The Wonders of Fibre   



The Wonders of Fibre

 
Here's a truly great addition to your diet-fibre, and more of it!

Fibre has positioned itself as an invaluable component in the daily diet. Its benefits are limitless- from including regular bowel movements to lowering cholesterol to reducing the risk for certain diseases such as cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

For years, people consumed fibre by eating fruits and vegetables. Now, there are other sources of fibre available, including whole grains, which contain the entire grain kernel- brain germ and endosperm. Examples of whole-grain foods are whole-wheat flour, cracked wheat, oatmeal, whole cornmeal and brown rice.

Because many people fail to reach the dietary allowance for fibre, commercial fibre preparations are now also available in the market as supplements, including those that contain psyllium husks or oat brains.

Fibre at work
Fibre is an edible part of plants or similar sources of carbohydrates. It Is resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestines. It ferments in the large intestines, helping us pass stools.

There are two forms of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in liquid to form a gel . It binds with bile acids, prolongs stomach-emptying time and increases the bulk and moisture of faeces.
Soluble fibre al so helps in lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, managing our weight and regularising bowel movements. Sources of soluble fibre include psyllium, oats, fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in liquid and passes through the digestive tract intact. It moves bulk, promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation. It also maintains an optimal pH (a measure of acidity or alkalinity) in the intestines to prevent the growth of cancer promoting microbes. Whole-wheat products, corn bran and fruit and vegetable skins and roots are sources of insoluble fibre.

Call for change
Our body needs about 25g of fibre daily. That's a whole lot of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, people do not consume as much of these foods as they need.

By avoiding food traps such as fast foods and ready-to-cook meal, and diligently incorporating fibre in our diet, we can push ourselves away from disease and closer to good health.
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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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