Healthy meal plans include lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Eating foods that are high in fiber keep us healthy.
Lack of fiber is one of the main flaws of the modern diet. Many of us now eat more heavily processed products than whole grains and vegetables.
Growing evidence suggests that low-fiber diets may adversely affect the gut microbiota, contributing to the development of many chronic lifestyle diseases.
A recent review discusses the importance of dietary fiber for the beneficial bacteria living in your gut, and what you can do to make sure that you have a healthy gut microbiota.
What Is Gut Microbiota?
The microbes — bacteria and yeasts — living in our digestive systems are collectively known as the gut microbiota or gut flora. Most of them come from the foods we eat. Some thrive on fiber and others multiply when your diet is high in fat and sugar.
Our dietary choices determine what types of bacteria we have in our digestive systems.
This can have important health implications. A diet based on whole, fiber-rich foods promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria. A high fat, low fiber diet leads to unhealthy bacteria.
Healthy Meal Plans Lead to Healthy Gut Bacteria
What’s so important about having a wide variety of beneficial bacteria? Some of the health benefits of good bacteria include improved colon health, a stronger gut wall, consistent production of Vitamin K, and a steady regulation of our immune systems.
When we have an imbalance in the gut microbiota, our digestive systems are overrun by undesirable bacteria. This imbalance can lead to inflammation, obesity and metabolic diseases.
Healthy Meals Plans Do Not Include Low-Fiber Foods
Many of us eat too many processed foods. In fact, most of us get only half of what is recommended in official guidelines. These low fiber diets contribute to the growth of unhealthy gut bacteria. What you eat determines whether or not you have health gut bacteria
How Healthy Meals Plans Can Give you a Healthy Gut
You may have heard the term “prebiotics.” They are indigestible carbs that pass down into the lower parts of the digestive tract, where they are fermented by bacteria. This contributes to the growth of healthy bacteria and to disease prevention.
The single most important thing you can do to preserve your gut microbiota is to eat enough prebiotic fiber. Start eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains and you will have a healthy gut.