WTF: What the Fiber?
Did you know there are 100 trillion cells of bacteria alive in your intestine?
We call it our gut flora or gut microbiome. It’s not bad for you, in fact, when functioning properly, this bacteria supports various aspects of your health; from weight management to blood sugar control to immunity and, even, brain function.
Like anything, this bacteria needs energy to function and survive. This energy comes from fiber. Because human cells don’t have the enzymes to digest fibers, they can reach the intestine relatively unchanged, where intestinal bacteria then feeds off of them. These fibers are generally considered prebiotics.
After feeding the bacteria in the colon, you can experience reduced gut inflammation (aka bloat) and improved digestion. No wonder you probably think all fiber does is make you poop.
But, that’s not all it does!
Fiber being the non-digestible carbohydrate that it is, is found in whole-foods derived from plants. It partners with your gut microbiota to benefit digestion and help clean out your system.
Split into two main categories based on water solubility or how well it dissolves in water:
- Insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water
- Soluble fiber that does dissolve in water, allowing the “good” bacteria in
Prebiotics are a form of dietary soluble fiber that help to feed the beneficial microbes in your gut. While not necessarily the same thing as fiber, they are close.
See the differences:
The benefits of prebiotic fiber don’t stop there:
Normalize Bowel Movements
Fiber makes your poop bulkier and softer, helping it pass more easily.
Fiber can help you lose weight by soaking up the water in your intestine, increasing feelings of fullness. This can help mitigate bad habits like binge eating and over eating.
Reduce Blood Sugar Volatility
It also helps reduce blood sugar spikes and those sudden feelings of fatigue. By achieving your daily requirement of fiber, you can help cut your Type 2 Diabetes risk by 18%!
We’re not done yet! This reduction in sugar can lead to...
- Boosted energy levels and an increased ability to focus
- Sleep improvement via stimulating your body’s natural production of melatonin
- Reduced inflammation that breaks down collagen and elastin in skin
- Decreased acid production that breaks down tooth enamel
- Overall heart health thanks to lower blood pressure. We love that for you!
Now, for some actionable tips to help get you started
Tip #1: Breakfast matters
Look for a high-fiber breakfast cereal, or anything with at least 5g of fiber (per serving). “Whole grain,” “bran,” or “fiber” are all great keywords to look out for.
Tip #2: More Fruits & Veggies
Whole, fresh fruits and raw vegetables are super rich in fiber. Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are also excellent sources of fiber as well. We recommend aiming for at least five servings per day.
Tip #3: Whole Grains Only!
Remember those keywords we just mentioned? Well, you don’t just have to incorporate them into breakfast. Try and consume at least half of all grains as whole grains every day. Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour, or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label and have at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta, and bulgur wheat are all great starting points.
Tip #4: Smarting Snacking
Love baked goods? Swap the white-flour for whole grain instead. You can also try adding crushed bran cereal, unprocessed wheat bran, or uncooked oatmeal to muffins, cakes, or cookies to bulk up your fiber intake. Nuts, dried fruits, whole-grain crackers, or even homemade popcorn are also all great, healthier choices!
Tip #5: Supportive Supplements
Fiber supplements (like our Body Balance Powder) also exist. Our proprietary prebiotic fiber blend is designed to nourish good gut bacteria and digestive health to help you balance blood sugar levels and have you feeling your best all day long.
There are endless ways to incorporate the Body Balance Powder into your daily routine. They’re a perfect add-on to your morning cup coffee, tea, or water. Don’t love coffee? Blend it into your morning smoothie!
It’s important to remember that most people don’t get enough fiber daily. Moving towards a more fiber-rich routine can only support your health in the long run. And, your gut microbiome will thank you. You’ll see.