Are you eating enough fibre each day? The recommended dietary fibre intake in the United Kingdom is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. But most people eat only half of that. Now a study commissioned by the World Health Organization, published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, offers more evidence about why fibre is such an important player in the prevention of chronic disease and reducing the risk of early death.
Researchers combed through more than 240 studies and clinical trials and found that people who ate the most fibre-rich foods had a significantly lower risk of dying or developing chronic disease during the studies, compared with people who ate lower amounts of fibre-rich foods.
How much did the risks fall? For every 8-gram increase in dietary fibre eaten each day, the total number of deaths and cases of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer decreased by 5% to 27%; that represents a truly massive gain for very little effort. The authors suggest that eating 25 to 29 grams of fibre per day is adequate, but we should ideally be aiming to eating more than 30 grams per day to provide ourselves with maximum protection.
So just how easy is it to obtain 30g of fibre a day? The following provide an example of a healthy, tasty and nutritionally dense daily meal plan that provides over 32g of fibre whilst being loaded with antioxidants and whole food nutrition:
Breakfast: Porridge made with dairy/non-diary milk, 1 tsp of raw honey, 10 blueberries, 8 raspberries and 1 tbsp of flaked almonds.
Lunch: Avocado sandwich made with 2 slices of whole wheat bread with two heads of lettuce, 4 cherry tomatoes, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, eaten with a raw carrot on the side or an apple or pear.
Dinner: 1 wild salmon fillet, 80g prawns, 100g wholemeal pasta with 25g spinach, 25g of kale and 80g of frozen garden peas
Looked at like this, its easy to see how achievable it is to obtain our 30g+ of fiber each day. In fact, tweaking our diet to make this a priority may be one of the most powerfully disease preventing changes we can implement and one that is clinically proven to reduce our risk factors for premature death.
If you are looking for an excellent high fiber vegetarian meal option for the coming weekend, check out our amazing Winter Moroccan Tagine