The superfood industry has certainly boomed in recent years. The most common so called superfoods are kale, spirulina and chia seeds, which do have health benefits however, they also come with an expensive price tag and lack of availability in many stores.
However, ongoing research into a common food ingredient has discovered overwhelming results into the benefit of consuming the suggested daily intake. It must also be mentioned that this 'superfood' is found in many products and does not come with a hefty price tag and is easily found in almost every isle of the supermarket.
So what is this so called superfood?
FIBRE- plant based carbohydrates that unlike commonly named 'bad carbs' sugar and starch, fibre is not digested in the small intestine but rather travels further down to the large intestine. Rather than being digested, fibre bulks up stool and improves the transit through the digestive system, preventing digestive issues such as bloating and constipation.
Fibre is best known for its beneficial properties in lowering body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels- properties that could help you live a longer, healthier and happier life.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Dundee found that people need to consume a minimum of 25-30g of fibre per day to receive these health benefits.
That may not seem like a lot however a 120g banana contains only 3g of fibre.
With the average person in the UK eating just 12g of fibre, everyone should make additional efforts to achieve their daily fibre needs.
There is no need to supplement with bulk forming laxatives or fibre tablets as everyone can achieve their daily fibre requirements through a healthy diet.
Tips to achieving daily fibre requirements with little effort:
-Swap white bread for brown bread
-Eat high fibre breakfast of porridge
-Add lentils or chickpeas to curries, stews and salads
-Eat nuts or fruit as snacks each day
-If eating potatoes, keep the skin on
-Eat whole grains such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice
But why should we increase our fibre intake?
Fibre is what makes us feel full after a meal and improves the transport of food through our digestive system, helping the good bacteria in our gut thrive.
With this comes the research supporting against low carbohydrate diets. Many believe a low-carb diet will help them shed the pounds however, there is a possibility that following these quick fix diets may result in missing out on the benefits of fibre that is found in carbohydrates such as brown bread.