New Zealand women need to aim for 25g fibre per day, but what is the best way to get it? Here are some lesser known fibre-rich foods.
Half a medium avocado added to a salad will give you 2.2g fibre – about the same as a slice of wholemeal bread. “Avocados are not only a good source of fibre, but they contain good fats too,” says dietitian Denise Griffiths.
A cup of cooked eggplant has 2.7g fibre. If you find eggplant difficult to incorporate into your diet, try adding it to vegetarian lasagne or to pasta in a tomato-based sauce, says Griffiths. “Pasta is another surprising source of fibre – half a cup of cooked pasta has about 1.6g,” Griffiths says.
Not only are nuts packed with protein, but they’re fibre-friendly, too. Almonds come out on top (25 almonds contain 3g fibre), followed by pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts. Griffiths recommends limiting nuts to a handful a day because of their high kilojoule content.
“But eat them regularly because they’re great for bowel health,” she says.
Better known for being rich in potassium and vitamin B6, the high fibre content of bananas is often overlooked. “There’s 3g fibre in a medium banana, more than double the fibre found in half a cup of brown rice,” says Griffiths.
Just one cup of this hearty grain provides a massive 13.6g of fibre, over half your daily needs. Barley, advises Griffiths, is a great way to boost your fibre intake during winter. “It has a distinctive nutty taste, and works well added to soups or casseroles,” she says. Add a cup of frozen vegetables to the pot for a further 8.6g fibre.
For more nutrition tips pick up the July issue of Good Health magazine or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.