Everyone needs fibre in their diet and sometimes requirements can be overlooked with so much emphasis on protein. Once the diet is adjusted to incorporate more fibre, then digestion, energy, and skin will improve. Weight loss, lower cholesterol and a stronger immunity are some of the benefits.

There are two kinds of fibre both soluble and insoluble and we need both. Soluble fibre slows down digestion and attracts water which forms a soft gel-like substance once digested. This type of fibre is great to help you feel fuller for longer. It is really helpful is supporting blood sugar balance and promoting weight loss.

Insoluble fibre adds bulk and speeds up the digestive process, this is particularly helpful if you are sometimes constipated.

The best ways of getting fibre?

This is really from your diet with fresh organic wholefoods. For soluble fibre try to eat more oats, oat bran, beans, peas, lentils and fruit, such as pears, strawberries, apples, bananas, avocado and nuts. Flax seed is really good at boosting soluble fibre, just see what happens to the seeds when you soak them. (either take them ground or soaked).

For insoluble fibre try eating more brown rice, bulgar wheat and vegetables, including root vegetables, broccoli, green beans, courgettes, leafy greens and cucumber. This type of fibre feeds your gut bacteria which in turn supports your immunity and wellbeing.

Synthetic or natural fibre?

Sometimes synthetic fibre is added to foods such as dextrose, methylcellulose and inulin, as well as prebiotics that feed your gut bacteria. Any foods with added fibre need plenty of water. Without enough water an increase in fibre can lead to bloating, gas, constipation and even diarrhoea.

Natural fibre rich foods, like vegetables and fruit, already have a water content to aid digestion, so this is really a good way to go. In this way you avoid artificial sweeteners, sugars and preservatives and will also benefit from the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants these foods offer.

Psyllium Husks will provide a huge fibre boost. You need to start slowly with just half a teaspoon in water. With plenty of water this is a very gentle and effective way of increasing your fibre intake. This is much better than resorting to laxatives or added ‘bran’ in cereals.

Processed foods, sugars and refined foods, such as white bread and rice, will reduce your fibre intake. Incorporating more plant-based, natural foods will have the greatest impact on the digestive tract by increasing fibre and supporting a diversity of bacteria.