In my last post, I wrote about fiber and its many health benefits. I mentioned that it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. I also stated that it reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer. As an added bonus, it makes you feel fuller sooner and without increasing your caloric intake.
I stated how many different types of fiber are the food of choice for the 39 trillion bacteria living in our gut—our gut microbiome. Moreover, a thriving gut microbiome is responsible for many of the health benefits of fiber. When the bacteria in our gut are presented with different types of fiber, they produce small molecules called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Aside from providing several of the health miracles described earlier, SCFAs also provide 70% of the energy needed by the cells of our colon, which will keep them functioning well.
To digress for a moment, have you ever heard of leaky gut syndrome? I certainly have. Over the years, I’ve had many patients who have told me they have this condition. But what exactly is a leaky gut? I mean, how does one’s gut leak? Well, it all comes down to the health of our colon cells. These cells are held closely together by molecules called tight junctions. If these junctions work normally, the colon cells will be held closely together. If these junctions are not operating as they should, the colon cells will separate, and there will now be spaces between cells. Substances within the gut, such as bacteria, bacterial toxins, and molecules from food, can now move through these openings and find themselves outside the gut. This, my friends, is a leaky gut.
You may wonder why it is such a problem if these things “leak” out of your gut. Well, the fact that 70% of your immune system lives just outside the gut is one big reason. When your immune system encounters these things, it can lead to allergies, excessive inflammation, and even autoimmunity. Furthermore, the muscles and nerves within the gut can be adversely affected, leading to distressing symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Once again, I’d like to point out that you can lower the risk of developing many diseases and also allow yourself the opportunity to feel fantastic through the simple act of eating whole, healthy foods.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. If so, please feel free to share it.