What is Soluble and Insoluble Fibre?
What is Fibre?
Fibre is the part of plant-based foods that mostly pass through your digestive system, without breaking down or being digested. Did you know that there are 2 types of fibre: Soluble and Insoluble. Most plants contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, but in different amounts.
Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms more of a gel like consistency, creating a soothing effect on your digestion as it coats your gut lining, and it also binds to toxins lingering in the gut to help them be excreted. Soluble fibre may lower your cholesterol and can help reduce diarrhea by slowing down and absorbing excess fluid in your digestive tract.
Sources of Soluble fibre include chia seeds, apples, pears, berries, peas, beans, oats and barley to name a few.
Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water. It doesn't get broken down, its mostly roughage and created bulk. Imagine an "intestinal broom", sweeping through your insides and giving them a good clean out. By creating bulk it helps having formed, complete and satisfying bowel movements (however having enough water is very important for this to happen well). Insoluble fibre is very important for bowel health, as it feeds the gut bacteria to promote a healthy microbiome.
Sources of Insoluble fibre include wholegrains like brown rice, oats, leafy greens, psyllium husks, prunes, and nuts and seeds etc.
Why is Fibre important?
Having enough dietary fibre in your diet significantly reduces the risk of colorectal cancers? The common Western and Australian diet pattern is high in refined products and low in vegetables, significantly reducing fibre content.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. Let's change that statistic and be mindful of how much fibre we are eating.
Not sure how to incorporate more fibre into your diet?
At Melbourne Integrative Oncology Group we offer Nutritionist Services as part of our integrative approach, after all the real magic is in finding the right balance between soluble and insoluble fibre, and combining that with enough hydration and mindful eating patterns.