Fiber has tons of benefits. It can improve your digestion. It can keep your heart healthy. It can help your skin ✨glow✨ and strengthen your hair and nails. But of the many surprising benefits of fiber, one of the most impressive is how well it can improve your mood.
Fiber functions by working in the gut. It keeps things down there moving efficiently. Plus, it nourishes the gut microbiome—the trillions of teeny, tiny helpful microbes that live in our gastrointestinal tracts. These little friends improve the way we absorb nutrients from our food, and get rid of the nasty toxins that can make us sick.
By keeping your gut bacteria healthy and functioning, fiber also improves our serotonin levels that can affect our mood.
The gut microbiome has responsibilities beyond digestion, too. It makes up a significant portion of our immune systems, filtering out toxins and preventing inflammation. It’s also connected to the brain! The bacteria in your gut produce neurochemicals that help with learning, memory, and your mood.
Included in these neurochemicals is serotonin, a.k.a. a “happy hormone.” Serotonin helps reduce depression, regulate anxiety, and generally make us feel good (hence “happy hormone”).
That said, by keeping your gut bacteria healthy and functioning, fiber also improves our serotonin levels that can affect our mood. It can also benefit our overall mental health, helping against depression and anxiety.
Looking to improve your mood with fiber? Here are a few ways you can increase your fiber intake:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Swap white bread, rice, and pasta for brown rice and whole wheat bread and pasta.
- Take a daily fiber supplement. For best results, consider an organic option with no artificial ingredients, like Bellway Super Fiber. (As with all supplements, talk to a doctor before incorporating it into your diet.)