FIBRE, HOW MUCH DO WE NEED?
It is estimated that adults in the UK are only consuming about 18g (just 60%) of the recommended 30g per day of fibre! Children don't need as much, but they still need more than they're getting, with 2-5 year olds needing 15g, 5-11yrs old: 20g and 11-16yrs old: 25g. In fact, constipation which is often caused by lack of dietary fibre was one of the primary reasons for children being absent from nursery and primary school last year.
WHY IS FIBRE SO IMPORTANT ANYWAY?
Sometimes known as ‘roughage’, fibre is made up of a group of substances found in plant foods. These include lignin, waxes and polysaccharides, such as pectin and cellulose. Most fibre passes through your digestive system, pushing food along and helping to keep bowel movements regular.. always a good thing if you ask us!
YOUR GOOD BACTERIA FEEDS OFF FIBRE
But fibre has another important role – it acts as fertiliser for the good bacteria bugs in your belly, which are crucial to keeping you healthy (studies have shown your gut health is strongly linked to immunity, inflammation, obesity and digestive health). Your community of bugs is called the microbiome and it is unique to you. Right from the beginning of life, everyone has differing levels of different bacteria, determined by lifestyle and environment. You can help friendly bacteria thrive by giving them the food they need to flourish – and that’s fibre.
WHY ARE WHOLE GRAINS BETTER
Whole grains are an unrefined grain which means that their bran (outer layer) and germ (nutrient rich inner part) haven't been removed by milling. Refined grains have had both their bran and germ stripped during the process of milling to give them a finer texture and extend their shelf life. The refining process not only strips the grain of their bran and germ but also removes many nutrients, including fibre. Whole grains (unrefined grains) are better sources of fibre and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.
FULLER FOR LONGER
When you eat whole grains they are digested more slowly, due to their lower glycemic index (GI), which results in glucose being released into the bloodstream more slowly, ultimately leaving you fuller for longer. By making sure our breakfast products are stuffed full of fibre, they'll give you the good start and energy that you need until lunchtime. In contrast to this, refined flours (often used in supermarket breads, scotch pancakes, waffles, croissants) have a much higher GI and are comparatively low in fibre and nutrition, and provide only short-lived energy.