If there’s one food advice that you’ve probably heard over and over again, it’s to eat more fibre. But do you know why they’re actually telling you that?

Dietary fibre, which is found primarily in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, is best known for its power to avert or alleviate constipation. However foods containing fibre can provide many other health benefits as well, such as helping to keep a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. While there are plenty of fibre-rich foods to choose from, we have whittled down the list to five:

Oats

Oats are considered to be a true superfood. Not only are they inexpensive and near limitless in terms of variety, they’re also filled with vitamins and minerals. They’re also a great source of soluble fibre. This means they absorb water and keep you feeling full for sustained periods. They are also rich in insoluble fibre, which helps digestion.

Whole fruit

Put down that cookie and pick up a good old fruit, which is a far better option! A medium apple with the skin on has 4.4 grams of fibre, while a medium banana has around 3 grams of fibre. Eating these will get you closer to recommended daily fibre intake of 30 grams (for men) and 25 grams (for women).

A serving of veggies

No matter what you have for lunch, don’t forget to combine it with some vegetables. Not only will it provide much-needed fibre (broccoli has 5 grams fibre per cup), it’ll also give you a great dose of micronutrients.

Brown rice

Brown foods, which can be found in rice, bread and pasta, will almost always hold more fibre than their white counterparts because they’re not as refined. A 125-gram serving of brown rice has a notable amount of fibre, more than double the fibre in white rice. So always double down and eat brown!

A handful of nuts

A handful of nuts is equal to about 20-30 grams and is the ideal afternoon snack. This is because they are an amazing source of many micronutrients and unsaturated “good” fats. On top of this they also have other benefits such as lowered disease risk and weight loss.