What is dietary fibre?
It is the part of plant food that our bodies do not fully digest nor is it absorbed by the digestive tract. It comes from a variety of plant foods including whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes and pulses, nuts and seeds. Fibre promotes good health and plays an important role in reducing risks for chronic health diseases.
Dietary fibre plays an important part of a healthy balanced diet. It helps the digestive system process food and absorb nutrients. Eating a diet high in Dietary Fibre may help:
- prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system
- to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease
- to control blood sugar levels which in turn controls the appetite
- with healthy weight management
Foods high in Fibre generally take longer to digest, which helps you feel fuller for longer. They provide bulk to your digestive tract which makes you feel more satisfied.
There are 2 different types of fibre - insoluble and soluble. Both forms of fibre are not absorbed into the bloodstream and are ultimately excreted from the body, yet the body needs both types to ensure optimum health.
- Not soluble in water and helps to move bulk through the digestive system. It also helps to control and balance the pH in the intestines.
- Benefits of Soluble Fibre:
- Promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation
- Removes toxic waste from the digestive tract
- Keeps an optimum pH in the intestin
- Whole wheat grains and bread
- Wheat bran cereals
- Flax seed
- Fruit (especially the skin)
- Soluble in water and forms a gel when mixed with a liquid.
- It binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly.
- Benefits of Insoluble Fibre:
- Helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Helps to regulate blood sugar levels by reducing the rise in blood glucose levels which occur after eating.
- Oats and Oat Bran
- Apples and Pears
- Dried beans and peas (legumes)