Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Close Banner
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

6 Ways Dietary Fiber Fuels Beneficial Bacteria & Keeps Us Regular

Morgan Chamberlain
Author:
October 12, 2023
Morgan Chamberlain
Former mbg Supplement Editor
By Morgan Chamberlain
Former mbg Supplement Editor
Morgan Chamberlain is mindbodygreen's former supplement editor. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition.
family eating nutritious meal together at dinner table
Image by Ivan Gener / Stocksy
October 12, 2023

At this point, it's common knowledge that a healthy gut supports smooth digestion. But few consider the comprehensive impact of nourishing your gut daily (think immune function, mental well-being, natural detoxification pathways, and even skin health). Maintaining a diverse and abundant microbiome of "good" bacteria goes beyond digestion to support whole-body health.

But how, specifically, are you supporting your gut health? Many consider probiotics and fermented foods to be the pinnacle of GI health, but those of us who have struggled with digestive issues, mood, and a suboptimal immune response know firsthand that promoting a healthy gut takes more effort and intention than drinking a daily kombucha. Enter: fiber.

6 ways fiber promotes gut health:

1.

By supporting a diverse and abundant microbiome

Like a luxury car, the colonies of microbes in your gut need plenty of premium-grade "fuel" (i.e., prebiotic fibers) to help them grow and thrive.

2.

Promotes SCFA production

Certain fibers (such as key prebiotic sources) promote gut health and resilience by increasing short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production12 (unique bioactive gut metabolites and a form of postbiotics). Generated from fiber fermentation, SCFAs provide an energy source for gut and colon cells, modulate intestinal pH and immune response23, and help maintain gut-lining integrity.

3.

Bolsters gut barrier function

One type of SCFA, called butyrate, is especially effective in sustaining the integrity and resilience of the gut lining, which covers significant surface area inside our bodies and is the next line of defense after our skin. According to a 2018 Advances in Nutrition review, butyrate helps support intestinal barrier function34 and mucosal immunity (more on that in a bit).

Consuming guar bean fiber, the leading organic fiber featured in mindbodygreen's organic fiber potency+ formula, has been shown to support butyrate-producing bacteria—which, in turn, can help strengthen the integrity and resilience of the gut lining.*

4.

Aids digestion & gut motility

Insoluble fiber creates the "bulk" of stool. It passes through the digestive tract undigested, which promotes gut motility45—i.e., the movement of food through the digestive system and out of the body. On the other hand, soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and retains it, helping control and slow the digestive process (such as the absorption of certain nutrients).

Consuming enough of both types of fiber is absolutely essential to maintain a healthy digestive system and keep things "moving along."

5.

Supports healthy bowel movements

Speaking of evacuations… In addition to promoting gut motility, fiber also promotes healthy stool formation by regulating intestinal microbiota56. In one study published by the Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology, guar bean fiber was found to help increase the frequency and quality of bowel movements and reduce colonic transit time.* 

In another study from Nutrition Research, green kiwifruit (another premium plant fiber in mbg's organic fiber potency+) was found to significantly increase daily bowel movements67.* Whether you're upping your daily fiber intake with fiber-rich plant foods or a quality supplement (both are useful and synergistic strategies), it's clear that getting sufficient fiber promotes regularity.* 

6.

Promotes gut immunity

According to a 2021 Nutrients review, 70% to 80% of immune cells78 reside in the GI tract. That's right, the majority of your immune system is located in your gut! Intestinal microbiota (those good bugs), the gut epithelial lining (a physical barrier), and the local mucosal immune system all work together throughout the day to bolster the body's immune response.

All dietary fiber (but especially prebiotics) and probiotics are integral in promoting gut-immune health by helping maintain gut lining function and integrity, promoting SCFA production, and supporting gut microbiome abundance and diversity.

The takeaway

Increasing your dietary fiber intake is one of the best things you can do to promote overall gut health, immune response, and regularity.

In addition to packing your plate full of fiber-rich foods, a high-quality daily fiber supplement like mbg's organic fiber potency+ is an easy way to help ensure that you and your family are bridging the fiber gap each and every day. Featuring a USDA-certified organic, vegan blend of soluble, insoluble, and prebiotic plant fibers from clean and science-backed sources (i.e., organic guar bean, mushrooms, and green kiwifruit), plus a targeted probiotic strain, this plant-powered formula helps nourish your gut barrier and microbiome, support digestion, and promote regularity.*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

What Is Meditation?

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Light Watkins

Box Breathing

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

What Breathwork Can Address

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

Nutrition | Rich Roll

What to Eat Before a Workout

Nutrition | Rich Roll

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Nutrition | Sahara Rose

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Love Languages

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Related Videos (10)

What Is Meditation?

Box Breathing

What Breathwork Can Address

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

What to Eat Before a Workout

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love Languages

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

More On This Topic

more Health
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.