Why Is Fiber So Important?

Since fiber is best known to help relieve constipation, it’s the punchline for many jokes. While staying regular and keeping your microbiome healthy is extremely important, so are some of the other ways fiver helps the body. There are two types of fiber, both of which are necessary to keep the body healthy. Soluble fiber becomes a gel when combined with water and feeds the microbes in the gut. Insoluble fiber doesn’t digest but provides bulk to make it easier to have a bowel movement.

Soluble fiber is important for a healthy gut.

You have trillions of microbes in your body, with most of them in the gut. They aid in digestion and perform many functions that keep the body functioning properly. Fiber is a prebiotic food since it feeds beneficial microbes, which not only perform vital services but also keep harmful microbes at bay. Beneficial microbes digest food, so the body can absorb the nutrients.

Fiber can help you lose weight.

Fiber slows the absorption of sugar, to help maintain a stable glucose level. It keeps the colonies of fungi, like yeast and other pathogens, in check. Sugar feeds yeast and if those colonies are bigger than beneficial microbes, you’ll crave sugar and gain weight. The mix of gut bacteria determines whether you gain weight or remain slim. Fiber also fills you up, so you don’t eat as much and keeps you feeling fuller longer.

What food should you eat to increase your fiber intake?

If you eat fruit and vegetables of various colors, you’ll consume a mix of nutrients and fiber. Soluble fiber is found in broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, apples, and beans, plus many more plant sources. Insoluble fiber is found in plant sources such as avocados, berries, celery, coconut, and wheat germ. Most fruit juices don’t contain fiber which slows the absorption of sugar, but still have high glucose levels and can spike blood glucose. Eating whole fruit or vegetables is important.

  • Taking care of your gut by providing both prebiotic foods with fiber and probiotic food with live microbes can help prevent disease. The right balance can even improve mental health and boost your immune system.
  • If you’ve taken an antibiotic, it can disrupt your gut health. Focus on eating probiotic foods and increasing your fiber intake to avoid that.
  • If you’re increasing your intake of fiber, do it slowly. Increasing it too fast can cause bloating and have other negative consequences, such as GERD, mineral deficits, and constipation or diarrhea.
  • When increasing fiber in your diet, don’t forget to boost your water intake, too. Fiber from fruits and vegetables has a high water content, but fiber from whole grains and bran doesn’t.

For more information, contact us today at Thrive Fitness Atlanta