While we all know that eating more fiber is beneficial for our health, the relationship between high fiber foods and optimal gut health has been more of a mystery. The truth is, the relationship between these two is more than just a correlation. In fact, a high-fiber diet can be an essential part of promoting gut health, says Dr. Samrat Jankar, a renowned gastroenterologist in Pune.
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet and gets a bad rap for being hard to digest. However, not all types of fiber are created equal. This article will explore the different kinds of fiber, their role in maintaining gut health, and the high-fiber foods that aid in this process.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a natural, complex carbohydrate that's found in plants. It can be both soluble and insoluble (soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber doesn't). Insoluble fibers are great for promoting gut health because they can absorb water, which helps to create a soft, smooth stool. Soluble fibers will help make a lower-fiber stool, which can benefit some people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Types of Fiber
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies cannot digest. Fiber is comprised of long chains of carbohydrates and mainly occurs in plants. There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibers dissolve in water to form a gel, making them easier to digest than insoluble ones. Soluble fibers can be found in fruits, vegetables, oats, and legumes, while insoluble fibers include wheat bran and cellulose.
Insoluble fibers help move food along the digestive tract to help with nutrient absorption and elimination. In other words, they help regulate digestion by keeping things moving in the intestines.
Because insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water as soluble fiber does, it's essential to eat plenty of it for optimal gut health. As you might notice from the names, these two types of fiber vary from each other greatly.
According to research, insoluble fiber helps with weight management because it slows down digestion time, preventing overeating and unnecessary calories from being consumed by the body.
Benefits of Eating a High-Fiber Diet
There are plenty of advantages to eating a high-fiber diet. Your gut health will benefit significantly from the increased fiber intake and the associated reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is also an association between high-fiber foods and weight loss and improving heart health.
Critical Role of Fiber in Gut Health
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate with many essential health benefits. It partially digests into a form of sugar called soluble fiber, which helps to decrease cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Fiber also boosts bowel movements, prevents constipation, and helps to eliminate waste from the body. Fiber intake has been proven to help maintain gut health by reducing the risk for diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who consumed 30-40 grams of fiber a day had lower rates of colon cancer than those who only consumed 15-20 grams on average. Another study by the World Cancer Research Fund found that individuals who eat at least 20 grams per day reduced their risk of developing colon cancer by 34 percent compared to those who ate less than 10 grams.
13 High-Fiber Foods
The bottom line is that a high-fiber diet is essential for promoting optimal gut health. By consuming more high-fiber foods, you will improve your immune system, promote weight loss, and allow your body to flourish with nutrients.
Even after consuming high-fiber foods, are you facing problems in your gut?
Don't worry! Visit Dr. Samrat Jankar. He provides effective solutions for all gastrointestinal issues.
Book your appointment now!