If you want to learn more about your body, knowing what happens in your gut – and how you can help digestion along a bit – is an important part of leading a healthy life. It's always helpful to try to incorporate more foods that are good for digestion into your diet, and fibre-rich foods are a big part of that.
But first, let's find out how fibre travels through your body. From the moment you eat it, fibre starts an epic journey through your digestive system.
So, fibre’s digestion-journey begins in your mouth. Special enzymes in your saliva start to break down the carbohydrates that carry the fibre. The food then travels down your oesophagus, the tube between your mouth and stomach.
Once in your stomach, the fibre starts to mix with partially-digested food, creating a thick paste that can pass easily through the rest of your gastrointestinal tract.
The fibre continues through into the small intestine, passing through undigested.
Food moves from your small intestine, into your large intestine - also known as the colon. This is the site where fibre does a lot of heavy lifting! Less fermentable fibre increases bulk helping move waste material through the gut. More fermentable types act as a food source for the bacteria living here; with prebiotic fibre specifically targeting important bacteria, fibre’s adventure is almost over.
The fibre makes sure anything that’s left travels to your rectum, Undigested fibre and waste material leaves your body when you go to the toilet. What a journey!