Dietary fibre is the indigestible components of vegetable foods.
These include the husks of grains, the skins of fruit, the rigid cell walls of green vegetables, many of the reistant starches and polysaccharides found in beans and lentils, unripe bananas or in rice, potatoes and pasta that has been cooked, allowed to cool and reheated (retrograded starch).
There was a time and not so long ago when doctors and dietitians recommended a high fibre diet containing coarse wheat bran for the treatment of IBS. This helped symptoms of constipation but many people found it made pain, bloating and diarrhoea worse.
Nowadays the recommended advice for IBS is to avoid insoluble fibre, woody husks, skins, stalks, etc, but to choose instead more gentle sources of soluble fibre, such as whole grains, oats, or linseeds or ispaghula husk (Fybogel). However it is important to note that even these can be fermented in the colon, releasing gas and causing bloating and pain.
If it is recommended you take more fibre in the diet for constipation, but increase slowly because any sudden increase can make symptoms worse and ensure adequate fluid intake.
To discover more information about high fibre diets for IBS, click on the following links: