Eat Fiber for Better Digestion and Brain Function

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. It passes through your digestive system relatively intact, providing numerous benefits along the way.

  • fiber slows down digestion and helps keep you full
  • aids in weight management
  • helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream
  • promotes healthy cholesterol levels
  • nourishes your microbiome, serving as fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms
  • adds bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass through the digestive tract and reducing constipation and the risk of conditions like diverticulitis

By eating fiber-rich foods regularly, you are providing essential nutrients for the growth and diversity of your gut microbiota. This diverse community of bacteria aids in digestion, nutrient absorption, and influences aspects of your immune system.

How fiber improves brain function

A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better cognitive function, mood regulation, and reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Because fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels – which is essential for maintaining steady energy levels throughout the day – this stable energy supply to your brain supports optimal cognitive performance, concentration, and memory retention.

Because fiber reduces inflammation in the body, it has a protective effect. Chronic inflammation is associated with cognitive decline and various neurological disorders. By consuming fiber regularly, you can help protect your brain from inflammatory damage.

Fiber-rich Foods

Incorporating more fiber into your daily diet is a fantastic way to boost your overall health and well-being.

Fiber rich foods are nutrient dense foods and include:

  • Leafy greens: arugula, kale, lettuces, collard greens, mustard greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage
  • Root vegetables: beets (tops too!), carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, rutabaga, turnips
  • Beans and legumes: chickpeas(garbanzo, black bean, red bean, all beans, lentils, peas
  • Whole grains: barley, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice

What to do

  • 🌿 Start Your Day with Fiber: Kickstart your morning with a high-fiber breakfast such as chia pudding or protein oatmeal, topped nuts and fruits. This will set a healthy tone for the rest of the day.
  • 🌿 Bulk Up Your Meals: Add beans, lentils, chickpeas, or quinoa to soups, salads, and stir-fries to increase the fiber content of your meals without compromising on taste.
  • 🌿 Choose Whole Grains: Swap refined grains (pasta and white rice) for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, , and barley to increase your fiber intake while enjoying delicious meals.
  • 🌿 Get Creative with Vegetables: Experiment with different vegetables in your dishes – spiralize zucchini for “zoodles,” roast cauliflower as a tasty side dish, or blend spinach into smoothies for an added nutrient boost.
  • 🌿 Snack Smart: Instead of reaching for processed snacks, opt for fiber-rich options like raw veggies with hummus, apple and cheese, celery and almond butter

By incorporating these practical tips into your daily routine  you can easily elevate the fiber and nutrient density of your meals while tantalizing your taste buds at the same time!

A well-balanced lifestyle rich in fiber is key to supporting optimal digestive function and overall wellness.

Note: If you are not currently practicing a high fiber lifestyle, it’s important to gradually increase your fiber intake and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help prevent any discomfort or bloating that may occur when increasing fiber consumption.

Delicious, Nutritious Fiber Rich Recipes and Resources

High Protein Overnight Oats – Haute and Healthy Living

Chia Pudding Meal Prep – Downshiftology

4 Nutrient Dense Coleslaws

10 Ways to Boost Your Mood and Immune System with Leafy Greens

One Pot of Black Beans for Four Meals

Flavored Hummus – Love Eat Learn

Avocado Hummus Snack Jars – The Girl on Bloor


Forget “Healthy” Eating

The concept of eating healthy has become so confusing

It is often based on bad science: one of the biggest examples was the low-fat diet which resulted in a highly refined carb and sugar-drenched-everything-from-soup-to salad-dressing leap into 20th century chronic diseases.
Or it chases contradictory data: eggs are bad, eggs are healthy. Butter is bad, margarine is good. Margarine is bad, butter is good. Soy is healthy, soy is bad…

“Healthy” diets and fads can be misleading

Touted by celebrities and “influencers” — paleo, vegan, keto, intermittent fasting – they catch on through social media yet often lack sound nutrition. Or are just not meant for everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all diet. Every individual has unique genetics, physical activity, lifestyle pattern and stress levels.

Marketing persuades us to buy processed “healthy” foods 

In the grocery stores, in our entertainment, on every online channel, just everywhere we go we are drowned in persuasion to eat foods labeled to trick us: Gatorade, Cliff Bars, Veggie sticks…
How long (and how much disease) before the Impossible Burger is debunked like Crisco and trans-fat margarine?

Eating “healthy” is associated with deprivation

We go to extremes. We “go on a diet” based on restrictions and the false promise of calorie counting. We stop eating foods that give us pleasure. Which makes us want to eat them all the more. So we binge. Fall off the wagon. Feel guilty. And we go back to our old habits.

What to do?

Forget “healthy” eating. Nourish your body instead. 🌟

Instead of asking “is this healthy”? ask “am I giving my body the nutrients it needs?”

Keep it simple. Eat real food the way nature intended. That is how our amazing human body evolved over millions of years before the agrarian revolution when domestic wheat and grains began to change the way people ate.

  • Along the coasts – fish and seafood, seaweed and local plants
  • Inland – All varieties of animals from nose to tail, even bones and hooves nothing went to waste. All parts of plants: leaves, stalks, roots, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds
  • In some parts of the world, humans ate mostly animals like the Inuit: whale, seal…
  • In other areas they were vegetarian with a WIDE diversity of plants including herbs and spices

Bottom line: nature was the only source of food.

When you eat

  • carbs from plants
  • fats from nature
  • quality sourced animal products the way nature intended, giving thanks in the way of ancestral traditions

You give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal physical, mental and emotional health:

  • tissue building, enzyme making amino acids from protein
  • essential fatty acids
  • vital minerals
  • vitamins and powerful phytochemicals – the natural compounds that give plants color. Every color represents a family of preventative and healing compounds
  • fantastic fiber so necessary for gut health – center of the immune system and integral to brain health — and necessary for your body’s detoxification and elimination processes

How many foods from nature do you eat? How many colors from plants?

Skip the diet. Enjoy a delicious, nutritious lifestyle.

Here are some recipes to put it into practice:

5 Moroccan Tagines 

5 Delicious, Nutritious Chili

5 Delicious, Nutritious Meatloaves

10 Ways to Use Leafy Greens

For more empowerment:

Nutrient Dense Foods

Good Mood Food

Why Nutrient Density MattersChris Kresser

Updated from January 2023