Chances are, when you take a long, hard look at ways to improve your health, several different things come to mind: Your diet, exercise, stress levels and maybe some questionable habits/choices. The list can be long, and quite frankly, overwhelming. So, where do you start? How can you make the biggest impact with a reasonable effort that you know you can execute?
Our suggestion would be to simply focus on your gut health. Afterall, good gut health can have a positive impact on your overall health with very little effort. First, it’s important to know that gut health isn’t just about your digestive system. While that certainly is a big part of the story, your gut health also affects your immunity and nervous system, which makes understanding how your gut works super important when considering your well-being.
Let’s start with the basics, like your microbiome. That’s where the good and bad bacteria live in your gut. It’s important to have a diverse equilibrium of bacteria in your microbiome. The best way to keep your microbiome in balance is to help nourish the “good” bacteria (probiotics) with prebiotic fiber.
That balance, while it certainly helps the digestion process, also supports a stronger immune system because 70 – 80% of your immunity cells actually reside in your gut, keeping you resistant to illness and disease. It also plays an important role in your nervous system. The enteric nervous system (ENS) is our second brain or as some would call it “the gut’s brain,” because it can operate independently from the central nervous system (CNS). There is an exchange between the gut and the brain called the gut-brain axis. This communication affects the way we feel and value gastrointestinal symptoms. It can change our mental state and mood, as well as the quality of our lives.
So, here’s a quick recap: Fiber feeds your good gut bacteria that balances your microbiome that helps positively support your digestive, immune and nervous systems.
There you have it, the F-word is where you start. Consuming more fiber helps deliver the biggest impact to your overall health with minimal effort.
To better fuel your gut health, you should focus on foods and beverages high in prebiotic fiber, making them part of a simple, everyday routine. And when we say beverages, we mean beverage, singular. Namely, our beverage, vibi+®, which delivers 27% of your daily fiber needs in a delicious, convenient drink. A bottle a day, gets you on your way.
There are also foods with great prebiotic content such as garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, whole oats and apples. The concentration of prebiotic fiber in these foods may be lowered during cooking, so it’s important to try and consume them raw rather than cooked to gain the full amount of nutrients.
These are quick, easy and delicious ways to fuel your gut health for the better. Once you start feeling the overall effects of good gut health, use that extra energy and positive mental state to build on those gains. Begin exercising more frequently, even if it’s a walk around the block. Stay hydrated. Get plenty of sleep. The cumulative effects will be more than noticeable. But it all starts with a single, simple step — consumer more fiber. The rest will follow.
Slavin, Joanne. “Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits.” Nutrients, MDPI, 22 Apr. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/#__ffn_sectitle.