4 in every 5 Irish people do not eat enough fibre. Chances are, you don’t. Eating enough fibre, and correcting your fibre deficiency could be one of the most impactful nutrition steps you could take. Your risk of major diseases like heart disease and cancer would reduce. You’d also be improving your gut function, the health of your gut microbiome, and research also suggests it can lead to weight loss.
Dried fruit is a handy snack and enjoyed by many. You can also add it very easily to meals. Due to its long shelf life, it’s also a sustainable option that could help reduce your carbon footprint by reducing food waste.
How much fibre do they each contain?
|Food||Fibre per 100 grams|
|Raisins||2.7g of fibre and 275 calories|
|Mango||3.4g of fibre and 304 calories|
|Dates||4g of fibre and 270 calories|
|Prunes||5.2g of fibre and 168 calories|
|Apricots||8.1g of fibre and 215 calories|
|Goji berries||8.8g of fibre and 309 calories|
|Figs||10g of fibre and 216 calories|
The thing is, it’s not wise to look at food as a provider of 1 thing. Dried fruit is more than a provider of fibre. It also provides many important vitamins and minerals. This is on top of tasting pretty delicious.
The Food Matrix
Please do not fall into the hole of looking at any one food as a provider of just one thing. All the nutrients, big or small, within the food provide a unique collection of health supporting substances that together make individual foods special. This is known as “the food matrix” and is what gives every food the tools to become a superfood. We just don’t know what each foods super power is yet.
The focus on individual nutrients is how the world got confused over the healthiness of eggs and dairy. They focused in on the cholesterol within eggs and the saturated fat within dairy. They demonised them, despite studies later showing that when you eat the food regularly, despite the cholesterol or saturated fat they contain, they didn’t raise cholesterol or heart disease risk. In fact, the collection of nutrients within the foods actually supported health.
Which are superfoods?
Superfoods are any food that have been found to do something extra.
Prunes have been shown to be good for bowels and bones.
Raisins may be good for blood pressure and cognition scores.
Still… pretty interesting differences with regards to fibre, I think you’ll agree! I’ll look at figs and apricots a bit differently going forward.