Use Fiber for better gut health! Your secret weapon in creating the perfect environment in your digestive system.

 

When your digestive system and it’s resident Microbiome is in good health, you will feel the impact on not only your stomach and digestion but also in your immunity, nervous system and also in your brain health and performance.

The brain and the gut are, after all, linked physically by the Vagus Nerve and recent studies show that your brain, gut and your microbiome are all co-responsible for producing chemicals that are essential for a happy life such as serotonin, melatonin and related biochemicals.

The brain and the gut are linked through many channels of constant communication. They work together to keep you happy, healthy and resistant to disease.

Ever heard the term “I had a gut feeling about that!”?

Well, that is because the gut is constructed with similar sensory cells to parts of the brain and may be responsible for more instinctual, less processed thoughts and feelings.

So it makes sense to treat your gut with the same respect and care as you treat your brain.

 

Fiber and Gut Health.

We talk a lot about what foods to eat when to eat them, how to prepare them and there is an ongoing debate as to the impact of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from diet on the body.  Fiber is less talked about (hey, it’s just not that sexy!) but a key factor in optimum health because fiber and gut health are directly linked, and you can definitely look to fiber for better gut health.

There are two types of fiber that we find in our diet – soluble and insoluble.  Both are relevant and important to our bodies for optimum function.

 

Soluble Fiber.

This sort of fiber is from foods that will turn into a sort of gel consistency when chewed and partially digested.  The purpose of the gel that remains after the other nutrients have been digested is seen when it enters the small intestine.  Once there it helps to bind cholesterol bile acids so they are not dissolved and can pass through the body as waste without impacting the blood.

Win-Win!

 

Non-Soluble Fibre  (Pre-Biotics).

These foods are not digested in the gastrointestinal tract and remain fairly whole until they reach the large intestine. Once there, they provide food for our gut bacteria and also create bulk which helps the movement of waste through the large intestines (as stools).

Non-soluble fiber is also called a pre-biotic which is the food our good gut bacteria feed on.  Remember that our microbes, or bacteria, are separate living organisms within our bodies and require the right nourishment to also stay healthy and do their job well within us, their host.

Feed your Microbiome with good insoluble fiber, keep it’s environment clean and you will reap all the benefits of happy gut bacteria.

Knowing how important a good, healthy gut ecosystem, or microbiome, is, it makes sense we need to feed them the right stuff to keep them healthy and performing their job optimally.

As the top choice of food for our bacteria, non-soluble fiber acts as an effective internal cleaning service for our Microbiome. they sweep up existing waste and collect it as it moves through to exit the body.  This is really important in keeping unfriendly bacteria that may be toxic to the body from lingering too long in the lower bowel area.

There are so many proven positive effects on a humans health by increasing fiber intake and creating a better world for the gut bacteria, here are just some of them.

How else does fiber help me aside from creating overall better gut health?

Clean Things Up Down There. It promotes the movement action through your digestive system. Minimizes waste storage, undesirable fermentation, and eventual toxins. Fiber bulks up the stools so stool movement to eliminate waste is easier. Be sure to drink plenty of water if you are increasing your fiber intake or this benefit could become negative through constipation, gas and bloating.

Feel Full For Longer. A satiation effect from this bulking up will cause hunger reductions and therefore gradual weight loss. The healthiest type of weight loss.

Control Blood Sugar Spikes. Because the fibrous material is broken down slower than non-fibrous material, it will assist control blood sugar through slowly releasing sugar into the body and avoiding spikes. This is a key factor in minimizing the chance of Type 2 Diabetes which is caused by an exhausted insulin response system. Think about how you feel from eating processed white bread v multigrain dark rye for example.

Calm Blood Pressure. The bugs that are fed on fiber create the cells that calm the immune cells that lead to high blood pressure.

Better Sleep. By increasing the levels of good bacteria, like the amazing Bifidobacteria which helps to produce all sorts of hormones and metabolites, you will improve your gut health, brain health, and weight. By upping the fiber content and limiting the sugar and fat content in your diet, better sleep can be experienced.

Detox. A detoxifying effect from regular cleaning of the bowel will mean there are fewer toxins that can harbor bad bacteria and create an imbalance and illness.

Reduce Kidney Stones and Cancers. Reduce kidney stones by helping lower the amount of acid in urine thus creating a better environment than a highly acidic environment that creates stones. By reducing acidic conditions, the likelihood of cancer cells thriving also decreases.

Lower Bad Cholesterol. Soluble fiber has been proven to lower levels of bad cholesterol levels in your body.

Feed Your Microbiome. Provides food for your gut bacteria, or the microbiome system, as we showed earlier.

 

Find fiber in a great diet.

It has been proven that a diet high in fiber and low in animal fat is best for your microbiome and is proven for optimum long term microbiome health. Plant fiber and intestinal bacteria work together to create short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) which feed the walls of the intestine and protect against intestinal cancer.

Focus on whole, organic fruits and vegetables and nature will provide you with an array of beneficial fiber options to work with you.

I have tried and love the Ultimate Youth Green SuperFood powder for  high fiber and mega-nutrients.

 

Where do I find fiber in foods?

Focus on whole, organic fruits and vegetables and nature will provide you with an array of beneficial fiber options to work with you.

Try the whole foods before you jump into the world of supplements. Remember that your body has been created to extract nutrients from foods and a quick fix laxative or fiber supplement will not provide the full benefit you will get from organic, whole foods prepared mindfully and carefully chosen.

Many whole fruit and vegetables contain both soluble and non-soluble fiber. In the goal of creating a better life for our friend the gut-bugs, consider these foods.

 

High fiber food choices include :

  • Garlic, onions, artichokes
  • Asparagus, burdock root, dark leafy greens, green beans
  • Grapefruit, apples, raspberries, blueberries, bananas (green bananas are packed with higher fiber than ripe bananas)
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage
  • mushrooms such as reishi and shitake
  • aloe vera juice
  • Almonds, pecans, and walnuts
  • Brown rice, lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans
  • Steel cut oats
  • Unpasteurized, organic milk
  • Psyllium husk and flaxseeds added to daily smoothies or sprinkled on salads provide super fiber as well as many other benefits
  • If you choose supplements, choose natural blends that are psyllium husk or baobab nut based
Choose organic, colorful, whole fruits, vegetables, and grains to keep your fiber and nutrient levels high.

How will increasing fiber in my diet make me feel?

If you have not been fiber-focused and make the changes to a better diet with a focus on your gut health, you may notice some initial changes in your digestion.

You will definitely experience more bowel movements. Just think back to the cleaning action of the insoluble fibers and imagine your intestines being cleared out like sweeping a dirty floor after years of build up. There will be more action down there that will become regular and make you feel great.

If you feel bloated, cramping or gassy, this is because of the sudden increase in fiber.  This will not last long, but you may like to try different variations of fiber, and start slow with your intake. This is all new to your body. Give it time to adjust and be kind to it.

You will start to feel more satiated for longer, or fuller sooner. So think about reducing your normal portion sizes to not overload your system out of habit. Again, start slow and work it back. The body is an amazing organism that adjusts to new patterns and habits, so make good ones!

With more movement down in the bowel, you will need to continue to take care of its ecosystem by making sure there is plenty of hydration available to the intestines.  While the stools will be clearing toxins and there will be a greater movement, this can draw more water than usual from your body so increase your water intake as much as you can. This will assist the process and help you feel more comfortable throughout the day.

Always choose the best quality water you can get your hands on – filtered, alkalized, energized, whatever is the best available.

And finally, by increasing your fiber intake, you will experience greater energy, improved immunity and overall wellness from improvements to your brain and important bodily systems.

 

You will feel things just start to flow better inside your body and this will feel good. Awesome!