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Types of fibre In 2023
Dietary fibre can be categorized into two primary types: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre, each offering distinct health benefits.
1. Soluble fibre
This type dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. Soluble fibre is found in foods like oats, beans, fruits such as apples and citrus fruits, and some vegetables. Its benefits include:
- Heart Health: Soluble fibre can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Blood sugar control: It stabilises blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for people with diabetes.
- Weight Management: By promoting the feeling of fullness, it aids in controlling appetite and weight.
2. Insoluble fibre
Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water and remains relatively unchanged in the digestive tract. It is found in foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, and many fruits and vegetables. Benefits include:
- Digestive regularity: Insoluble fibre adds bulk to stool, preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements.
- Colon health: It may lower the risk of colon cancer by reducing exposure to harmful substances in the colon.
A balanced diet should incorporate both types of fibre to optimize digestive health and overall well-being.
What are some fibre-rich foods?
Fibre-rich foods are essential for a healthy diet and can be found through various sources. Here are some foods that are rich in fibre:
1. Whole grains: Foods like oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa are excellent sources of fiber. They provide sustained energy and promote digestive health.
2. Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are packed with fibre, making them great choices for vegetarians and vegans. They are also rich in protein.
3. Fruits: High fibre foods include apples, pears, berries and oranges. Consuming them through the skin can maximise fibre intake.
4. Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes are fibre-rich veggies. Incorporating a variety of colourful vegetables into your meals ensures the consumption of many essential nutrients.
5. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are not only high in fibre, but also provide healthy fats and other nutrients.
6. Bran cereals: Cereals made from wheat or oat bran are concentrated sources of fibre and can be a nutritious breakfast option.
7. Popcorn: Air-popped popcorn is a whole-grain snack that is surprisingly high in fibre, provided it is not loaded with butter or excessive salt.
Incorporating these fibre-rich foods into your diet can help you maintain digestive health, manage weight and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.