Welcome to EAT WITH PURPOSE, a site designed to bring together those who suffer from autoimmune illnesses.
The purpose of the site is to allow individuals a forum where they’re able to share experiences from their autoimmune journey.
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Is fiber good for the gut microbiome?
If you have any form of IBS or IBD, fiber can flare-up symptoms (from my experience). By definition, fiber is indigestible by nature. That means that it passes through the intestinal system intact is not absorbed. But it is important to understand that there are different kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber.
If you suffer from digestive issues, I highly recommend avoiding insoluble fiber. In the IBD community, it is often referred to as roughage due to it's "rough nature" and extra pressure it puts on the intestinal tract. Sources of insoluble fiber tend to be raw nuts, seed, grains, and vegetables. To render insoluble fiber more digestible, you can learn to sprout & soak nuts/seeds (which is very time consuming) and you can cook vegetables. Personally, I do not think it is worth it. But if you're going to eat insoluble fiber, I highly recommend using methods to render it more digestible.
On the contrary, soluble fiber is a little bit easier on the stomach than insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is water-soluble and tends to be easier on the intestinal tract. It is found mainly in fruits and cooked vegetables. Some healthy sources I would recommend are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, squash, avocados, and more.
From my experience, soluble fiber consumption causes far fewer issues than insoluble fiber consumption. But it is important to remember that fiber is not essential and is not required for humans. Our bodies are incredible at adapting to circumstances. If we eat zero fiber, our bodies will eventually adapt. It does take time. Regarding the gut microbiome, there are other ways to optimize it besides soluble fiber consumption. Activities like grounding, swimming in rivers, sauna therapy, cold immersion, and getting exposed to dirt all benefit the gut microbiome as well. It's important to approach gut health from multiple angles, not just fiber consumption.