By now, you understand how impactful the gut is on your overall health and wellness. But how do you get your gut microbiome in great shape? While there are many factors that contribute to a healthy gut, probiotics and fiber are two that play key and complementary roles. Probiotics are essential for maintaining a healthy balance of microorganisms while fiber feeds the good bacteria in the gut.
Together, the two can work magic and support a body with strong immunity, proper digestion, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at how probiotics and fiber are connected and why it’s so important to prioritize both for overall gut wellness.
What’s the Difference Between Fiber and Probiotics?
Probiotics and fiber are two key components of healthy digestion. Probiotics help the body with breaking down and digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and regulating the immune system. Probiotics also have a reputation for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, preventing the growth of too much bad bacteria that can lead to infections in the digestive tract, and overall disruption in proper digestion.
Fiber’s job in digestion is to make sure you have regular bowel movements, preventing issues like diarrhea and constipation. It also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, making for a strong microbiome and promoting the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which impact overall health and wellness.
Can I Take Fiber and Probiotics Together?
When you put these two gut heroes together, you’ll find that they work well in tandem to support gut health and regular bowels. They work hard to create a healthy digestive tract and can help to combat the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut, such as abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements.
The gut is an important component of the human body, and the more help it can get to stay healthy, the better. Probiotics and fiber are synergistic when it comes to strong gastrointestinal health, ultimately promoting overall wellness.
Benefits of Taking Probiotics and Fiber Together
We know that probiotics and fiber both play a key role in digestion - probiotics work to break down the fiber and other nutrients to make them more digestible, while fiber promotes regular bowel movements. When they work together, the results are even greater.
SCFAs are a product of dietary fiber fermentation. In order for them to do their job and provide anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, and cardiovascular protective properties, the gut microbiome needs to be in great condition.
In a study by the Department of Biotechnology and Food Sciences at Lodz University of Technology, researchers found that an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can lead to a reduction of SCFA production, which can ultimately lead to conditions like inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, bacterial infections, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.
By introducing probiotics to the microbiome, the production of SCFAs reduces such risks and could provide an option for those struggling with chronic conditions.
Additionally, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that some species of bacteria in the gut go beyond breaking down fiber to make it easier to digest - they also release ferulic acid, which is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals and much more, according to Isaac Cann, a professor, and member of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois.
“Ferulic acid has been shown to have antioxidant, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities, and many reports have documented its protective activities in different disease conditions including diabetes, allergic inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disorders, microbial infections, and cancer,” Cann shared with the Illinois News Bureau.
The researchers assessed that common grains, such as rice, oats, rye, and wheat are rich in arabinoxylans, a dietary fiber that humans have a difficult time digesting but that some bacteria can digest more easily.
To dive into this deeper, the researchers studied the genomes and digestive activity of bacteria in the intestine. They found that some of the bacteria had enzymes that could break down the arabinoxylans, and because the bacteria did not absorb ferulic acid, it was easily absorbed into the human gut. While the bacteria responsible for producing ferulic acid is not a probiotic (yet), promotion of a diverse gut microbiome with probiotics, could increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to get all the possible benefits from dietary fiber.
Tips for Incorporating Probiotics and Fiber into Your Diet
Prioritizing probiotics and fiber when you’re having issues with digestion can make a major difference in your bowel movements and combat some of the common symptoms that come with irregularity in your stool. And keeping probiotics and fiber in your diet is the easiest way to maintain better digestion and mitigate issues in the future. Here are some of the simple ways to incorporate probiotics and fiber into your diet:
- Follow a wholesome and balanced diet. Lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds are great sources of fiber.
- Add more probiotic-rich foods to your diet, too. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented foods are amazing for the gut.
- Try supplementation. If you feel that you’re still in need of more fiber and probiotics even after making adjustments to your diet, consider supplementing! This is a simple way to ensure you’re getting regular fiber and probiotics in your system without keeping track of your meals on a daily basis. Here’s some more information on how to choose the right probiotic supplement for you.
Give Nella a Shot
Looking for a new probiotic supplement to take alongside your fiber-fueled diet? Nella is composed of three Lactobacillus probiotic strains that can improve digestion and nutrient absorption in the gut, boost energy levels, and improve sleep quality.
The good news? Nella is made for every body. And the more consistently you take it, the better your results. Subscribe to Nella today to create a healthier gut microbiome.