Welcome to the #2 edition of our 4 part education series on dietary fibre. If you missed #1, you can check it out here.
There are a number of different types of fibres found in foods – each play a different role within the gut. It is important that your diet contains a good balance of each type.
…is the indigestible hard outer skins of plant-based foods. This fibre does not dissolve. This adds more bulk to your stools, making it the perfect natural laxative. Furthermore, the bulking process helps stools to travel more quickly through the gut, thereby reducing the possibility of constipation.
…pulls in water and dissolves to form a thick gel in our digestive tract. As a result, stools are softer, making them easier to pass through our bowel.
We can also keep the hunger pangs at bay because soluble fibre slows down the speed of food emptying from the stomach into the small intestine, therefore keeping us feeling fuller for longer. Soluble fibre also does a great job of keeping blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels in check.
…is the starch from food that “resists” digestion and absorption in the small intestine. This undigested starch then moves onto the large bowel, where it is broken down and fermented by the gut bacteria.
Resistant starch has been shown to have a number of health benefits for the gut including:
Up next…. “Some fibres are more gassy than others”.