Feed Your Gut Flora & Clean Out Your Fat
A recent study from the American Dietetic Association revealed that individuals who add 30% more fiber to their daily nutrition carry lower levels of body fat.
How Does Fiber Work Inside Your Body?
It is estimated that approximately 100 trillion bacteria live primarily in the large intestine. “Friendly Bacteria” (known as the gut flora) is fed by certain fibrous foods. Gut Flora needs to eat well to play their role in weight management, blood sugar control, immunity and even brain function. Fiber (mostly soluble) passes through the digestive system relatively unchanged, eventually reaching the Gut Flora in the intestine, which digests the fiber and turns it into usable energy. This is known as the prebiotic effect and is believed to be an integral contributor to good health and lower body weight because the good bacteria help fight Inflammation, a key driver of Obesity and Disease.
Several studies have shown that a high fiber intake is linked to lower levels of inflammatory markers in the bloodstream. Chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every Western disease, including Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Metabolic Syndrome, in addition to being a strong driver of weight gain and obesity. There is some evidence that the weight loss effects of fiber target belly fat specifically, which is the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that is strongly associated with metabolic disease.
What foods should you eat to get your fiber?
In the Fruit Group; Apples, Pears, Berries, Avocado. Vegetables like Artichokes, Asparagus, Peas, Brussels Sprouts, and Broccoli are also packed with fiber. You can also up your fiber with grains like Oats, Sprouted Grain Bread, and Quinoa. And a ton of other foods like Sweet Potatoes, Beans, Flax Seed, and Brown Rice will keep you regular.
How Much Fiber Should You Eat?
Approximately 30 grams per day will help you with slowing your digestion and gastric emptying to support stable blood sugar levels and decreased insulin output. The increase in fiber will also signal the release of hunger crushing hormones that support feelings of fullness and help keep your appetite under control.
Bonus: Ramping up your fiber intake will help to keep you regular, which is integral to the process of eliminating unwanted fat from your body. A healthy digestive system should be eliminating after every meal. Anything less is a form of constipation, and unhealthy.
A word of caution: GRADUALLY ramp up your intake of fiber. Switching to a high-fiber diet in one fell swoop will not give your body time to adjust, and can result in abdominal discomfort, cramps, and even diarrhea.
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