Why Eating Fiber Is Vital For Healthy Gut Bacteria

Volume 13    |   Issue 43

A number of studies have shown how detrimental a lack of fiber is to the diversity of our gut bacteria. Consuming more fiber can promote microbiome diversity, leading to better health outcomes.

Many people take probiotics to increase the number of good bacteria in their guts. But they don't realize that they need to feed those bacteria! It doesn't do you a lot of good to keep adding bacteria, even good bacteria, to your gut if you don't give them anything to eat. Without the right food, they'll just die off. They certainly won't multiply or go to work improving your digestive health.

So what exactly do bacteria eat? It's not anything unusual or uncommon. It's fiber. What we typically think of as mere roughage that bulks up our food and then passes unnoticed through our digestive system is actually a feast for our gut bacteria. In fact, it's their number-one source of nutrition. Without it, they die or stop functioning properly. And when bacteria aren't doing their jobs, several of our key physiological systems, including our immune systems, don't get the fermentation end-products that they need either.

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A number of studies have shown how detrimental a lack of fiber is to the diversity of our microbiomes. Consuming more fiber can promote microbiome diversity, leading to better health outcomes. In fact, one study of African Americans who consumed 55 grams of fiber a day experienced improved markers for colon cancer in just two weeks. Other researchers suggest that simply increasing the fiber in our diets could result in substantial decreases in healthcare expenditures.

The more we learn about gut bacteria and the microbiome, the more we see their effects on every aspect of our health. And it's important to keep the microbiome not just populated but healthy. So if you're taking a probiotic or eating fermented foods to supply good bacteria but you're skimping on your fiber intake, you're not going to optimize your digestion. You need to address both parts of the equation.

Many people don't realize how much fiber they need to consume. Women need at least 25 grams a day. But we tend to consume about half of that amount. Fortunately, there's a new, easy, and tasty way you can make up the other half: Bhu Fit Fiber Bars. Patients have told me that they cut one of these bars in half and eat half mid-morning and half mid-afternoon. They tell me that it fills them up and several patients have reported weight loss simply because they aren't having mid-afternoon heavy snacks. These all-natural bars contain 10 grams of fiber each, with plenty of protein and very little sugar. They make a great snack both for you and your gut bacteria. Then make sure you get at least 15 more grams of fiber. If you're still struggling to meet your goal, you can add in some flax, chia, or psyllium seed. It may not taste like much to you, but to your gut bacteria, it will be a five-star meal.


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