Foods you didn’t know were high in fibre
Posted on 25 April 2017
We all know the saying: ‘You can’t get enough of a good thing’. Some health reports show that even the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day may still leave us short of our daily vitamin and fibre quota. ‘Ten a day’ is fast becoming the new catch phrase – and there are plenty of options.
Here are some of the most surprising fibre-containing foods. Remember that you should aim to eat about 30 grams of fibre per day.
Quinoa: It may look, feel and taste like a grain but it’s technically a seed that packs a powerful punch. Quinoa contains 5.2 grams of fibre in a one-cup cooked serving. Widely considered a superfood, it also contains 8.1 grams of protein per cup.
Apples: An unsung hero of the rose family. In addition to containing plenty of water and low levels of 15 nutrients as well as various cancer-fighting antioxidants, an unpeeled medium apple offers 4.4 grams of fibre. Apples are also easy to store and carry wherever you go.
Flax seeds: They contain fibre of both the soluble (keeping you full and combating diabetes) and insoluble (keeping your regular) kind. One tablespoon serving of ground flax seeds has 1.9 grams of fibre, and can be added to your breakfast cereal or porridge. If you pre-grind the seeds, store them in the fridge otherwise their chemical composition can deteriorate.
A Mediclinic dietician always cautions against oversimplification where fibre is concerned.
‘It’s better to eat a variety of higher-fibre (less refined) foods than just to concentrate on one food that has a higher fibre content per 100g on a nutritional table. We always have to consider the portion size of the food as well,’ says Jeske Wellmann, a registered dietitian at Mediclinic Sandton and co-author of ‘Eat Well, Feel Well’.
She offers the following general tips to increase your daily fibre intake:
- Mix a low-fibre cereal with a high-fibre cereal for breakfast, or alternate the two.
- Add beans or legumes to dishes to increase fibre, for example add split lentils to mince.
- Include fresh vegetables and fruit in meals and snacks.
- Opt for wholewheat or whole-grain products.