The gut is no longer seen as an entity with the sole purpose of helping with all aspects of digestion. It’s also as a key player in regulating inflammation and immunity. Your digestive system is where it all begins. You won’t produce energy, have a balanced mood, or fight illness if you can’t digest, break down, and absorb nutrients. The gut is therefore aptly named “second brain” and the more important food to keep it working properly is fiber!
Here is our Second Brain!
- Nearly 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms compose your gut microbiome! And advancing science has made it clear that these organisms play a major role in your mental and physical health.
- The human gut has 200 million neurons and produces 95 percent of your body’s serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical associated with emotional well-being.
- Your immune system is educated based on the information received from your gut bacteria.
- Exposure to a wide variety of bacteria helps your immune system stay alert. Therefore this also optimizes the gut, our second brain, function.
There are many simple things you can do to keep your digestive system healthy. Starting by following a clean diet with Probiotic, Enzymes, Therapeutic Herbs and obviously Fibers. Today, we’ll focus on fiber!
What exactly is fiber?
Fiber is the element in plants (like fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that our bodies do not digest. Fiber is different from most foods that we generally eat. We can absorb and digest most foods, but not fiber. It actually passes quickly through your digestive tract, mostly intact. Consequently it is not broken down like other foods. The fact that fiber is mostly left intact is actually a good thing. It creates bulk which aids in moving stool and harmful carcinogens through the digestive tract.
There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Here is what the Mayo Clinic says about it. “Soluble fiber dissolves with water and creates a gel-like substance that helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber absorbs water which adds bulk to your digestive tract and helps to move things through quickly.”
Public health guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise Americans to eat between 20 and 30 grams of fiber a day. But most adults don’t even eat half that much.
Why fiber is so important?
Because fiber helps to move stool through your digestive tract and colon, it actually helps to prevent several digestive diseases. Few of them are Diverticulitis, Hemorrhoids, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Gallstones and kidney stones. As fiber keeps your colon clean and healthy, it can also prevent colon cancer. Fiber also helps to reduce the incidence of heart disease, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels and inflammation. Finally, fiber can help with weight loss because it creates a fullness within your intestines. Therefore that helps you to eat less.
Health Benefits of Fiber – Summary
- Prevents digestive diseases
- Heart health
- Prevents diabetes
- Weight loss and management
- Increase energy
- Skin health
What Are the Healthiest Sources of Fiber?
If your diet could use more fiber, resist the urge to fortify it with whole grains. Whole grains are not the best source of fiber, as they contain anti-nutrients and glutinous, “binding” proteins.
Instead, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The following whole foods, for example, contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Berries, Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, Root vegetables and tubers, including onions and sweet potatoes. Almonds, Psyllium seed husk, flaxseed, and chia seeds, Green beans, Cauliflower, Beans and Peas.
You do not need to eliminate other foods in order to have a fiber-rich diet. Just learn how to incorporate fiber-rich food into your daily life! It is really that simple. You can also use a rich fiber-rich supplement such as Psyllium Husk. It provides almost 10 gr of soluble fiber per serving ! When you think of all the health benefits, plus the added bonus that you may lose weight, why wouldn’t you incorporate these foods into your diet?
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only. They are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet. More details in our FDA Disclaimer