Dietary fibre is the portion of food that cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes present in our digestive system. It is only found in plant food sources such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, lentils etc. dietary fibre consist of non-starch polysaccharides and other plant components like cellulose, resistant starch, resistant dextrin, inulin, lignins.
There are two types of dietary fibre
- Soluble fibre- which dissolves in water – is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active by-products such as short chain fatty acids. They are produces in the colon by gut bacteria. Is delays gastric emptying which results in extended feeling of fullness(not feeling hungry)
Soluble fibre support the growth of friendly bacteria needed to help maintaining a healthy gut
Reduce cholesterol absorption by binding to it in the gut
Slow down the time it takes for the food to pass through the small intestine. Slows down the glucose absorption in bloodstream and helps keep blood glucose levels in control.
- Insoluble fibre- doesn’t dissolve in water – provides bulking, they absorb water as they move through the digestive system easing defection( forms majority of feces)
It is important to increase water intake when eating high fibre diets to ease constripation
Fibre helps keep the gut healthy and is important in helping to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart diseases and bowel disorder and cancer.
Fibre cleans your colon by acting like a scrub brush reducing the chances of colon cancer
Adult needs to consume more than 30gm of fibre per day
Food groups contributing most to the dialy intake are vegetables(30%) ,fruits (16%) and breakfast cereals (12%) for an average adult
Fibre intake higher than recommended can help reduce some diseases.make sure you drink plenty of water with increased amount of fibre in your diet.
Fibre helps sustain gut bacteria which is important for your health and immunity
Aids in weight loss by reducing your hunger
Tips for higher fibre intake
- Choose whole plant foods over processed versions
- Replace maida with whole wheat, jowar, bajra for roti
- Include variety of fruits in your diet
- Eat a lot of vegetables
- Include beans and legumes as a great source of fibre and protein
- Replace white rice with brown rice