What is fibre?
Fibre is a nutrient that our bodies need to feel good inside. Unlike other nutrients, it’s not digested, but acts as a lubricant to help make sure food moves through your digestive system easily. So although it passes through the tummy relatively unchanged, it’s the most important ingredient for getting rid of what we don’t need.
Fibre is only found in plant foods, It can be found in the outer casing, or husk of grains. The tough, fibrous parts of fruit and vegetables (particularly in the stalks and skins) are also great sources, whereas animal foods, such as meat, fish, milk and cheese contain very little.
There are two types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Both types are important in a healthy balanced diet.
Much of the food that we eat is digested in the stomach and small intestine, but fibre isn’t, so passes relatively unchanged into the large intestine (sometimes called the colon). Insoluble fibres act like blotting paper, soaking up water to form a soft bulky mass, which is easier to move along the digestive tract.
Insoluble Fibre - This type of fibre can't be digested like other nutrients but is really important for the digestive tract, helping to ‘bulk up’ waste product as it moves. It’s often referred to as 'roughage' or 'bulk' because of the way it increases volume and speeds everything along nicely. This ‘snowball effect’ is great for your bowels as it helps to keep you regular and prevent constipation.
Wheat bran fibre, the fibre in Kellogg’s All-Bran, is a great cereal fibre to do this. In fact, it’s been proven that you need 10g of it every day to help improve regularity and digestion.
Food sources of insoluble fibre
Sources of insoluble fibre include:
- Wheat bran based breakfast cereals such as All-Bran