What Is Fibre?

Dietary fibre is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:


 

  • Soluble fibre dissolves in water and is found in oat bran, Psyllium, nuts, beans, and various fruits and vegetables. It forms bulky gel in the intestine that regulates the flow of waste materials through the digestive tract. It may lower cholesterol by preventing reabsorption of bile acids, and may also stabilize blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood

  • Insoluble fibre cannot be dissolved in water. It is found in cereals, brans, and vegetables. Other foods high in insoluble fibre include beans, Brussels and sprouts, corn, peas, squash, blackberries, raspberries, and potatoes (with the skin on). Its primary function is to collect water that increases stool bulk in the large intestine. This promotes bowel movements, and clears the intestinal walls of waste matter, hence reducing the risk of colon-related problems and even colorectal polyps and cancer as a result. It also helps treat constipation

 

Better Bowel Habits

 

In order to achieve better bowel habits, we suggest the following:
 

  1. Fibre One or All Bran Cereals. Please check the label to be sure the fibre content is close to 15 Grams per serving. Be sure to drink a glass of water while you are eating it and another one afterwards.

  2. Fibre does not work without water. Coffee or juice does not help. If necessary, you can eat another bowl of cereal in the evening. That alone would give you 30 grams of fibre per day. Some bloating may occur but this just means that the bowel is starting to work. It usually subsides over time.

  3. High Fibre Cookies (eg. Bowel Buddies, etc.), Bran Buds, breads and buns are available. Always drink a glass of water whenever you have fibre. If your bowel movements tend to become too frequent or loose, decrease the amount of fibre.

  4. Fibre Supplements. These come in powder or pill forms. Any brand is fine. Patients have found Herbal Bulk which can be purchased at TEC or any health food store works well. 

 

Some Other Points

 

  • Wheat Bran 1-4 table spoons may be added to the above cereals, or put in meatloaf, etc.

  • Remember to drink plenty of water with it!

  • If you wish to lose some weight, have a cereal and water 1/2 hour before your main meal

  • Avoid white bread and other cereals with little fibre content

  • Fibre is an invisible chemical, not a stringy material that you can see

  • Avoid supplements and laxatives with Cascara or Senna