Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood
Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. Fiber slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation.
Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome.
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Research found the following difference in stomach microbes of different individuals:
Due to the new kinds of microbes discovered in villagers, all the previous research on diet and microbes, which used the baseline data of the Western civilization microbe, thought to be the healthy and normal microbe, is now incorrect.
The Western world has stomach microbial communities that could digest junk food and might re-diversify and recover (to a limited extent) if we just ate more whole grains and veggies.
Bananas and grapes are delicious fruits but they contain high amounts of fiber and natural sugar (fructose). When we eat these fruits it can give us a sugar spike or commonly known as sugar rush.
You can still eat them but eat them sparingly and try other variants of fruit instead.
If you're opting to go on a low sugar diet, dried fruits may not be the best suitable choice for you.
Dried fruit is a great snack as long as you're aware of how much of it you are eating. It's packed with nutrients but the drying process removes the water and concentrates a lot of the sugar in a small bite.
Western diet, typically high in animal fat and protein and low in fibre, increases the risk of cancer. The Mediterranean diet is high in fibre and low in red meat and has been likened with anti-inflammatory effects and an improved immune system.
This leads us to the conclusion that gut health, favoured by fibre, is a reason for longevity of people following the Mediterranean diet.
There has been a lot of hype around the health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics in recent years, but while they're increasingly used in treatments including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, several reviews suggest there needs to be further research on which strains and dosages are effective. Recent studies have found some people are even immune to probiotics.
Gut microbiota has a major role to play in the health and function of the GI tract, with evidence that conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often coincide with altered microbiota. But it also plays a much wider role in our health, and this is largely determined in the first few years of life.