeds and plenty of veggies to up your fibre intake. But your best bet is to have lots of pulses, lentils, seeds and berries. And while it seems like a lot of hassle totting up your intake every day, just be conscious of it for a few days and soon meeting your requirement will feel like second nature. Learn some high fibre recipes, such as one pot turkey, kale and quinoa dinner or spicy chickpea and red pepper soup, and do what you can to add fibre to every meal.

How to eat more fibre

Be clever and check food labels. When you’re reading packaging, high fibre foods are those that have 6g fibre or more per 100g.Add kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, barley or quinoa to stews, casseroles and soups.Add seeds to porridge, salads and to recipes when baking.Eat the skins of fruit and vegetables, especially potatoes, as that is where most of the fibre is.Make sure to drink 8 glasses of water a day so that the fibre you’re eating can work properly.

Fibre content in popular foods

  • Porridge 3g
  • 2 medium kiwis 4g
  • 23 almonds 4g
  • 49 pistachios 3g
  • 1 medium apple 4g
  • 2 tbsp flaxseeds 4g
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds 6g
  • 2 tbsp almond butter 2g
  • 1 slice soda bread 2g
  • 1 slice rye bread 2g
  • 1 cup raspberries 8g
  • 1 cup blackberries 8g
  • 1 cup barley 6g
  • 1 medium pear 6g
  • ½ cup mashed avocado 8g
  • ½ cup lentils 10g
  • ½ cup chickpeas 6g
  • 1 cup wholeweat pasta 6g
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 5g
  • ½ cup cooked carrots 2g
  • 1 cup kale 2g

Inform | Inspire | Indulge

Image via: beyondfitrecipes.wordpress.com