Good gut health us just another thing on the checklist of things to worry about in the wellness world. We’ve been talking about gut health for years, but there are so many factors to having good gut health that we’ve barely scratched the surface. ‘Gut health’ is really just a trendy term for the overall quality of our gut microbiome and the ratio of good to bad bacteria. The health of our gut is not only dependent on diet, but on stress levels, quality of sleep, environmental toxins, and so much more. Tackling an issue like gut health can feel overwhelming, and my advice is to learn as much as you can, and then start with the easiest changes to your lifestyle to eventually build a sustainable routine.
Due to my recent love affair with this Coconut Mango Chia Parfait, the benefits of high-quality dietary fiber have been top of mind. Chia seeds are one of many examples of whole-food based fiber, which are not only good for your gut but essential for a high functioning gut microbiome. Chia pudding, for example, is a delicious snack but it also keeps me feeling full and satisfied and that’s because of fiber.
According to Mayo Clinic, “fiber includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.” High-fiber foods are not hard to find — fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are all great, whole-food sources. Other benefits of fiber for gut health include regulating bowel movements, lowers cholesterol, helps control blood sugar levels, and increases overall satiety when included in a snack or meal.
Top sources of fiber to sneak into your diet:
- raw veggies
- whole grains
- dried fruit
- nuts & seeds