Fiber Up: The Key to Better Digestive Health

You may often hear people say “Eat more fiber! They are good for your health.” However, have you ever wondered why are they good for your health? And what exactly is fiber?

Fiber, also known as dietary fiber, is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that the body cannot fully digest. Unlike other carbohydrates, fiber passes relatively intact through the digestive system, providing numerous health benefits along the way.

According to Nutrition Australia, we need to consume at least 30 grams of fiber per day for males and 25 grams of fiber per day for females. Missing out on the recommended daily fiber intake can significantly impact your gut function. It might also influence your ability to lose weight and even affect your lifespan.

As a medical doctor specializing in nutritional lifestyle, I advocate for simple yet effective strategies to boost fiber consumption. Here is the list to what you can do.


Add more whole plant food in your diet

image from Freepik

Incorporating more whole plant foods into your diet is a natural and delicious way to increase fiber intake. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are excellent sources of dietary fiber. Aim to fill half your plate with colorful, fiber-rich vegetables and fruits at each meal. Not only do they provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they also support a healthy gut microbiome.



Opt for whole grains

Choosing whole grains over refined grains can significantly boost your fiber intake. Swap white rice for brown rice, try quinoa instead of refined pasta, and start your day with a bowl of oats. Whole grains retain their fiber-rich outer layers, offering more nutritional benefits compared to their refined counterparts.

image from Freepik

Swap your snacks!

Instead of simple carbs like chips, snacking on nuts, seeds, and dried fruits is an easy way to add more fiber to your diet. Almonds, chia seeds, and dried apricots are tasty options that provide a fiber boost and keep you feeling satisfied between meals.


Gradually increase your fiber intake

To prevent digestive discomfort such as bloating or gas, it’s important to increase your fiber intake gradually. This gives your digestive system time to adjust. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps fiber work more effectively in your digestive tract.

image from Freepik



Consider Fiber Supplements.

For those who may struggle to get enough fiber from food alone, fiber supplements like psyllium husk or flaxseed can be a beneficial addition to your routine. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it’s appropriate for your individual health needs.


By embracing these simple strategies, you can significantly improve your fiber intake and, in turn, enhance your gut health. A healthy gut supports overall well-being, from improved digestion to a stronger immune system. Start making small changes today and enjoy the long-term benefits of a fiber-rich diet.


Read more on how to increase your fiber into your diet in where I, and other health experts share our insights

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