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Fibre

How to increase your intake

In 2015, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, recommended we increase our daily fibre intake to 30g/day.  Consuming a diet that is high in fibre has many health benefits yet we often ignore this vital part of our diet, so read on for some great advice on how to include more fibre rich foods in your diet.

Why should I increase my fibre intake?

There is strong evidence that shows that increased intakes of fibre, particularly from cereals and wholegrains, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as helping to improve digestive health.

There are two main groups of fibre - soluble and insoluble.  They work in different ways so it is important to include both types in your diet.

Soluble fibre is broken down in the colon by beneficial bacteria and helps to control blood sugar levels after meals.  Beta glucan is a type of soluble fibre that has also been shown to reduce cholesterol. Sources of soluble fibre include grains like oats and barley, beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables.

Insoluble fibre helps keep your digestive tract in good working order.  Sources of insoluble fibre include grains and cereals, wholemeal and wholegrain foods such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, nuts & seeds and fruit & vegetables (especially the skins).

 - A type of soluble fibre found in oats called beta glucan, can help to reduce cholesterol.

  - Insoluble fibre absorbs water as is passes through the digestive system, aiding bowel movement.

What does 30g fibre per day look like?

This is an example of what you could eat in a day to meet your 30g fibre intake

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Simple ways to increase fibre

• Start the day with a high fibre breakfast cereal

• Opt for wholegrain and wholemeal versions of your favourites

• Keep skins on potatoes

• Pile your plate with vegetables

• Add beans and lentils to soups, pasta sauces, stews and salads

• Snack on vegetables and  fruit including dried fruit

• Swap plain flour for wholemeal or go half 'n half in everyday recipes

• Snack on nuts and seeds

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High fibre recipes developed by chef Kendall Zaluski 

Kendall-headshot

'I've developed this plant-based Bircher museli recipe as it can be really difficult with our busy lifestyles to make time for breakfast. Overnight oats are so easy to customize to personal tastes and diets and are ready to eat in the morning. Enjoy them at home or take them on the go, they really are a tasty way to get that extra fibre in your diet.

The courgette & spelt grain bowl is packed full of fibre and is bursting with flavour. I often throw something like this together on a week night, when there isn't much time and often not a whole lot of energy either, and by doubling it up I've got a great lunch for the following day.'  

Bircher muesli

Serves 2

Prepare 10 mins + overnight soaking

• 100g jumbo porridge oats
• 100ml Alpro Oat Original drink
• ½ apple, cored and coarsely grated
• 250g Alpro Plain with Oats alternative
to yogurt
• 10g dried apricots, roughly chopped
• 15g Waitrose Mixed Seeds, toasted
• 80g seasonal berries, to serve 

1. Mix all the ingredients other than the berries in a large bowl. Cover, chill and leave to soak overnight.

2. To serve, spoon into individual bowls and top with some mixed berries.

Nutrition per serving, including 40g raspberries

340kcals/11.1g fat/1.8g saturated fat/39.5g carbohydrate/11.5g sugars/12.3g fibre/13.5g protein/0.17g salt

41% of recommended fibre intake

Courgette & spelt grain bowl

Serves 2

Prepare 10 mins 

Cook 15 mins

• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 echalion shallot, finely sliced
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 1 courgette, cut into 1cm pieces
• ½ tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Herby Za’atar
• 250g pack Waitrose Spelt, Quinoa,
Red Rice & Wild Rice
• 50g spinach or kale
• 30g cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
• 2 medium free range eggs

1. Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, courgette and za’atar to the pan and continue to cook until lightly coloured, soft and fragrant.

2. Add the pack of spelt, quinoa and rice together with the spinach or kale and cook, stirring throughout, for 3-4 minutes, until the greens
have wilted and the grains are hot.

3. Bring a large pan of water to a gentle simmer. Take 2 small cups and break an egg into each of them. Gently pour the eggs into the water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the whites are just firm and the yolks are cooked to your liking.

4. Divide the hot grains between two bowls, sprinkle with the cashews and top with the poached eggs. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving

504kcals/26.1g fat/4.9g saturated fat/39.3g carbohydrate/3.3g sugars/13.3g fibre/21.3g protein/0.68g salt

44% of recommended fibre intake