News Details

Why Fiber is Important for Our Gut Health.

  • Ann
  • May 13th, 2019

So what is fiber? Let’s start here. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. It is the component part of fruits and vegetables which cannot be broken down into monosaccharides (simple sugars). Since it cannot be broken down, it is mainly passed down our digestive tract into the large intestine.

It is also, most importantly in my opinion, the main food for the 70-100 trillion microorganisms that live in your digestive tract.

Fiber serves two main functions in the digestive tract: it adds bulk to stool (which makes it easier to pass), and it feeds the probiotic bacteria that live in there.

Once it gets to the large intestine, the fermented fibers are used to feed our gut microbes. They love it! Our gut microbes are able to utilize their enzymes to break it down, therefore producing essential fatty acids – such as acetic, propionic, butyric acids.

These essential fatty acids are vital for intestinal health and they play a key role systemically throughout our body. Let’s take a look and see how.

These acids have an array of cellular mechanisms which help to strengthen the intestinal cell walls. These in turn create a strong gut barrier to protect against toxins, viruses, and parasites leaking outside these walls and into our blood circulation.

Research has shown that these essential fatty acids are used to activate chemical mechanisms for hormones as well as stimulate an inflammatory response.

The propionic acid that our intestines produce enters into our blood circulation. It is utilized in the liver to activate gluconeogenesis (the generation of glucose), which is essential for liver health.

Short chain fatty-acids also aid in the absorption of minerals such as
calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron.

Fiber has other effects, like regulating peristalsis of the intestines – which is the rhythmic motion of muscles around the intestines that pushes food through the digestive tract.

It also slows down the absorption of simple sugars into the blood stream to regulate blood sugar levels and avoid the excess production of insulin.

Fiber acts as a waste management system by binding to substances like hormones, bile salts, cholesterol and toxins for elimination purposes or reabsorption (recycling mechanism) depending on the type of fiber consumed (insoluble vs soluble).

It truly is an understatement to say if you don’t feed our gut enough fiber, you’re not producing enough essential fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help our gut function normally – if not optimally.


The RDA and Australian recommendation for the amount of fiber is 25g-30g per day. However, a Fiber study was done in Australia in 2017 which came to find out that most people were actually consuming 15g – 20g of fiber per day.

Although 30 grams of fiber per day is the recommended daily intake, new research studies are recommending 38 grams of fiber per day in order to keep your intestinal health optimal and reduce the risk or prevent chronic inflammation and disease.

We can truly solve so many our health issues by just consuming enough fiber! So what is the take away message?

Eat vegetables. A LOT of them.


I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase, you are what you eat. It really is true! The bacteria in your gut will grow more of that type of bacteria based on what you eat. Diet is the single biggest influence on microflora composition.

According to Dr. Sarah Ballatyne’s research in her E-Book, the Fantastic-Fiber Manifesto, your diet is directly responsible for more than 60 percent of the variation in bacterial species in your gut.

What I think is even more amazing is that you can change the composition of microflora within a few days to only one week! You can do this just by changing your diet through consuming an array of fiber.

The relationship between your diet, your lifestyle (stress, sleep, physical activity, circadian rhythms, etc) and your gut microflora is complex. The research is starting to prove that altering gut microflora can be a powerful way to improve immune function and control autoimmune disease.

It isn’t as easy as simply supplementing with probiotics either. You need to feed your gut bacteria the right food to encourage the growth of the right diversity and relative quantities of beneficial microorganisms.


  1. Eat more fiber-rich vegetables and fruit, as well as a variety of them.
  2. Eat plenty of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats like those found in seafood.
  3. Manage stress and get PLENTY of sleep.

Would you like a high fiber weekly menu? Download a FREE pdf of my 5-day, 30 grams of fiber per day menu here