Fibre is a substance in plant. Dietary Fibre is the one you eat – the indigestible portion of plant foods in the body. Whereas most food components such as fats, proteins, or carbohydrates are digestible meaning that your body breaks them down and consequently absorb them, fibre cannot be broken down into sugar molecules (non-digestible) and rather passes through your stomach, small intestine and colon and excreted out of the body.
According to report published on United States Department of Agriculture, dietary fibre consist of non-starch polysaccharide - e.g. cellulose, hemicellulose, gums, pectins, oligosaccharides - e.g. inulin, and associated plant substances e.g. dextrins, lignin, chitins, pectins, glucans,oligosaccharides
Fibre is classified into two: soluble and non-soluble.
The soluble fibre (also known as fermentable fibre) dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. Being prebiotic, soluble stimulates the growth of body-enhancing bacteria that colonize the large bowel by acting as substrates to them and also reduces the blood cholesterol level.
Example of food components rich in soluble fibre are carrots, barley, rye, psyllium, beans, apples, oats, peas, citrus fruits, potatoes, etc.
Insoluble fibre (also known as partially fermentable fibre) comes mainly from plant cell wall and does not dissolve in water. It has the capacity to increase absorption of water in the intestine which increases stool bulk. This is highly beneficial to people who has persistent constipation issues or irregular stools.
Example of food components rich in insoluble fibre are cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, cereal foods like high fibre breakfast cereals, wholemeal breads and pasta, brown rice and other wholegrain, nuts and seeds, etc.
Cardiovascular disease: Consistent intake of Fibre may play a beneficial role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases CVD and coronary heart disease by reducing the low density of lipoprotein levels (LPD) - which are complex proteins and fats that aid in the transport of other lipids in the blood plasma - C-reactive protein levels, and apolipotroteins. Epidemiology studies suggest soluble fibres, glucans and pectins have proven ability to lower blood lipids and other bookmarkers for heart disease.
Lower Cholesterol Level (Viscosity): Taking lots of fibre is essential for everyone’s body. Dietary fibre helps in lowering the cholesterol levels as well as keeping the body trimmed and feeling full. It is advisable for one to fill up their diet with fibre and not fats.
Glycaemia and insulin sensitivity: Many studies indicate that type 1 or type 2 diabetes could be controlled or possibly reduced if the individual increases the dietary fiver consumption without altering the calorie intake from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This will dramatically improve the glycaemic control and lowers the rate of medication in individuals affected above.