Love is in the air this weekend and all this talk about love got us thinking about the things that make our hearts strong and healthy…like fibre. No, not the fibres in the heart, but the fibre we can provide our bodies with in order to keep our heart healthy. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with fibre on the brain; earlier this month a tweet by Registered Nutritionist Dr Glenys Jones caught our eye…

@glensjones Tomorrow marks the start of lent & rather than giving up choc etc., what about pledging to eat more veggies & fibre instead. #StartANewHabit

What a fabulous idea! We wanted to dive deeper into why increasing fibre intakes will be a habit your body thanks you for!

If you’re not too sure why fibre is a vital part of the diet, read on to find out more…

What is fibre and where does it come from?

Fibre can be classified into two main groups: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is digested by our bodies, making it easier for us to go the loo. Insoluble fibre is not digested by the body, instead it enables other foods to be passed easier, keeping you regular and your bowels healthy. Fibre is only found in plant sources whereas meat, dairy and fish do not contain any.

Give your body some love

Heart disease: The type of fibre found in oats has been found to lower the “bad” type of cholesterol (LDL) in our blood.

Obesity: Fibre might stop us reaching for extra snacks as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Colorectal and colon cancer: Because fibre helps your food pass through your system more speedily, it seems it isn’t around long enough to let any toxins kick off the chain events that lead to colorectal and colon cancers.

Where can I find it?

Sources of soluble fibre

  • Grains (oats, barley and rye)
  • Fruits
  • Beans and pulses
  • Root vegetables (potatoes, carrots)
  • Golden linseeds

Sources of insoluble fibre

  • Wholemeal pasta and bread
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cereals

How much do I need?

Adults are meant to eat 30g fibre per day. However, most people aren’t getting enough so here are some tips for how you can do it…

Tips to increase your fibre intake

  • Aim for your 5-a-day
  • Why not leave the skins on your fruit and veg? They add flavour, fibre and are a great source of other important nutrients such as antioxidants
  • Opt for wholemeal, wholegrain versions of your favourites
  • Add legumes, such as beans, peas, pulses and lentils to dishes
  • Why not start your day with a bowl of porridge oats or wholemeal/granary toast?
  • Embrace #meatfreemonday!

Don’t run before you can walk

All this talk about increased bowel activity is making our tummies rumble…aim for a gradual increase in fibre intakes to prevent any trouble.