Why we need Fibres

We often talk about the importance of nutritional substances and vitamins in a diet. Dietary fibres, found in fruit, vegetables, cereals, legumes and seeds, are also of special importance.

These are actually parts of vegetables without caloric value, which our body does not digest, and their task is to ease the passage of food through the digestive tract and consequently reduce the burden of the intestines. They also help renew the mucous layers in the intestine, which they do by promoting the excretion of substances that influence the working of the digestive tract.

Dietary fibres are soluble and insoluble.  Soluble dietary fibres help balance the amount of fats and cholesterol in the blood.  They also provide for a uniform level of blood sugar – their structure enables a more gradual release of sugars from food into the bloodstream and they thus also help balance our appetites.

Insoluble dietary fibres promote digestion and help prevent constipation, and help the body to excrete harmful substances.

It has to be stressed that as with other dietary fibres, these too should be consumed with moderation. A diet consisting of too many dietary fibres may cause diarrhoea and bloating. It is recommended that an adult should consume a good 30 grams of dietary fibres every day.