The Complex carbohydrate, which the body’s digestive enzymes
cannot breakdown, is known as fibre. Also referred to as roughage,
fibre is the indigestible part of plant food. Dairy products, fish
or meat contain no fibre at all. It is a very significant element
for general good health but is lacking in most adult dietary habits.
Fibre plays an important role in the bowel function, by absorbing
water as it passes through the large intestine it softens and expands
the waste material to facilitate a smoother passage and ejection.
There are two types of fibre, soluble fibre that is found in fruits,
vegetables, beans and oats, it is known for its cholesterol lowering
properties as well as helping reduce the risk of heart disease. Insoluble
fibre is found in wheat bran and acts as a type of bulking agent in
the bowels as described before. To receive an adequate intake of both
types, a variety of fibre intensive foods should be eaten. The correct
amount of fibre in the diet can reduce the risk of potential bowel
disorders such as haemorrhoids and constipation. Other foods rich
in fibre include, rice, wholemeal bread, nuts, breakfast cereals,
bran and pasta.