Women need about 20g of fibre a day; men need 26g.

Many people think they get enough fibre in their diet just because they eat the recommended two servings each of fruits and vegetables each day. "The Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends a dietary fibre intake of 10g per 1000 kcal; this works out to about 20g a day for women and 26g a day for men," says Ms Christine Ong, Senior Principal Dietitian, Nutrition and Dietetics Department at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth​ group.

Fibre is the indigestible part of plant foods that passes into the intestines where it absorbs water and becomes bulky. This softens the stool and helps to move it quickly and easily out of your body. A high fibre diet not only helps your bowels function properly, it is also beneficial for weight loss, reducing risk of heart diseases and keeping blood sugar stable in diabetics.

The easiest way to add fibre ​to your diet is to eat more plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts. Fruit should be eaten with its skin, instead of peeled or juiced. Eating more whole grains such as bran will also ensure you get high amounts of fibre.

To find out if you are eating enough fibre, take a look at the fibre content of these common foods:

CerealsServingFibre in grams
White rice1 bowl, cooked

1.0

Brown rice1 bowl, cooked3.0
White bread2 slices

1.5

Wholemeal bread2 slices5.0
Barley, boiled2 teaspoons1.0
Oats, raw2 teaspoons3.5
Chappati1 small2.0
Cornflakes1 cup small3.0
All Bran1 cup small8.0
PulsesServingFibre in grams
Baked beans2 teaspoons4.0
Mung beans, cooked2 teaspoons3.0
Red kidney beans1 teaspoon

7.5

Peas, frozen2 teaspoons4.0
Lentils, boiled2 teaspoons2.0
Chickpeas, cooked2 teaspoons3.0
FruitsServingFibre in grams
Apple1 small

1.0

Orange1 small3.0
Pear1 small2.0
Papaya1 medium slice2.0
Pineapple1 medium slice1.5
Guava1 medium4.0
Grapes10-12 small1.0
VegetablesServingFibre in grams
French beans1 cup small

3.0

Broccoli1 cup small3.0
Cabbage1 cup small2.0
Carrots1 cup small3.0
Potato1 small1.0
Spinach1 cup small6.0
Tomato1 small1.0
Chye sim, kailan1 cup small3.0
Brinjal1 cup small2.5

Ref: V10