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Dietary Fibre and prebiotics:


Dietary fibre and prebiotics are both members of the large and diverse carbohydrate family. Dietary carbohydrates have received a lot of ‘bad press’ over the years which has left many people in our community believing that ‘carbs’ are something to be avoided.


Dietary Carbs are broken down into two major categories; digestible and indigestible carbs with one characteristic benefit for each group. Digestible carbs provide body with energy in the form of glucose which is the most important source of energy for body. Indigestible carb helps with regular bowel functioning and is good for gut health. One of the important tasks of dietary fibre involves promoting a good bowel habit or bowel movement. This means that there is no straining or difficulty in using your bowels when going to the toilet. Either of diarrhea and constipation indicate bad bowel functioning. Dietary fibre, oligosaccharides and resistant starch are example of poorly digested carbs that promote gut health by promoting the activity of gut bacteria and avoiding development of gut cancer.

🔹 Dietary fibres that can selectively stimulate the growth and or activity of beneficial bacteria in our gut are called prebiotics.

🔹 These are easy to isolate from food sources (for example from chicory root) and are often added to foods such as yoghurts, dairy foods and infant formula by the food industry.

🔹 Interestingly, prebiotic oligosaccharides are found naturally in human breast milk. It promotes the growth of gut bacteria in infants and helps in the development of the infant’s immune system (protects against infection).

🔹Hence having adequate and good source of dietary carbohydrates and fibre is essential for overall health.

Good sources of dietary fibre are: wholegrain bread, whole-wheat pasta, wholegrain breakfast cereals, vegetables such as broccoli; carrots; sweet corn; potatoes with skin, fruits such as pears; berries; oranges, also peas, beans, nuts and seeds. #dietaryfibre #dietaryfiber #carb #carbs #prebiotics #guthealth #infantguthealth

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