What is fibre? Fibre is the part of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and legumes that we are unable to digest.

There are two kinds:

  • Soluble
  • Insoluble

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel, whereas insoluble fibre does not.

Two forms of soluble fibre are:

  • Acacia fiber
  • Psyllium fiber

The gel is responsible for:

  • slowing digestion
  • creating a feeling of fullness
  • eating less, benefiting weight control

Acacia fibre is the gum extracted from different species of the acacia tree and is a good source of soluble fibre.

Acacia:

  • acts as a prebiotic – increasing friendly bacteria in the gut
  • protects against diarrhea, constipation, inflammation in the intestines and colon cancer
  • has been used successfully to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • decreases gas and bloating

This fibre has been used medicinally over time to relieve symptoms of:

  • coughs
  • colds
  • sore throats

It is also credited with lowering cholesterol. Acacia fibre comes in a tablet or a powder. Acacia can be mixed with water or added to food.

Avoid:

  • when taking amoxicillin – body won’t absorb
  • if you have a respiratory disorder
  • when on certain drugs – ask your doctor

Take with iron cautiously.

Psyllium fibre is also a good source of soluble fibre. Even though the fibre comes from a grain, it is not a member of the wheat family; it is gluten-free.

Psyllium:

  • improves digestion
  • removes toxins from body by binding them in the colon
  • increases fecal bulk, pushing out debris
  • loosens stools, preventing constipation
  • is cleansing

Regular use may also decrease your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Psyllium fibre reduces absorption of cholesterol and bile acids from the intestine. This results in lowering cholesterol levels.

Psyllium comes in a tablet, but is usually taken as a powder mixed with water.

Psyllium fibre has no drug interactions.

It is imperative to drink plenty of water throughout the day when taking fibre.