The health of your gut affects everything from your immune system to your moods. More and more studies connect poor gut health to inflammation, and pretty much every chronic disease including obesity. Studies show those who get more fiber in their diets have a healthier body weight, less fat, and a better body mass index (BMI), even after adjusting for other factors.
You may be wondering what fiber has to do with your gut health. Well, the good bacteria in your gut has a favorite food and it’s fiber. Our digestive enzymes don’t break down the fiber we eat from vegetables and other sources. The fiber remains intact as it moves through the digestive tract, and the healthy gut microbes feed off the fiber’s vitamins, nutrients, and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
When these good bugs don’t get enough fiber some will starve and die off but others can begin eating away at the gut’s mucous lining, which leads to leaky gut syndrome and compromised immunity.
Fiber-rich foods not only fill you up faster and keep you satisfied longer, they also prevent your body from absorbing some of the calories in the foods you eat. Simply by including 30 grams a day, study participants were able to drop between 90 and 130 calories from their daily intake, equivalent to a 9- to 13-pound weight loss over the course of a year. I talked in more detail about the benefits of fiber in this past newsletter.
So what is “adequate” fiber intake? In general, women should get at least 25-30 grams of fiber daily, while men should get at least 30-38. Sadly most people get far less, especially if their diets are composed of packaged, processed foods.
In Today is Still the Day and the companion 7 week coaching plan you limit starchy carbs and grains, which many suggest are among the best sources of fiber. However, grains contain phytic acid which interferes with the absorption of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. So I recommend focusing instead on non-starchy veggies, fruit in moderation, nuts and seeds as well as some excellent fiber supplements I mention in the newsletter above.
Just be sure you get adequate fiber daily, because researchers have found that the balance of bacteria in the gut can quickly change for the worse as soon you stop getting enough fiber.
Do you make sure you get adequate fiber daily?
Want to see more articles like this? Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader. To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!
Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.