4 March, 2024

Fibre is an essential part of any healthy diet and can also play a role in reducing our risk of breast cancer. But it’s rarely the topic of interesting conversation. Whenever we think of fibre, most think of uninspiring wholemeal toast or bowls of prunes. However, introducing more fibre into your diet doesn’t have to mean sentencing your taste buds to death, it can just as easily mean liberating them! 

Fibre’s most well-known health is its impact on our digestive system; it influences the transit time of food in your digestive system, how hungry or full you feel, bowel movements and how your body absorbs nutrients. Additionally, fibre could prevent the reabsorption of oestrogens from the gut into the blood. Long-term exposure to oestrogen is a well-established risk factor for breast cancer. 

Rather than give you the standard traditional list of high-fibre foods – which can be found on our fibre and breast cancer page this time around, we’ll be shining a light on 11 amazing sources of fibre that you may not have known about. 


What makes a food high in fibre?

As you’ll learn, high-fibre foods can come in many shapes, sizes and flavours, but what makes a food high in fibre? To be classified as high in fibre, according to the UK Health and Nutrition Claims Committee (UKNHCC) regulations, a food is a “source of fibre if it contains at least 3g of fibre per 100g” while a food is “high in fibre when it contains 6g per 100g”. 

You can find information on the fibre content of an ingredient on the product label. The McCance and Widdowsons Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset is also a great resource for nutritional information, which we used to help us pull together our list. 


Chia Seeds (34.4g of fibre per 100g) 

Chia seeds are the ultimate shapeshifters. They are a welcome addition to healthy baked goods, smoothie bowls, homemade energy bars and salads. This world of possibilities opens even more when they’re left to soak overnight in a liquid (e.g. water or dairy-free milk). Chia seeds are highly absorbent and have a gel-like texture. This gel can be likened to a pudding, which is perfect for topping with all your favourite fruits!  

Try our wholemeal scones with homemade strawberry jam 


Chickpeas (7.1g of fibre per 100g) 

In addition to being rich in fibre, chickpeas are also packed full of protein. These little yellow pebbles will quickly become your new best friend if you’re trying to shift away from processed meat.  

Chickpeas are most famous for being blended into the delicious Middle Eastern dip called hummus. Still, more recently, they’ve taken on a new life as a vegetarian alternative to meat burgers. Smash together chickpeas and add a bit of spice to create delicious patties for extra flavor.

Try our wholemeal quiche with spinach, tomatoes and chickpeas recipe 


Dark Chocolate (70-85% cacao) – (10.9g of fibre per 100g) 

Consume this one in moderation, as with all good things. The amount of fibre listed is per 100g, but we wouldn’t recommend consuming this much daily. Chocolate may seem odd in this list, but our favourite confectionary’s dark variety is high in fibre. This means that swapping out milk chocolate with dark chocolate and treating yourself to a piece occasionally, can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure and may also play a role in survival after a breast cancer diagnosis. 

 Try our beetroot brownie recipe 


Coconut (9g fibre per 100g) 

Coconuts are tough on the outside but couldn’t be more helpful once you get to know them. Coconut meat (the white bit in the middle) serves as a prebiotic. This promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which is important for overall gut health.Enjoy it as a satisfying bowl of rolled oats or granola, or blend it into various soups for a wholesome dinner. If you’re a person who enjoys snacking during the day (like most of us!), try swapping out sweets and crisps for coconut chips. But like all snacks, moderation is key! 

Try this coconut-roasted edamame recipe 


Lentils (7.4g of fibre per 100g) 

Lentils are a delightful blend of earthy flavour, bright colours and health benefits. Studies have shown that the fibre in lentils can enhance the absorption of nutrients from other foods in the digestive tract, supporting overall nutritional well-being. Eating lentils independently is an option, but they truly shine when paired with other vegetables and spices. When paired with the right combination, lentils can be part of an amazing salad, stews, soups or casserole. 

 Try our black lentil salad with tofu recipe 


Edamame (5.9g of fibre per 100g) 

Edamame is the name given to young, green soybeans that are still in their pods and comes from Japan. Edamame beans play a versatile role, filling sushi rolls, adding texture to nutritious stir-fries, and in delicious sharing bowls with quinoa.

 Try this edamame falafel wrap recipe 


Artichokes (5.7g per 100g (NSP) 

Artichokes haven’t always had the greatest reputation and often get lumped with unfashionable vegetables like Brussels sprouts (which are great, by the way), but there’s more to them than meets the eye. Due to their high fibre content, artichokes contribute to a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management by reducing overall calorie intake. If you’re looking for an easy meal, grilled artichokes sprinkled with herbs makes a tasty side dish.  

Try this artichoke & aubergine rice 


Peas (5.5g of fibre per 100g) 

Don’t underestimate peas; their abundance of fiber makes them a force to reckon with! Small and mighty, peas are packed with nutrients and complement a wide range of meals, including pasta, rice dishes and curries. 

Try our gnocchi with lemony vegetables 


Raspberries (3.7g of fibre per 100g) 

Raspberries prove that a nutritious journey can also be a delicious one! Bursting full of colour and fibre, raspberries are a perfect addition to any smoothie or breakfast bowl. You can pair them with a chia pudding or rolled wholemeal oats for maximum fibre intake results. 

Try our summer smoothie recipe 


Avocado (3.1 g of fibre per 100g)

Finding a fruit that has received more attention than avocados is no easy task. Believe it or not, avocados have more uses than spreading them on toast. The big-seeded, nutrient-packed oval works well as a dip when passed through a blender or smashed with a fork. 

Try our chicken, halloumi & avocado salad with honey mustard dressing 


Okra (3.1 g of fibre per 100g) 

Whether stir-frying okra to crispy perfection, pickling it for a tangy treat, or chopping it up and incorporating it into a vibrant salad, this humble vegetable offers endless possibilities for your taste buds and your health. Okra often gets a bad reputation because of its bitter taste. However, this makes it the perfect companion for more powerful flavours like tomato sauce and black pepper. Grilled okra pods have a distinct smoky flavour, making for a tasty, guilt-free snack or side dish. However, okra should be avoided by those with intestinal disease or irritable bowel syndrome due to its potential to cause bloating.  

Try this Okra with tomato sauce & couscous 

If you enjoyed this list of high-fibre ingredients and are scratching your head aboutfor which meals to use them in, check out Breast Cancer UK’s brand new recipe e-book, which is out now! Download (for free) ‘Organic Flavours’ today!  


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