You have probably heard the term “antibiotic-resistant bacteria” tossed around the medical community. But what does it mean for you, and could fiber be the key to avoiding the problems associated with this phenomenon?
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are microbes, viruses, or fungi that do not respond to standard antibiotic treatment. This bacteria is mainly found inside the human gut. The microbes that resist antibiotics contain genetically encoded strategies to survive despite the medications. What happens when standard treatments for bacterial infections no longer work because of these microbes? Experts believe this is a growing problem that will only worsen as the years go on.
A new study sheds light on one simple dietary strategy that could reduce the number of these kinds of bugs in the gut.
Researchers found that adults who ate 8-10 grams of soluble fiber per day had less of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their guts.
There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber remains mostly intact as you digest. Soluble fiber is the kind that dissolves upon contact with digestive juices. Both act as food for the gut and help to keep your bowels moving regularly.
Getting enough soluble fiber is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require a special diet, though eating a whole foods diet, in general, will provide plenty of health benefits aside from these gut-specific ones.
All plant foods contain some soluble fiber, though the richest sources are beans, peas, oats, nuts and seeds, vegetables like brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, avocado, and fruits such as apples and apricots.
Getting adequate fiber in your diet has already been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, aid in weight loss, and more. So make sure you are getting your fill!
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