Dietary fibre is connected to an abundance of health benefits that cover an array of aspects of ones health.
There are two types of dietary fibre found in foods
- Soluble fibre: dissolves in water and can be broken down and metabolised by the “good” bacteria in the gut – in other words this fibre is fermentable.
- Insoluble fibre: this type of fibre does not dissolve in water. It has benefits as soluble fibre does, but it is not fermentable in the gut.
Why is fibre so essential for gut health?
An interesting role that fibre plays is in gut health. Fibre is one of the core reasons have a diet abundant with plants is health promoting, given they are enriched with fibre. Many of the benefits that are associated with fibre are mediated by the microbiotic in your gut – the millions of bacteria that are located throughout your digestive system.
When it comes to the way in which our bodies digest of food, most carbohydrates, fats and proteins are absorbed straight into our blood – leaving not much substance for our gut bacteria to utilise. This is where fibre has a central role in feeding the good gut bacteria.
The types of bacteria that are held in our gut have enzymes that have the specific role to break down and digest dietary fibre. These good bacteria digests fibre and consequently produce nutrients for the body. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) is one of the nutrients produced and research has suggested that these SCFA improve digestive disorders and reduce gut inflammation.