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Dietary Fibre – Important yet Ignored

Fibre is something that is recommended by the doctor when someone suffers from constipation. Is that the only use of Dietary Fibre no, read on.

Our body absorbs most of the nutrients in the food we eat, like protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, etc. But Fibre is something that is not broken down or absorbed/digested by our body. It merely journeys through your stomach, small intestine, colon, and out of your body without getting modified by the body.

Then why do we need it?

Before we answer the question, let’s understand what type of Fibre we have in our food.

Soluble Fibre: – As the name suggests, this gets dissolved in water and is found mostly in fruits, beans, barley, and oats a few more.

Insoluble Fibre: – This type only helps in the movement of food through your stomach & intestine and hence required for people suffering from constipation. Whole Wheat, Millets, Nuts & Vegetables contain insoluble fibre.

It acts as a cleaning agent of your digestive system. Helps in maintaining your blood sugar, weight, and intestinal microbiome or gut bacteria. Along with Protein, it gives you a feeling of fullness, stopping those hunger pangs.

How much should one consume?

Males need almost 30-35gms on a daily basis while Women need 25-30gms.

Tip: – If you consume a lot of Fibre then you need to up your water intake as well. Only then you will get good results.

What benefits do we get from it?

  • Bowel Movement: – It mixes with the food leftover after digestion and increases its volume from easier passage our of body. No need to wait hours on the commode.
  • Bowel Health: – High Fibre diet reduces the chances of having many types of stomach/digestive diseases including colon cancer. The gut bacteria also stay healthy due to regular consumption of Fibre.
  • Weight Management:- It provides you a feeling of fullness, staying satisfied for long leading you to eat less and reduce the calories you consume. Which helps in keeping your weight as per requirements.
  • Blood Sugar: – For Diabetics, it is a blessing as it slows down the sugar absorption in the blood reducing the insulin requirement. For Pre-diabetics Insoluble fibre will delay the onset of Type-2 Diabetes or even reverse in some cases.
  • Cholesterol: – It will help you in maintaining the good cholesterol in the blood by reducing the bad cholesterol. Reducing blood pressure & inflammation and good heart health, in the long run, are also added benefits.

How you can get Fibre?

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Brown/Red Rice & Whole Wheat
  • Peas, Beans, Millets & Legumes
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Supplements

Avoid refined/processed & canned foods as the process itself removes the bran from the food. Essentially leaving only carbs & calories for your body.

So eat enough Vegetables, fruits, millets, beans, sweet potatoes and consult your dietician to plan your meals.

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