How much fibre do you need?

Good Health
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Eat fruit for your fibre intake. Image: Getty
Fibre is an important part of our diet — so how much do our bodies need each day?

High-fibre foods pass more easily and quickly through your digestive tract. Fibre gives stools bulk and also softens them, which helps prevent constipation, diarrhoea and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Fibre can decrease pressure in the intestinal tract, reducing your risk of developing certain digestive disorders.

A fibre-rich diet may also play a part in lowering your risk of bowel cancer. The amount of dietary fibre that is usually recommended is about 30g a day. The Gut Foundation recommends that a little more may be better — many people can eat 40g to 50g a day without experiencing any problems. If you are planning to increase your intake of dietary fibre, do it gradually to prevent bloating and excessive wind.

A high-fibre diet containing 37g to 45g of fibre might include:

Breakfast: A bowl of wholegrain cereal (bran flakes, rolled oats, wheat biscuits, natural muesli, soy and linseed cereals), piece of fresh fruit, low-fat milk and two slices of wholemeal toast.

Morning tea: 1 piece of fruit.

Lunch: Sandwich made with wholemeal bread, chicken and salad, and a piece of fruit.

Afternoon tea: 1 piece of fruit.

Dinner: A large serve of vegetables, a potato, fish, chicken or lean meat and fruit salad for dessert.

Good Health magazine

For a 10-page in-depth handbook on Digestive Health, pick up the October issue of Good Health magazine at

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