We all know that eating fibre is important and helps in better digestion. But do we really know what it is? Fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate portion of food. Unlike other food groups, the small intestine is unable to break it down for energy. It is passed on to the large intestine for that purpose.
Fibre-containing foods usually consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. They can be broadly categorised into soluble and insoluble. Read on to know how they differ and which one should you prefer.
As the name suggests, soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the gut, which is then further fermented by gut bacteria.It slows down and in some cases completely prevents the absorption of fat and cholesterol in the gut. It’s effective in stabilising blood glucose levels and reduction of cholesterol. It also helps the body improve its immunity and reduce the effects of food intolerances.
Beans, oats, oat bran, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, apples, berries, and peas are a great source of soluble fibre
Unlike soluble fibre, insoluble fibre speeds up the removal of food and waste from the digestive system by acting as a bulking agent and prevents constipation. They also help in prolonging the feeling of fullness and thus help in managing the calories.
Wheat bran, whole grains, cereals, brown rice, seeds, and the skins of many fruits and vegetables are good sources of insoluble fibre.
Hence, to conclude, the body needs both the types of fibre for proper functioning. But, the need for insoluble fibre is more.