What is Fibre?

Jan 12, 2017

Today we're talking about fibre. No, not the internet service provider although we're sure that's great too. We are talking the illustrious and the somewhat ambiguous substance that is fibre. We all know it's food for us but do we know why and how? No? Well, let's go on a journey through the human body and find out.

Let's start with an overarching definition of fibre. According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English fibre is:

1) any of the thread-like parts that form plant or artificial material and can be made into cloth.

2)  a substance in certain foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and brown bread, that

Travels through the body as waste and helps the contents of the bowels to pass through the body easily.

So, yes. Nice one Oxford because fibre is absolutely both of these things. This also reflects the two different types of fibre; soluble and insoluble varieties.

The first type outlines the "thread-like parts that form the plant or artificial material", this type highlights the attributes of insoluble fibre as it passes through the body in it's whole form, never breaking down but absorbing water and other baddies like saturated fats as it travels through the digestive system. This first definition obviously describes the fibres that make up those funny things called clothes that we love and adore, or perhaps you don't love them if you're a nudist like Paul Henry. However, we were trying to be clever here, so please excuse us. The second definition obviously describes both types of fibre outlined in this post but for the sake of artistic licensing we're going to use it to describe the soluble form of fibre: this kind dissolves in the water of your digestive system and forms a glue-like consistency, aiding digestion and healthy stools. Thus, fibre is an absolute winner if you suffer from constipation or unhappy excrement.

I hear a chorus of confused blog patrons asking: "So, where can I get fibre?". Well, the answer to this one is pretty simple, fibre can only be found in plant based foods. Oats are the real MVP here as they contain both soluble and insoluble fibres but foods that are dense in soluble fibres are;

  • barley and rye
  • fruits and vegetables (especially bananas and apples)
  • root vegetables.

Foods that contain insoluble fibres and the such are;

  • wholegrains
  • bran
  • cereals (not the sugary Crunchy Nut kind)
  • nuts and seeds.

Now we can move on to the latter portion of the discussion, "Why is fibre such a big deal?". In short, it's pretty miraculous. It's a marvellous tool to aid weight loss as fibre itself contains absolutely no calories or carbohydrates. Beyond this, it is never absorbed into your body and thus, helps move all of the icky stuff such as saturated fats out. This means that they have a harder time of being absorbed into your body too. Studies have shown that those with diets high in fibre have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and the whole cohort of issues that come with a high fat diet. Food can be pretty cool sometimes, huh? Additionally, fibre helps you stay fuller for longer so say goodbye to a grumbly tummy and hello to healthy digestion!

However, one must be cautious when eating a very high fibre diet. If you suffer from dietary restrictions due to conditions like IBS then it's probably best to scale down on the fibre consumption else you might have to set up shop at your local loo. It's also important you stay hydrated when consuming a high fibre diet, as mentioned earlier fibre absorbs water in your system and we don't want you parched, now do we?


So, grab yourself and apple or two and maybe even a Justine's Cookie. Each of our cookies contains fibre, ranging from 5g-8gs per cookie. You now know how important it is to keep your tummy healthy and happy these holidays, folks.