The term fibre relates to rough and coarse indigestible plant matter such as bran. Fibre is abundant in victuals such as bread, fruits, cereals, grains and vegetables. The surprising fact is that both animal and dairy products such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs are devoid of any fibre. Fibre can either be soluble or insoluble in nature. Soluble fibre is that kind which is soluble in water. Fruits, vegetables, oat bran, some variety of beans and barley are the chief examples of food materials that are rich in soluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre does not get dissolved in water. Instead, they retain water. Most of the vegetables, whole grains and wheat bran contain insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre ensures the smooth functioning of the digestive system and prevents constipation.
Intake of fibre – rich food materials promotes health by decreasing the risk of developing colon cancer. It saves one from all sorts of irritable bowel syndromes.
Fibre – rich foods easily provides you with a feeling of fullness. As a result, you are saved from over eating. Due to this reason, food materials that are rich in fibre finds place in the diet prescribed to obese people.
Food materials that are abundant in fibre effectively reduce the cholesterol level. Fibre is also found to play a positive role in controlling the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
Dieticians prescribe a daily requirement of up to thirty five grams of fibre daily. However, this can vary from one individual to another. It should be kept in mind that over intake of fibre will result in diarrhoea and bloated stomach.
Fibre is present, at least in minimal amounts, in almost all our daily food items. Seeds and nuts are rich fibre sources. Fruits alone can supply us with sufficient quantities of fibre. However, it should be ensured that the edible skin of fruits that are naturally abundant in fibre is not thrown away.