Although fibre doesn’t contribute any nutrition to our diets, it is still important to make sure that you are eating enough of it. Dietary fibre plays an important role in maintaining our digestive health.
What is Fibre?
The term fibre refers to the carbohydrates in food that humans are unable to digest. We get a lot of energy from other carbohydrates, but our digestive enzymes are unable to break down some of the material that we eat. Fibre comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. The soluble fibre forms a soft gel in the gut, which helps to keep stools smooth and easy to pass. The insoluble fibre remains more solid and helps to keep the contents of the bowels moving. Both types of fibre play an important role in digestive health and can be found in breakfast cereals, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. Adding more of these foods to your diet can be great for your digestive health as well as your overall wellbeing.
How Fibre Helps Your Digestion
Fibre can be very important for your digestive health. Eating the right amount of fibre can ensure that material moves through your bowels at the right speed. It can also help to keep your stools at the right consistency. However, it is important to get the balance right. If you eat too much fibre it could cause loose stools or diarrhoea while eating too little fibre could result in constipation. This is particularly important if you have a condition such as irritable bowel disease that make you susceptible to these kinds of digestive problems.
In addition to keeping your digestive system working well, getting the right amount of fibre in your diet can also have long term health benefits. People who eat plenty of fibre are less likely to be affected by type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and bowel cancer.