Sunday, 19 May 2024
WorldFiber-rich diet beneficial for immune system, brain and overall health

Fiber-rich diet beneficial for immune system, brain and overall health

Hamilton (Canada). There’s no shortage of advice about what to eat, including hype about the latest superfoods that will help you live to 100, or the latest restrictive diets that will help you lose weight and look great. Claim to help. As a researcher at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, I’m well aware that there is no universal “healthy diet” that will work for everyone. However, most professionals would agree that the diet should be well balanced between food groups, and it is better to include more things like vegetables and fermented foods in your diet than to limit yourself unnecessarily. . Eating foods that promote gut health also improves your overall health.

Why is everyone so worried about fiber? The importance of fiber has been known for decades. The late great surgeon and fiber researcher Dennis Burkitt once said, “If you had smaller bowel movements, you would need bigger hospitals.” But dietary fiber does more than just help your intestines do their job more easily. Fiber can be considered a prebiotic nutrient. Prebiotics are not actively digested and absorbed, rather they are selectively used to promote the growth of beneficial species of microbes in our gut. These microbes help digest foods for us so we can get more nutrients, ease the functioning of the gut, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. When fibers interact directly with receptors expressed by our cells they may also have beneficial effects on our immune system. These beneficial effects may also help make the immune system more tolerant and reduce inflammation.

Getting enough dietary fiber?
Probably not. The so-called Western diet is low in fiber and full of ultra-processed foods. The recommended daily fiber intake is between 25-38 grams, depending on factors such as age, gender and activity level. Most people consume about half the recommendation, and this can have a negative impact on overall health. Good sources of dietary fiber include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. There is a lot of emphasis on soluble fiber and less on insoluble fiber, but in reality, most foods will contain a mixture of both, and each of them has its own merits. High fiber snacks are also gaining popularity. With an estimated global value of US$7 billion in 2022, the value of the prebiotic ingredient market is expected to triple by 2032.

Benefits of dietary fiber
There is a lot of evidence supporting the benefits of dietary fiber. Fiber is not just linked to the smooth functioning of the large intestine; It is linked to overall health and brain health through the gut-brain connection. A low-fiber diet is linked to many bowel diseases. On the other hand, adequate fiber intake also reduces the risk and mortality associated with cardiovascular diseases and obesity. There are studies that show some types of fiber improve cognitive function. There are some gastrointestinal diseases, such as celiac disease, that are not generally associated with the benefits of dietary fiber. However, there is no consensus on the specific type of fiber and dosage that will be beneficial in treating most diseases.

Not all fiber is good fiber
The surprising thing is that not all fiber is good for you. Fiber is used as a broad term for indigestible plant polysaccharides, so there are many different types with varying fermentability, solubility, and viscosity in the intestine. To make things even more complicated, the source also matters. Fiber from one plant is not the same as fiber from another plant. Additionally, the old adage, “Too much of a thing is never good” holds true, where overconsumption of fiber supplements can cause symptoms such as constipation, bloating, and gas.

This is partly due to differences in the gut microbiome that influence the ability to metabolize fiber to produce beneficial molecules such as short-chain fatty acids. In some cases, such as in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, microbes lacking the ability to digest fiber can interact directly with intestinal cells and have anti-inflammatory effects. Recent evidence has also shown that extremely high consumption of soluble fiber, such as inulin, a common supplement, may increase the risk of developing colon cancer in experimental animal models.

part of a healthy diet
Dietary fiber is an important part of a healthy diet that can promote both gut and overall health. Fiber helps you feel more satisfied after a meal and helps control your blood sugar and cholesterol. Do your best to consume fiber as part of your diet, and only take recommended amounts of supplements when needed. Prebiotics promote the growth of gut microbes that can impact gut health and immunity in the context of many different diseases, although not all fiber is created equal. While fiber will not cure disease, diet is a great complement to medications and treatment strategies that can improve their efficacy.

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