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Increase fibre intake in your diet

Jacqueline Alwill

Brown Paper Nutrition

Fibre is the indigestible portion of plant foods and a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest or absorb. Instead of being broken down into nutrients like other carbohydrates, fibre passes relatively intact through the digestive system. Most people eating a diet with more ultraprocessed foods these days, will sadly miss their fibre targets considerably, so it’s worth revisiting the fundamentals of fibre intake.

Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet and offers many benefits, including:

  • aiding digestion
  • preventing constipation,
  • lowering cholesterol levels,
  • helping to control blood sugar levels
  • fuelling the trillions of living microbes in the gut which can influence immune and metabolic health as well as neurobehavioural traits

There are 2 main types of fibre:

  1. Soluble fibre: This type of fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Good sources of soluble fibre include oats, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables.
  2. Insoluble fibre: This type of fibre promotes the movement of material through the digestive system (your gut) and increases stool bulk (hence why it’s often known as the roughage!), which can help prevent constipation. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fibre.


BONUS: Have you heard of resistant starch? Resistant starch is a type of starch that (as its name suggests) resists digestion in the small intestine. Instead, it passes through to the large intestine, where it can provide various health benefits. Resistant starch is richest in foods such as seeds, legumes, cooked and cooled white potatoes or pasta. Resistant starch is like premium fuel for your gut microbes. Go enjoy that white potato salad as part of your meal, friend. 

Improving your fibre intake is essential for maintaining good digestive health and overall well-being. Here are a few tips to help you increase your fibre intake:

  1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: Aim to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Leave the skins on when possible, as they often contain the most dense amount of fibre in the plant
  2. Choose whole grains: Opt for whole grains instead of refined grains whenever possible. This includes whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, and whole grain pasta.
  3. Include legumes and beans: Legumes, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, are excellent sources of fiber. Try adding them to soups, salads, or casseroles.
  4. Snack on nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are not only nutritious but also high in fiber. Snack on a handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds for a fiber boost.
    • Consider popping nuts into meals as well, this Carrot Pasta with Chilli and Walnuts is pretty awesome as a starter dish or you can add some protein to it for a main and mix it up with some extra wholegrain or legume pasta for a juicy main meal
  5. Add flaxseed or chia seeds to your meals: Flaxseed and chia seeds are rich in fibre and can easily be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or baked goods.
    • One of the best foods women can include in their diet to support both their fibre and phytoestrogen intake is ground flaxseed. Lignans (a type of phytoestrogen in flaxseed) can help to regulate, aka balance, oestrogen and support healthy menstrual cycles (among other factors too of course)
  6. Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice: Whole fruits contain more ribre than fruit juice. Opt for whole fruits like apples, berries, oranges, and pears instead of fruit juice.
    • Nutrition bonus: Teaming your piece of fruit for snacks with a source of protein like cheese, greek yoghurt, a handful of raw nuts and seeds or a tablespoon of nut butter helps keep you fuller for longer
  7. Incorporate high-fibre snacks: Choose snacks that are high in fiber, such as popcorn, whole grain crackers, raw vegetables with hummus, or a piece of fruit.
  8. Read food labels: Pay attention to the fibre content on food labels when shopping for groceries. Look for products that are high in fibre and low in added sugars and refined grains.
  9. Gradually increase fibre intake: It’s essential to increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid digestive discomfort. Drink plenty of water as you increase fiber intake to help prevent constipation.
  10. Experiment with new recipes: Try out new recipes that incorporate high-fibre ingredients to keep your meals interesting and enjoyable


Love healthy recipes – that are also fibre rich – but keen to stick to your budget? Check out HEALTH ON A BUDGET (ebook $13.99AUD). With over 65 wholesome, delicious, nutritionally balanced and budget friendly recipes and tips to help you keep both your health and your budget in better balance. Available now in the SHOP.