Why fibre is important in your diet

Fibre is an important part of your diet, but many people don’t know a whole lot about it. We look at why getting fibre into your diet is important, what the symptoms are if you’re not getting enough, and what you can do to up your fibre intake.

What is fibre?

Dietary fibre is mainly found in veges, fruits, legumes and wholegrains. It consists of all the parts of these foods that can’t be absorbed/digested by your body. As it stays more or less intact as it travels through your digestive system, it plays an important role in digestive health. There are two different kinds of fibre:

Insoluble fibre – Helps move food through your digestive system and can assist with constipation and irregular bowel movements.

Soluble fibre – Gets dissolved in water and can help lower glucose and cholesterol levels.

What happens if I don’t get enough fibre?

Tummy woes are often a sign you don’t have enough fibre in your diet. By upping your intake, it can help relieve or prevent constipation, lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as improving your general bowel health. It also slows the absorption of sugar and can assist with weight loss as a high fibre diet helps you to feel fuller for longer.

How can I get more fibre into my diet?

As mentioned before, fibre is mainly found in veges, fruits, legumes and wholegrains. Adding more fibre into your diet is as easy as adding more of these foods into your daily snacks and meals.

If you still feel you aren’t getting enough fibre into your diet, soluble supplements such as Metamucil and Benefiber are available which you can add to your food or drinks.

Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Grant Cochrane

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