Dietary fibre is an edible plant that is resistant to digestion and absorption into the small intestine, and undergoes complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine. The benefits of consuming dietary fibre is that it cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes. Fibre sources include plant products such as cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruit and seeds.
1. Protects heart against disease
Studies have shown that increased consumption of fibre aids the reduction of cholesterol, “cleans” your arteries and lowers blood pressure. Fibre is able to do this by thinning carotid artery walls, these arteries deliver blood to your heart. By consuming fibre, it reduces the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream, lower cholesterol will essentially give you lower blood pressure, which overall decreases the risk of heart disease.
2. Acts as a binding ingredient to keep bowel movements regular
Fibre can aid bowel movements to be regular. The consumption of fibre encourages waste to travel more frequently through the body. This is due to dietary fibre being unable to be completely broken down in the digestive tract. Dietary fibre will bring water into the stool if it is too dry, or absorb water in the stool if it is too runny.
Additionally, when your stool is easier to pass, it can reduce the risk of forming haemorrhoids. Softer stools prevent the strain from passing stools, which can ultimately treat and prevent haemorrhoids.
3. Lowers Glycemic Index (GI)
Specific kinds of fibre are known to lower your glycemic index (GI), but others do not. Fibre found in wheat, cereals and lentils are classified as Insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre does not lower your GI. Others however, such as oats, barley and beans are classified as Soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is known for lowering your GI.
4. Aids weight management
By consuming soluble fibre, it aids the regulation of appetite, making you feel fuller for longer. This is due to increasing the intestinal residence time, meaning the contents of the intestine remains in the system for a longer amount of time. Overall reducing the levels of hunger hormones produced by the body. Consuming dietary fibre alters the consistency of intestinal contents, by binding the contents of the intestine to allow for a smoother process through the body. Additionally, by consuming soluble fibre, it helps regulate the production of short chain fatty acids and secretion of intestinal hormones.
When your body is functioning efficiently with the correct amount of soluble fibre, it may aid in weight management.