Activ8 Tip: The Importance of Dietary Fibre

By PCYC Beenleigh Gym+Fitness Trainer, Brooke Tobin

Fibre is the part of a plant food which is not broken down by our bodies during digestion. It is found in foods such as wholegrains, vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes. It is essential for keeping our digestive systems healthy and preventing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer.

There are different types of fibre which all have different functions:

Soluble fibre

Helps to slow down the process of digestion in our stomachs, and helps you feel fuller for longer. It also helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels and can lower cholesterol reabsorption. Soluble fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, and legumes.

Insoluble fibre

Absorbs water to help soften the contents of our bowels and support regular bowel movement. It also helps to keep us full and keep the bowel healthy. Insoluble fibre is found in wholegrain breads and cereal seeds, wheat bran, nuts, seeds and the skin of fruit and vegetables.

Resistant starch

Works like fibre by resisting digestion in our small intestine and instead travels on to our large intestine where it can assist in the production of good bacteria and improve bowel health. Resistant starch can be found in undercooked pasta, under ripe bananas, cooked and cooled potato and rice.

Why is fibre important?

Fibre helps you feel fuller for longer, helps with digestive health, can improve your blood sugar levels, and can assist in preventing in diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer.

Eating a variety of plant-based foods will help you get enough fibre. This includes choosing wholegrain, wholemeal and/or high fibre varieties of grain-based foods and pasta, and enjoying a variety of wholegrains such as rice, oats, quinoa and barley.