Think you eat enough fibre in a day? Let’s challenge your best guess and see how much fibre you do eat. Write down your fibre intake on day one. Add more fibre into your diet on days two through ten. That’s it! Need motivation? I’ll be your biggest cheerleader and eat fibre-rich foods with you!
Are you in? Let’s gooooo!
Pick Your Challenge
Challenge #1: Go Big or Go Home.
The challenge is simple. Eat eight to nine grams of fibre per meal for a daily total of twenty-five grams. Disclaimer: only try this option if you’re used to eating a lot of fibre daily.
Challenge #2: The Middle Road.
Eat five to ten grams of fibre per meal. Add the remaining fibre in as snacks and aim for a grand total of twenty-five to thirty grams. The goal is the journey not the destination with this challenge, but give it an honest go.
Challenge #3: Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
Add one to two grams of fibre per day over the ten day period. The daily total doesn’t matter. It’s all about the gradual increase of fibre for better gut health.
Wait! Tell Me More About Fibre First
Fibre is the part of plant foods that we don’t break down and absorb in the same way we break down and absorb protein, fat and carbohydrate from food. There are different types of fibre that play different roles in the body. (I’ll save this topic for later). Fruits and vegetables are common fibre sources. Fibre’s also found in whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Fibre helps with the following: normal bowel movements, good gut health (microbiome), lower cholesterol levels, better blood sugar control, healthy weight maintenance and a possible lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Recommendations vary based on age and gender. Here are the general guidelines for adults over 18 years of age.
Under 50 years of age: 25 grams of fibre (women), 38 grams of fibre (men)
Over 50 years of age: 21 grams fibre (women), 30 grams of fibre (men)
Where’s the Fibre?
Good question. Here's a general guide to get you started.
Protein Foods: lentils, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, other nuts, nut butters
Vegetables and Fruits: green peas, pear with skin, avocado, edamame, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, apple with skin, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, orange, banana, avocado, potato with skin, sweet potato
Gluten-Free Whole Grains: gluten-free oats, gluten-free oat bran, brown rice, amaranth, millet, teff, buckwheat, quinoa, popcorn
Grains (with Gluten): bran cereal, bran flakes, wheat bran, barley, whole wheat products like bread, pasta, pita or roti
If you’re looking for exact numbers, try one of these two resources: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/ or https://food-nutrition.canada.ca/cnf-fce/index-eng.jsp
Tips and Tricks
One challenge is not better than another. The goal of the fibre challenge is to eat more fibre for a healthy gut. You shouldn’t be in pain. Reduce your fibre intake if your gut starts to ache. You may have increased your fibre too fast for what your body can handle.
This leads me to my next tip. Fibre’s best friend is water. Drink some. Fibre can’t pass through your body and help you unless water moves it along.
Fun fact: different fibres play different roles in the body. So, it’s important to eat fibre from a variety of sources like vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Naturally Nu is here to support you and cheer you on in this fibre challenge, but is not responsible or liable for your fibre challenge results. Challenges are fun but only if they improve your health. If you have a medical reason where a high fibre diet is contraindicated or you are following a low FODMAP diet, honour that.
Remember: average adult fibre recommendations are twenty-five grams per day for women and thirty-eight grams per day for men up to fifty years of age. Women should aim for 21 grams of fibre per day and men should aim for 30 grams of fibre per day if over fifty years of age.
I’m so excited to start this challenge on Monday and I hope you’ll join it with me.