It's no secret that gut health can affect your overall health from your immune system to your intestines, so maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut is crucial. You've also likely heard of the benefits of getting a proper serving of fiber each day. Fiber is said to do everything from reduce the risk of heart disease to keep your digestive system on track. New research shows that fiber can help lower inflammation in the body, thanks to its impact on your gut health, the New York Times reports.
Biologist Fredrik Bäckhed at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden studied mice who were switched from a high-fiber diet to one low in fiber. The results of the study found that a low-fiber diet led to chronic inflammation in mice. According to the Times, this new research shows that fiber itself is not what directly keeps the body healthy, but instead is what feeds the bacteria in your gut needed to maintain a healthy immune system.
Researchers at Georgia State University also examined mice on a low-fiber, high-fat diet. They found that the size of the gut bacterial population shrunk in mice on the low-fiber diet, adding to mounting evidence that fiber may be the key to a healthy gut. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, lentils, chia seeds, and almonds. While these studies weren't done on humans, it couldn't hurt to add these healthy foods to your grocery list to keep your gut health in check and inflammation at bay.