Step Aside, Probiotics: This Is The Real Secret To A Healthy Gut

We often hear about the health benefits of fiber in our diets. We know, for instance, that fiber normalizes bowel movements by bulking up stools and making them easier to pass. We also know that fiber is digested by the microbes in our gut to produce beneficial by-products such as short-chain fatty acids. Now, scientists are beginning to understand that dietary fiber also supports the integrity of the intestinal lining by preventing the degradation of the colonic mucus barrier.

Unfortunately for those eating the standard American diet, which is low in whole plant foods and high in animal fat, sugar, and salt, fiber deficiency is a chronic condition. The daily recommended fiber intake is between 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. But that’s just the minimum, and many people who adopt poor eating habits fall well short of that amount. In fact, several diseases have been linked to dietary fiber deficiency, and some have hypothesized that the increase in chronic diseases in our modern society can be linked to a deficiency of dietary fiber in Western diets.

The good news is that if you’re looking for good sources of fiber, you don’t have to go far because plant-based fiber is abundant and plentiful. These foods, unlike the prepackaged processed foods found on our grocery store shelves, have sustained humans since the beginning of time. They are delicious and, best of all, the tens of trillions of microbes in our intestines find them to be quite satisfying. As an added benefit, our gut microbiota will ferment the polysaccharides contained in these foods to produce nutrients that make us healthy.

Title: Step Aside, Probiotics: This Is The Real Secret To A Healthy Gut

Post Date: 2017-11-08