« I’m not absolutely sure
what foods to choose
to get enough fibre on a daily basis.
I don’t want to have to keep
questions all the time! »
37 years old, Bandol
Fibre occurs naturally in varying quantities in all vegetables and cereals. Our body can’t do without fibre because it’s essential for our intestinal health and general wellbeing. It improves our digestive comfort, helping us to feel full and regulating blood sugar and cholesterol. It also nourishes our intestinal flora… So we shouldn’t skimp on fibre in our daily diet!
What is fibre?
Fibre is a nutritional component that is not absorbed but helps to promote intestinal flora and digestive transit. Foods rich in fibre include fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrain cereals. It is important to have as many sources of fibre as possible: the more varied they are, the greater the diversity of bacteria… It’s a measure of our intestinal health!
What are the different types of fibre?
There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, but each is important.
Soluble fibre nourishes our intestinal flora, protecting the wall of the intestine and slowing the absorption of fat and sugar. Insoluble fibre, like bran or oats, give bulk to undigested materials and speed up the evacuation of toxins. Fibre that only nourishes good bacteria, rather than harmful bacteria, is called prebiotic.
Daily requirements and nutritional balance
Our diet is unbalanced if it contains more energy than we need for our daily requirements, and if it lacks enough fruit and vegetables. The recommended daily intake of fibre is between 25 g and 30 g. At least 25 g a day is recommended for a balanced diet. This can easily be achieved by eating a varied diet, including uncooked vegetables, cooked green vegetables, fruit, cereals and pulses.
Why don’t we eat enough fibre?
Because our eating habits have changed so much over the past century. Today, we eat less bread and cereals, but more meat and dairy products. To make things worse, the use of refined flours has also contributed to our falling daily intake of fibre.
How can we eat more fibre?
Easy! Simply eat vegetable products every day, ensuring that you eat a variety to enjoy their wholesome benefits. Eat, for example, cereals containing bran or wholegrains, wholemeal or rye bread, fresh fruit, pulses (peas, beans, lentils) and green vegetables. The skin of fruit and vegetables is richest in fibre, so try to keep as much of it as possible!
Today, many common food products have added fibre to re-balance their nutritional composition and help improve our intestinal health. Remember to read the label!