How Fiber Helps Your Overall Health
Want in on a little secret to a healthier you? The secret is hidden in a carbohydrate that regulates your blood sugar. This type of carb is fiber.
If you’ve landed on this article, you’ve most likely heard of fiber, and you’ve certainly ingested it before. But what exactly is fiber, and why is it all the rage these days? Keep reading to dive deeper into what fiber is and why it’s key to improving your overall health.
What is Fiber?
First things first, fiber is a type of carbohydrate (or sugar molecule) that your body is unable to digest.
The Harvard School of Public Health tells us, “though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules called glucose, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.”
Not all fiber is created equal. The two types of fiber can contribute to your health in different ways:
- Soluble fiber - dissolves in water. It can aid in lowering your body’s glucose levels and cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber - does not dissolve in water. Therefore, this type of fiber helps food travel through your digestive tract, promoting healthier bathroom trips (see more below).
4 Ways Fiber Boosts Your Overall Health
Adding fiber-rich foods to your diet - like almonds, flaxseed, brown rice, avocados, beans, and broccoli - will help you feel more satiated. You may recognize this as feeling full faster or a decrease in appetite. This is because fiber absorbs water in your digestive system, slowing down the absorption of nutrients and accelerating the feeling of fullness.
A healthy digestive system can lead to a healthier you. The good news is that getting more fiber is one simple way to enhance your digestive health. At a high level, good digestive health enables your body to break down food properly and helps you absorb essential nutrients and minerals. Conversely, unhealthy digestion can lead to a slew of issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, acid reflux, and more.
Good gut bacteria
Your gut hosts 500-1000 species of “good” bacteria, which keep your body functioning properly to support immune and digestive health. The friendly bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids that can reduce inflammation in your gut and help to prevent unpleasant gut issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease. Fiber is the ingredient that feeds good gut bacteria in your intestine.
This may be TMI, but don’t we all want better bathroom habits? Fiber increases the size of your stool and softens it, making it easier for you to have a healthy bowel movement. A solid stool is easier to pass, reducing constipation, and it adds more bulk to your stool, decreasing the likelihood of diarrhea.
If you’re looking for an easy way to increase your fiber intake, try GOGO: a delicious prebiotic fiber gummy. With a premium fiber-rich formula derived from chicory root, GOGO’s inulin fiber travels through your small intestine to stimulate the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Plus, just one daily dose has more fiber than 3 cups of spinach.