Gut Hero: How Fiber Dooms Toxic Gut Bacteria
Posted May 31, 2016
It’s well known that eating fiber keeps us regular, but did you know that fiber also fuels friendly gut microbes?
The bad guys live mostly off of sugar and carbs and send distress and fatigue signals to the brain when supplies get low, tricking you into thinking you’re hungry when you’re not. The good guys on the other hand send the brain happy calm satisfied signals when they’re fed with their secret ingredient: fiber.
Mice fed a carb heavy western diet had mass extinctions in their beneficial microbes
after just a few generations. Scientists had to reintroduce friendly strains through probiotics to help the mice recover. That’s right, the gut is such a competitive place that the scales can quickly tip to the wrong side if diet doesn’t support the good guys.
Most People Get Half the Fiber They Actually Need!
South-Africans who eat a traditional diet get an average of 55 grams of fiber each day, more than twice the recommended daily amount from the FDA! This gives them far more diversity in friendly bacteria than westerners. Bonus, they have much better health markers than westerners, like levels of bile acids and fats in the colon as they age.
Quick and Tasty (Also High in Fiber) Recipes:
Fast Facts: Legumes win the day for packing in the most fiber per serving (over 15 grams) in split peas, lentils, and black beans. Celebrate the United Nations’ International Year of the Pulse with your daily dose of fibrous legumes.