6 Ways Dietary Fiber Fuels Beneficial Bacteria & Keeps Us Regular

Fermentable fibers (aka prebiotics) from complex carbohydrates (think: legumes, sweet potato, ginger, and flaxseeds) are the plant fodder needed to support healthy gut microbiota composition and function.

According to a 2021 Nutrients review, dietary fiber provides multiple sources of fuel and nourishment for fermentation reactions via specific species of beneficial gut microbes, and increasing your fiber intake helps expand the population and diversity1 of these good bugs.

On the flip side, the review notes that diets low in fiber-rich foods (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seeds) are associated with reduced microbial diversity in the gut.

An abundant and diverse gut microbial ecosystem is where it’s at, and regular and adequate consumption of plant fibers is simply pivotal in that equation (which is why our nation’s massive fiber gap is both shocking and genuinely concerning).

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