Is Fiber Better Than Probiotics for Boosting Gut Health?

I’m giving you the takeaway right now: don’t underestimate fiber when it comes to boosting favorable strains of gut bacteria.

Fiber for Gut Health

Back in 2006 while attending a conference, I saw my first designer probiotic with a hefty price tag to match. As I listened to the marketing rundown, I wondered who would spend this type of money on what is essentially bacteria from dairy (think roquefort cheese).  Suddenly my grandmother’s saying “just eat the goat yogurt from the Cho̱rió (village in Greek!)” popped in my head.

Fast Forward to Now

In a study submitted to the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that fiber (in this particular case, flaxseeds) were more beneficial to improving insulin sensitivity in the subjects, and altered gut microbiota in a good way, while the lactic based probiotic, L. paracasei had no impact on the gut whatsoever.

Believe in Fiber

It’s cheap, the verdict is out that it works, so why second guess its role in digestive health?  Capsules are OK, but consuming your fiber is best.

Here are top fiber-rich foods:

Oatmeal (just the oatmeal, nothing added)
Sprouted bread
Nuts & Seeds
Add your own favorite!