Tim Spector's 'superfood' which helps avoid diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancers

Prof Tim Spector said 90 per cent of people are not getting the daily recommended intake of fibre
Prof Tim Spector said 90 per cent of people were not getting the daily recommended intake of fibre -Credit:Zoe

A nutritional scientist has highlighted how a ‘superfood’ could combat the startling statistic that 90 per cent of people are not eating enough fibre. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and founder of the Zoe health app said not eating enough seriously harms the gut microbiome.

He explained people should be eating 30g of fibre per day - and that having the recommended level helps reduce risk of getting conditions like diabetes, stroke, heart disease and multiple cancers. And he said that it was trending for people to be trying to get more protein into their diets - but that in general it would be better to focus on fibre.

Speaking in a video he said: “Everyone tells you to eat more protein these days. You may have heard of tofu that gives you around 16 grammes per serving. I wanna tell you about its older sister Tempe, that I’ve discovered recently on a on a trip to Indonesia, which has even more protein than the tofu - 21 grammes -which is about equivalent to that of the chicken breast.

“But importantly, both tofu and especially Tempe have fibre, which the chicken breast absolutely doesn’t. So this guy has about six grammes of fibre, which is about 1/5 of your daily amounts you need when you’re picking your foods. Don’t just think about one narrow thing like protein. Think of all the other things it can bring and fibres, particularly saying we’re all deficient in and your gut microbes will like you for it.”

He added that people should think of tempeh as a type of ‘super tofu’. Not only does it include even more protein (~21g/100g compared to ~16g/100g in firm tofu - equivalent to chicken breast at around ~24g/100g) but 100g of tempeh also provides 6g fibre, 3 times more than tofu.

Tim Spector recommended the following sources of both fibre and protein:

  • Green Lentils - 24g protein and 20g fibre per 100g uncooked

  • Kidney beans - 22g protein and 16g fibre per 100g uncooked

  • Black beans - 22g protein and 15.5g fibre per 100g uncooked

  • Bulgur wheat - 12g protein and 12g fibre per 100g uncooked

  • Peas - 7g protein and 4.5g fibre per 100g