Dietary Fibre—our Intestine’s Best Friend

Written by Accredited Practising Dietitian (Australia), Ms Ingrid Kan

Dietary fibre is very important to bowel health. It is plant tissue that cannot be digested and absorbed by human beings, but they could assist the peristalsis of our intestines and regulate absorption. Dietary fibre has two main types: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibre can be found in flesh of fruits, oats, barley and dried beans. The bacteria in the large intestine will breakdown soluble fibre and form a glue-like substance, which slows down digestion and the absorption of sugar that helps stabilising the blood sugar levels. Another function of soluble fiber is to combine with the bile and excreting excess of it outside our body which indirectly lowers the level of bad cholesterol in our body.

Insoluble fibre can be obtained from green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereal and peel of fruits. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by bacteria in our gut, but can absorb water like a sponge which helps soften the stools to prevent constipation. It can also increase satiety and help to control food intake.

The daily recommendation for dietary fibre is 20-25g.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Asian adult is recommended to consume 20-25g dietary fibre per day. To meet the recommendation, high fibre options such as multigrain breads, oats, brown rice, mushrooms, vegetables and fruits should be frequently chosen for meals. Ideally we should eat at least 1 bowl of green leafy vegetables and mushrooms, and 2-3 fruits per day. One serve of fruit is equivalent to the size of a fist. High fibre ingredients could also be added to daily cuisine to increase the fibre content, like to mix red and white rice together to make a bowl of healthy congee; adding daylily flowers, black ear fungus or dried mushrooms when making meat dishes and add salad vegetables in sandwich fillings.

Also remember to drink 8-10 glasses of fluid at the same time to maximise the benefit of fibre. Let’s get ready for your high fibre meals today!

資料來源:《營養師話你知 100不可不知健康營養真相》
Translated by: Gabriel Pun, Accredited Practising Dietitian (Australia)