Dietary fiber is a staple of any healthy diet. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why whole plant foods are so good for your body. And there is a lot of very fascinating science around how fiber is used by your body and what health benefits are provided.
When you eat foods, your body breaks down and absorbs the components of your meal—fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. But fiber isn’t fully absorbed by your body. It actually passes through your digestive system relatively intact. So how does it provide any benefits at all to your overall health? Read below to learn more about why you should be including more fiber in your daily routine.
- Nourishes Good Gut Bacteria
You actually have a lot of bacteria living in your gut right now. This ecosystem of microbes is known as your “microbiome”. This bacteria is key to your overall health. They determine how well you absorb vital nutrients, and even affect how hungry you feel and what foods you crave.
Dietary fiber is actually a healthy food source for the good bacteria that already live in your microbiome. As they eat fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids that have been linked to all kinds of health benefits. So by helping this beneficial bacteria, you are also helping yourself. It’s a powerful symbiotic relationship that you can use to your own advantage by simply choosing to eat more fiber each day.
- Helps Overall Digestive Health
Eating fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut and this can help improve overall digestive health. A healthy, balanced gut can also have positive effects on cholesterol levels and your cardiovascular system.
Even more, healthy levels of fiber will help keep you regular. Constipation is actually a very common issue for many people. And it often is caused by a lack of dietary fiber in one’s diet. So eat more fiber to keep yourself feeling free and unhindered where it really matters.
- Supports Healthy Weight Management
Having healthy bacteria in your gut has been frequently linked to healthy weight management. Beneficial bacteria may also help your digestive msu d2l system absorb more nutrients to help you feel fuller for longer. So feeding those helpful microbes the fiber they need will help you maintain a healthy weight.
In general, high fiber foods are just more filling than low-fiber foods. So if you stick to foods and snacks with more fiber, you want need to eat as much to feel satisfied.
This really is just the beginning when it comes to the science between health, nutrition, and fiber. There’s a lot more out there to learn.
Adding more dietary fiber to your diet is actually quite simple and easy. A lot of whole plant foods contain plenty of fiber, such as: carrots, broccoli, lentils, quinoa, oats, almonds, apples, avocado, and many more. So a quick run to the grocery store can help you out.
You can also mix fiber into your meals or drinks to supplement your daily intake. This is very useful if you have a busy lifestyle and just don’t always have time to cook a healthy meal.
Whatever way you choose, giving your body more fiber will help you experience many health benefits. Taking the time to nourish your microbiome is just a smart thing to do. It’s an opportunity for you to be more thoughtful and reflective about your eating habits. It’s a chance for you to approach your health in a holistic and wholesome way.
About the Author
Born and raised in Utah, Taylor Pulver grew up fishing, camping, and hiking his way through the Wasatch Range. Now, he lives in Salt Lake City as a writer, gardener, and avid reader of fantasy and science fiction novels.