Fiber is one of the main reasons fruits and vegetables are so important to your health. Most produce contains high amounts of fiber, and this substance is incredibly beneficial to the human body for several reasons.
Perhaps the main reason why you need to eat enough fiber is that it nourishes the gut microbiome to help keep a healthy bacterial balance. Here is how fiber’s support of your gut can promote overall health.
Processed carbohydrates and high-sugar foods support the bad bacteria, disrupting a healthy microbiome balance and reducing your body’s energy levels. On the other hand, a diet high in fiber nourishes and fuels the good bacteria and helps keep the bad bacteria in a normal range for optimal gut health. Promoting good bacteria with daily dietary fiber helps break down food more efficiently, supporting healthy energy every day.
In addition to promoting normal energy, eating a high-fiber diet can support your body’s digestive processes. The good bacteria in your gut that rely on fiber for nourishment are an essential part of the digestive process, so when you load up on fiber, it helps keep healthy digestion and regular bowel movements maintained.
When the good bacteria in your gut function at an optimal level, you can notice the effects on your digestion. Your gut can break down food more efficiently, which helps reduce occasional gas, bloating, and indigestion. Eating a high fiber diet, and consuming probiotic foods, supports the good bacteria so they can continue to promote digestive and gut health.
While fiber is most often recognized as important for digestive health, it also provides several important cardiovascular and circulatory health benefits. Fiber helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels by binding with cholesterol in the intestines. This prevents cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream, supporting arterial health and circulation. It also helps to slow the absorption of sugar to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
There is a well-known link between your gut and brain. This gut-brain axis is a two-way communication pathway in which your gut microbiome plays a key role. As mentioned, your diet directly influences the diversity and health of gut bacteria, so a diet high in fiber that nourishes the good bacteria will also transmit messages to the brain for overall mood support.
Just as your gut can promote a healthy mood via the gut-brain axis, it can also support cognitive functions such as focus and memory. Keeping your gut bacteria in balance with the daily nourishment of fiber can help support cognitive focus and everyday tasks.
When your digestive system is not operating at optimal levels, your sleeping patterns can be affected. If your body is unable to break down and digest food efficiently, the nutrients from your food cannot be adequately converted to the energy your body needs. As a result, you aren’t burning the right amount of energy during the day, and it can reduce your ability to fall asleep at night and keep you from getting restful REM sleep. Adding more fiber to your diet can support healthy digestion and promote healthier sleep patterns.
When your gut bacteria are balanced, and the abundance of good bacteria crave more fibrous foods, it becomes easier to support and maintain a healthy weight. By adding plenty of high-in-fiber foods, the good bacteria are nourished, promoting healthy digestive processes, proper nutrient absorption, and sustained energy levels that can promote healthy weight management.
So, now you know a bit more about fiber and how it can help support your health in a variety of different ways. Adding a prebiotic supplement or more fiber-rich foods to your routine is an effective place to start to get your health back on track. And if you’re already eating a diet high in fiber, you now know all the ways it supports your health and well-being.