The recommended intake is 30g of fibre a day for adults with the average British women only consuming 17g/day!
Dietary fibres are a type of carbohydrate and an essential part of our diet, aiding the healthy functioning of our digestive system
Fibre cannot be digested in our small intestine, however in our large intestine fibre is broken down and fermented by our gut bacteria to produce beneficial short chain fatty acids. Some types of fibre are partly-fermented (think cereals grains and wheat) that aid the movement of waste through our gut.
Whereas fully-fermented fibre (think vegetables, oat, legumes, nuts) fuel our gut bacteria and may actually encourage a healthier gut. Alongside the gut benefits, fibre is a high volume low energy dense food meaning that it reduces hunger and promotes satiety, keeping you fuller for longer!
The evidence is also now supporting the inverse association between fibre and cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and T2 diabetes!
But, for those IBS sufferers (especially IBS-D) keep an eye on your symptoms because for those with functional gut issues, increasing your fibre intake may exacerbate bloating and gas.
This isn’t the case for everyone though so make sure you listen to your gut!