Fibre has continuously been linked to its wide array of health benefits through scientific evidence. These health benefits include the treatment and prevention of constipation, haemorrhoids and diverticulosis; lowering blood cholesterol; reducing risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes; protection against certain forms of cancer; and increasing satiety (the feeling of fullness) which assists with weight management. Despite all of these health benefits and the population’s knowledge of them, most people still fall short of the recommended daily allowance of 25g for women and 38g for men (adolescent and adult), averaging only at about 15g per day.

NATURAL SOURCES OF FIBRE

To gain the maximum benefits of a high-fibre diet, it is suggested to consume a variety of fibres and this can be done by consuming a variety of foods naturally rich is fibre. Many whole plant foods (fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds etc.) are rich in different types of dietary fibre such as pectin, gum, mucilage, cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Below is a table of foods naturally rich in dietary fibre which can be used to boost your fibre intake:

———- BRAN ———-

FOOD

Futurelife Smart Fibre 2in1
Oat bran, raw

SERVING SIZE

 

45g
30g

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

10.3g
12g

———- WHOLEGRAINS ———-

FOOD

Brown Rice
Bread, whole wheat
Spaghetti, whole wheat
Barley, pearled
Bulgur
Oats, traditional
Quinoa

SERVING SIZE

 

1 cup
1 slice
1 cup
1 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1 cup

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

4g
2g
6g
6g
4.1g
4g
5g

———- LEGUMES ———-

FOOD

Beans (all kinds)
Split peas
Lentils, cooked

SERVING SIZE

 

1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

6-9.5g
8.1g
7.8g

———- BERRIES ———-

FOOD

Raspberries
Blackberries
Blueberries
Strawberries

SERVING SIZE

 

1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1 cup
1 cup

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

4
4
4
3

———- FRUIT ———-

FOOD

Apple with skin
Guava
Orange, raw
Dates
Pear
Figs, dried
Avocado

SERVING SIZE

 

1 medium
1 medium
1 medium
1/4 cup
1 medium
1/2 cup
1/2

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

4
3
3.1
3.6
6
8
9

———- VEGETABLES ———-

FOOD

Sweet potato, with peal
Artichoke
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Brussel sprouts
Parsnips, cooked
Spinach, cooked
Hubbard squash, cooked

SERVING SIZE

 

1 cup med
1 each
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

4.8g
6.5g
2.8g
2.8g
3g
2.8g
2g
3.5g

———- NUTS AND SEEDS ———-

FOOD

Flexseed
Sunflower seeds
Almonds
Pistachio nuts

SERVING SIZE

 

30g
1/4 cup
30g
30g

AMOUNT OF FIBRE

 

8g
3g
4g
3g

General tips to increase natural dietary fibre in your diet:

•    Eats beans, peas and lentils regularly
•    Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day
•    Keep the skin on fruit and vegetables
•    Vary between cooked and raw vegetables
•    Choose wholegrain starches such as brown rice, wholewheat bread, pasta, crackers, bulgur
•    Enjoy nuts, seeds and dried fruit as snacks or sprinkled over salads
•    Drink at least 2 litres (8 glasses) of water per day

FIBRE SUPPLEMENTS

Fibre supplements generally consist of “functional fibres” which have been manufactured or extracted from plants which have been shown to have beneficial physiological functions. Some of these fibres include psylium, inulin, chitin, polydextrose, acacia and beta-glucans. All functional fibres are either soluble or insoluble fibres which have different benefits and functions. Soluble fibre has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol. Some soluble fibres are also prebiotics which stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. For those who struggle to meet their fibre requirement, fibre supplements are definitely a way to fill the gap.

Potential side-effects of fibre supplements

Although the use fibre supplements are a very convenient way to boost your fibre intake, if you take too much they may cause some uncomfortable side effects and interfere with the absorption of important nutrients.
•    Too much fibre can cause diarrhoea (a runny tummy), abdominal pain, gas and bloating. Fibres such as guar gum, inulin, oligofructose, polydextrose, resistant starch and psylium have been found to cause abdominal discomfort when taken in excess.
•    Excess fibre can interfere with the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium by binding to these minerals. Studies have shown that fibres such as pectin and guar gum can reduce absorption of carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein when consumed at the same time as a meal.

WHICH IS BETTER?

As it is with all of the nutrients we need, it is almost always better to obtain them from food before supplementation. So to meet your daily fibre requirement always aim to achieve it by consuming fibre-rich foods such as those discussed above as they not only provide you with a variety of fibres but also several other vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. However, for those who struggle to meet their daily fibre requirements, to incorporate fibre supplements as part of a well-balanced diet can help close the gap.

The FUTURELIFE® product range all contain dietary fibre which is naturally sourced from the raw ingredients SmartMaize™ and FutureSoy.  FUTURELIFE® ZERO contains the functional fibre acacia fibre which has been clinically studied and found to improve satiety (feeling of fullness) as well as improve insulin sensitivity. All of the FUTURELIFE® boxed products can be used as part of a well-balanced diet to achieve your recommended daily intake of fibre.

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