Fiber can do so much more than help you go to the bathroom regularly! It contributes to your gut health, and since the gut is connected to so many other parts of our bodies—from our brains to our skin, hair, and nails—fiber can ultimately help improve your overall health.
Here are 10 of the ways that eating dietary fiber can benefit your health.
Fiber keeps your gut bacteria healthy.
Did you know that you’ve got trillions of tiny friends living in your gut? Your gut microbiome is a collection of microbes that help us break down our food. Fiber contributes to the health of these bacteria in two ways. Prebiotic fiber feeds the bacteria in your gut, while probiotic fiber contains live bacteria that populate your gut.
Learn more about prebiotic and probiotic fiber here.
Eating more fiber has been linked to clearer skin and stronger hair and nails.
Fiber can contribute to your immunity.
Our microscopic friends in our gut microbiome serve double duty as part of our digestive and immune systems, since they also help kick out toxins and reduce inflammation. Since fiber can nourish our gut microbiome, it can give the little guys the energy they need to keep those sick days away.
Fiber can help reduce eczema flare-ups.
Fiber can decrease the occurrence of conditions that result from inflammation. Atopic dermatitis, a.k.a. eczema, is one of them. While fiber can’t completely cure eczema, it can minimize how often the symptoms of eczema flare up.
Fiber can improve the health of your skin, hair, and nails.
That healthy glow is no coincidence! Eating more fiber has been linked to clearer skin and stronger hair and nails. Fiber improves the way we absorb nutrients from our food, including the proteins that serve as the building blocks for our skin, hair, and nails. By being absorbed better thanks to fiber, these proteins can do a more efficient job at keeping our hair, skin, and nails healthy.
Fiber can improve your heart health.
When fiber improves our absorption, it doesn’t just make sure we absorb the good stuff. It also makes sure our bodies don’t absorb the bad stuff, such as excess LDL cholesterol. When we have too much LDL cholesterol in our bloodstreams, it can clog our arteries and lead to heart disease. Fiber helps keep our heart healthy by reducing these cholesterol levels.
Fiber can curb cravings.
Putting down the unhealthy snacks is so much easier when you’re eating fiber! Fiber naturally makes you feel full for a longer amount of time after you eat. When you feel full, you can experience fewer cravings, especially for snacks that can undo all the benefits of your fiber.
Fiber can help you detox.
If you’re still having a hard time avoiding unhealthy snacks, fiber can help ensure that they do less damage to your health! Fiber allows your gut bacteria to do a better job of filtering out toxins, and facilitates their exit from your body. (In other words, it helps you poop out junk.) Unlike other detox methods, like laxatives, fiber makes this process much more comfortable with smooth moves, and it can be consumed daily.
Fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight.
By helping to keep you full and curbing your cravings, fiber can help you keep your weight balanced. It makes sense when you think about it: Fewer cravings means fewer snacks, which means you eat fewer calories. If you burn more calories than you eat, then you’ll lose weight over time.
High-fiber foods also tend to have fewer calories for the same volume of foods with lower amounts of fiber, which can contribute to decreasing your calorie intake as well.
Fiber can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Fiber’s ability to help you maintain a healthy weight has associated benefits, such as lowering your risk of developing two 2 diabetes. It also contributes to this reduced risk by maintaining blood sugar levels.
Fiber has been associated with a lower risk of some cancers.
Studies have shown that people who eat more fiber can decrease their risk of contracting some cancers, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer, but the verdict is still inconclusive on exactly how in some cases. Some experts believe that fiber can reduce cancer risk by binding to and deactivating carcinogens, like excess estrogen that can lead to breast cancer.
Other experts believe that the link between fiber and lower risk of cancer is indirect, e.g. since being overweight is considered a risk factor, fiber’s ability to help maintain a healthy weight is what associates it with reduced risk of cancer.
By helping to keep you full and curbing your cravings, fiber can help you keep your weight balanced.
The bottom line.
You might immediately associate dietary fiber with its gut health benefits, like helping you go regularly and preventing constipation and diarrhea. However, gut health goes beyond the digestive system. By contributing to gut health, eating fiber can also contribute to your overall health.
If you’d like to see these benefits for yourself, consider taking an all-natural fiber supplement like Bellway! Unlike other brands, it contains no artificial ingredients and is flavored with real fruit—you’ll feel and taste the difference.