Dietary fibre – is it all about the bran?

What is dietary fibre?

Dietary fibre is a phrase which refers to a class of diet components that pass through the gut and small intestine undigested and reach the large intestine almost completely unaffected. Other nutrients are digested and made use of in other parts of the body by this stage. Dietary fibre is a topic people really do not usually think a great deal about with our fast-paced lifestyles, and let’s face it, who wants to think about it!? Nonetheless, fibre plays a critical role in helping people to sustain a well body.

Dietary fibre is derived from plant sources, for instance fruit, vegetables and grains, and contributes to a healthy diet and way of living. The majority of people ingest various kinds of fibre daily without realising it.

Dietary fibre is typically grouped according to its solubility into soluble or insoluble. Both forms of fibre are found in different proportions in fibre-containing foods. Dietary fibre isn’t just about taking in unprocessed bran. This could aggravate many peoples’ systems, creating bloating, excessive wind and anal discomfort. More and more it is being recognised that dietary fibre has a vital function to play in several areas of nutrition.

It is simply a complex carbohydrate and is routinely described as food elements which resist digestive function by human digestive enzymes in the small intestine and that pass into the large intestine where they may or may not be fermented by gut bacteria. It is often called “bulk” or “roughage”. Dietary fibre which is not fermented is excreted in the faeces. The fact that it is resistant to digestion, permits the fibre to reach the colon undigested, making it possible for fermentation by the micro flora. It is widely thought that dietary fibre is necessary for maintaining a balanced digestive system.

What is soluble fibre?

Soluble fibre is fibre that dissolves in water. It consists of sticky substances, such as gums and pectin, which form a gel-like compound in the presence of liquid and is located in fruit and vegetables. You can also obtain soluble fibre from dried beans, peas, oats and oat bran, flaxseed and psyllium husks

Soluble fibre is a soft fibre that soaks up water as it moves through the digestive system. As well as being thought to help to reduce cholesterol, it is also widely considered to keep blood glucose levels under control. When soluble fibre absorbs water, it becomes a gelatinous material that is then fermented in the colon to produce chemicals called short chain fatty acids. It is thought that it is rather important for healthy digestion. Soluble fibre is understood to bind with cholesterol and prevent it from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This is believed to bring down the amount of cholesterol in the blood, therefore potentially decreasing the possible risk of heart disease.

Soluble fibre is one type of fibre that could possibly help assist with IBS symptoms. It is a fermented source of nutrition, meaning that it has bacteria in it that breaks down the carbohydrates in the colon. Another benefit of soluble fibre is that the gut remains fuller for longer, providing satiety.

Soluble fibre is comparable to insoluble fibre in many of the ways it works. However,, it does extra things too. Some research studies have observed the possible benefits of soluble fibre, including the possibility that it could lower cholesterol.

What is insoluble fibre?

Insoluble fibre is particularly present in wheat bran, some forms of vegetables and in whole grain products. Some vegetables loaded in insoluble fibre include carrots, peas and broccoli. Insoluble fibre is, chemically, mostly cellulose and lignin. It is often compared to a sponge; it soaks up water and moves solid waste materials out of your intestines.

Constipation can be a common problem. Poisonous bowel material needs to be passed on a daily basis and, allowed to gather in the colon, may lead to many bowel diseases, including colon cancer and diverticulosis. Constipation can also be an unwanted effect of a high-fibre diet if water ingestion isn’t also elevated. This is due to the fact that fibre works just like a sponge and soaks up water. Constipation is a chronic issue for people of every age group in today’s fast-paced, junk food fuelled modern society. Pressure, low fibre diets, lack of exercise, certain medications and lack of fluids all normally result in continual bowel problems.

Benefits of a high fibre diet

High fibre diets are considered by many to be helpful in general for numerous potential health benefits. E.g., lowering cholesterol and perhaps avoiding polyups or diverticulitis by eliminating many harmful toxins that remain in the colon. High fibre diets may also possible help to lessen the surge of blood sugar dissipating from the intestines, while lowering a person’s weight.

Not very long ago, it was widely held that a low fibre diet was best for those who have colon disorders. However the medical community is now largely promoting a high fibre diet.

It is said that our daily food intake should ideally contain approximately 25 to 30 grams of fibre. Fibre keeps stools soft and keeps the contents of the intestines moving. One of the key reasons our diets are so fibre deficient is because of the change in the method by which wheat was refined into flour at the turn of the century, from a crushing to a finer rolling process.

Proper digestion is essential not just to maintain good health, but for you to function efficiently. A big element in successful digestion is including plenty of fibre in your everyday eating plan.