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Does More Fiber Lead to Less Inflammation?

Often, people will think of antioxidant vitamins such as A and C or Omega 3 fatty acids as anti-inflammatory nutrients. But fiber plays a critical role in fighting inflammation too. Fiber supports good bowel function, gut health and immunity. It also helps control blood sugar and  lipid levels, while reducing blood pressure and body weight. As an anti-inflammatory, fiber ought to be considered a crucial component for chronic disease prevention, symptom-reduction and overall wellness. 

Increase Your Intake of Fiber-Rich Fruits and Vegetables

Prebiotics are types of fiber found in plant foods that can help improve our health by decreasing inflammatory signaling pathways. Some great sources of these types of fiber include:

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Oats

  • Bananas

  • Jerusalem artichokes

  • Chicory

  • Guar gum

  • Dandelion root

  • Inulin

While this list of prebiotic sources has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables at least four to five times a day, is one of the best defenses against chronic inflammation.

As for whether fiber supplements work as well as an increased diet of prebiotic-rich foods, according to the Arthritis Foundation, studies have shown that while thinner people showed a 40 percent benefit, the supplements didn’t provide much improvement for overweight and obese patients.  Doctors are unclear as to why, but supplements lack the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients included in a fiber-rich diet, and these also may offer anti-inflammatory properties.    

Reduce Body Fat to Decrease Inflammation

Another way to decrease inflammation is to reduce body fat. Excess body fat is linked with higher secretion of proinflammatory compounds. Lowering intake of sugar, excess carbohydrates, trans fats and saturated fats is a key factor to reducing the wrong types of calories that can contribute to excess body fat. Thus, by eating more fiber-rich foods, cutting out excess sugar and carbs, and reducing body fat, Americans can maximize their approach to lowering inflammation. 

Inflammation Linked to Arthritis, Depression and Other Diseases            

As with many diseases, eating to lower inflammatory conditions is the same as eating right for your heart, your brain and all parts of your body. Inflammation is a factor in many types of arthritis. But furthermore, the latest research at the National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that inflammation may mediate the relationship between dietary fiber intake and depression. A high-fiber diet potentially lowers inflammation by modifying both the pH and the permeability of the gut. As a result, the decrease in inflammatory compounds may help reduce symptoms of depression

Avoiding foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, excess sugar and simple carbs while eating a diet mostly rich in high-fiber complex carbs, beans, nuts, fruit, veggies and healthy fats such as olive oil is the best way to reduce inflammation and improve your health.

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