What is fibre?
Fibre is the part of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, that our bodies can’t digest or break down. There are two different kinds of fibre: soluble and insoluble.
when put in water, it turns into a gummy gel. It can make it take longer for food to move from the stomach to the intestines. Dry beans, oats, barley, bananas, potatoes, and the soft parts of apples and pears are all good examples.
Because it doesn’t dissolve in water, it is often called “roughage.” It soaks up water, which makes stools softer and bulkier. This helps keep bowel movements regular. Whole bran, products made from whole grains, nuts, corn, carrots, grapes, berries, and the peels of apples and pears are all examples.
Types of dietary fibre
Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower are excellent sources of cellulose. Cellulose goes through the GI tract intact, binding to other dietary components and moving things ahead. It promotes gut bacteria proliferation, which maintains the digestive system healthy (this healthy gut flora is crucial in preventing bad bacteria from staging a coup and causing illness). Legumes, nuts, and bran also contain cellulose.
Soluble fibres like inulin slow digestion, making you feel full longer. This means your body absorbs sugar from foods more slowly, preventing blood sugar spikes (and the pesky junk food cravings that can strike because of them). Inulin isn’t digested or absorbed in the stomach; it grows in the colon, encouraging GI health and general wellness. Inulin is found in wheat, bananas, garlic, onions, asparagus, and chicory root (like barley and rye).
Pectins are a form of soluble fibre that slows glucose absorption, preventing blood glucose spikes. They are well-digested by gut microbes and may decrease cholesterol by flushing out fatty acids. Apples, strawberries, citrus fruits, carrots, and potatoes contain a lot of pectins, while legumes and nuts contain less.
Beta-glucan is a gel-forming soluble fibre fermentable by gut flora. Prebiotics provide “fuel” for beneficial gut bacteria. It may help increase fullness and manage blood sugar levels since it slows food exit from the stomach and intestines. Be ta glucan is present in oats, barley, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms.
Psyllium, a soluble fibre, relieves constipation by softening faeces. It generates a gel that binds to carbohydrates and prevents cholesterol reabsorption. Because psyllium is the food source itself, you’ll only find it as a supplement or a component in other foods, such as high-fibre cereals.
lignin is an insoluble plant cell wall fibre like cellulose. Insoluble fibres may help reduce colon cancer risk. It speeds up digestion, minimizing carcinogens’ time to interact with tissue. Whole grains (wheat and maize bran), legumes (beans and peas), vegetables (green beans, cauliflower, zucchini), fruits (avocado, unripe bananas), nuts, and seeds contain lignin (flaxseed).
7. Resistant starch
Resistant starch acts like soluble, fermentable fibre to nourish gut flora. This means it passes into the large intestine, where it helps defend against dangerous microorganisms. It helps weight loss by reducing appetite and blood sugar spikes, heart health by lowering cholesterol, and digestive health by keeping things normal. Beans and oatmeal flakes are good sources of resistant starch when they are unripe.
Dietary fibre sources
Different plant foods have different amounts of fibre, and the amount varies based on how old the plant is and what part of it is. For example, cellulose is found in a lot of the following:
Strawberries and peaches have a lot of lignin fibre, while citrus fruits have a lot of pectins. Both cellulose and hemicellulose can be found in cereals and grains. Therefore, all these sources of dietary food we can consume and get fibre to our bodies.
How does dietary fibre benefit?
1. Helps to maintain bowel movements regular.
Stool bulk and softness are both improved by a diet high in dietary fibre. Constipation is less likely to happen if you have big stools that are easy to pass. If you have loose, watery stools, fibre may help to make them more solid because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
2. The immune system and mental health are boosted by it.
Fibre is a good prebiotic because it provides the good bacteria that live in our digestive system and make up the gut bacteria. The more gut bacteria in our microbiota, the more our bodies benefit. A healthy microflora in the gut has been linked to better immunity, Gastrointestinal health, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and also being overweight or obese.
3. It lowers the risk of diabetes as well as its effects.
Soluble fibre can help to prevent getting type 2 diabetes and can also help in treating those who already have it. This is because regular consumption of soluble fibre improves blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and metabolic attributes. By slowing digestion, soluble fibre prolongs the process of converting carbohydrates into energy. This retains blood sugar from quickly rising.
4. It helps you lose weight.
Fibre will help in losing weight by maintaining a feeling of a full stomach for a longer period of time. Also, foods that naturally contain fibre, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are full of vitamins and minerals and tend to be lower in calories. This helps make a healthy diet, which is needed to lose weight.
5. Protect from getting piles
To get rid of hard stools, have to pressure and work at it. It causes piles by putting more pressure on the veins in the lower part of the large intestine, called the rectum. Both soluble and insoluble fibres make it easier for stools to move through the digestive tract. This eases constipation, relieves straining, and lowers the risk of getting piles.
6. Helps to protect skin health
Dietary fibres bind to fungus and yeast in the digestive tract, which is then passed out of the body in faeces. This stops them from departing the body through the skin and prevents it from getting acne or rashes.
Can consume too many high-fibre foods affect health?
Too much fibre can be bad for health. If eating more fibre than you should, you could get diarrhoea, bloating, and gas.
Mineral binding is a condition in which the body loses minerals instead of absorbing them. Calcium is the mineral in the body that is most likely to bind with other minerals.
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