Fibre Fact Finder

When looking at bowel health and constipation one word that makes a frequent appearance is fibre. Sounds great, but how does this translate into your everyday diet and what are some other top tips on fibre sources and benefits?

In fact not all fibre is the same and there are actually two kinds of fibre to be found in our diet. There is insoluble fibre and soluble fibre and both have their benefits in the digestive system.

Insoluble fibre

This is the mostly commonly known fibre that provides roughage from sources like wheat bran, nuts, beans, kiwifruit, prunes and vegetables. It is called insoluble fibre as it does not break down in the digestive system. This is why it helps add bulk to stools, which aids transition through the bowels. Due to it’s rough texture, this fibre also acts like a loofah and has a gentle exfoliating effect on the walls of the digestive system. This helps spring clean our insides by sloughing off old cells. It also acts as food for our good bacteria that help maintain the digestive system and helps them produce short-chain fatty acids; linked with health promoting effects such as cardiovascular health.

One negative effect of insoluble fibre is when it is consumed in high amounts it can cause some people to become bloated and gassy.

Soluble fibre

This type of fibre is soluble in water and dissolves to form a sort of gel. You may have seen it if you have ever soaked oats or linseeds overnight. Other good sources of soluble fibre include apples, peas, kiwifruit, prunes, beans, citrus fruits, carrots and barley. One of the positive benefits of soluble fibre is that it helps slow down the absorption of sugar, which helps the body to maintain a healthy sugar balance. It also helps absorb and remove excess bad cholesterol, toxins and heavy metals from the digestive system.

In terms of digestive health, soluble fibre has a balancing effect. If stools are too loose then it absorbs the water and helps firm them. With constipation it helps add bulk to the stool, but also the gel like substance of soluble fibre, when combined with water, helps smooth the passage of the stool through the digestive system. This is why drinking water is so important for digestive health.

Ideally maintaining a healthy balance of these types of fibres will give the best results for a happy, healthy digestive system. Try Phloe as it’s natural kiwifruit formula contains both soluble and insoluble fibre, along with prebiotics to feed beneficial bacteria.

The importance of hydration on bowel motility

It is common knowledge that water is essential for life, but it may not be the first thing you would associate with good functioning digestion and bowel movements. However, dehydration is often a reason for sluggish digestion and dry, hard, difficult to pass stools.

View all articles