Dietary Fiber Intake: A Dancer’s Secret to a Healthy Gut

We’ve talked a lot about dietary fiber intake lately. And that’s because odds are, you likely need to up your dietary fiber intake. 

Dietary Fiber does a lot for our bodies. It promotes a healthy gut, it keeps us feeling full, and it ensures that we stay…uh…regular. 


Fine, but What IS Dietary Fiber?

Fiber is the roughage of plant foods that our body isn’t able to digest or absorb. Because fiber isn’t digested, it passes (pretty much intact) through your small intestine and colon.

We’ve talked about this before on the blog, but there are two types of dietary fiber: Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. 

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a kind of gel. This kind of fiber helps with cholesterol and glucose levels. It’s found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, and barley. 

Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and promotes the movement of “stuff” through your digestive system. Insoluble fiber is found in whole-wheat flour, bran, nuts, beans, and veggies!

The daily recommendation for dietary fiber intake is 20-30 grams. 

Hitting that goal is more challenging than it seems, but it is incredibly important. 


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Increasing Dietary Fiber Intake Promotes a Healthy Gut

Dietary Fiber is our body’s main source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible foods that promote the growth and activity of good gut bacteria.

Prebiotics are the main source of “food” for probiotics. This means if you don’t have a high enough dietary fiber intake, probiotics won’t have “food” to fuel themselves to digest food efficiently, fight disease, and produce vitamins. 


Okay, So HOW Do I Consume Enough?

This is the trick, increasing your dietary fiber intake requires intentionality. 

But a few swaps here and there can make for a huge increase in dietary fiber intake. 

Increasing your consumption of whole grains, fruits, beans, and legumes, and even prebiotic sodas like Poppi and Ollipop are a great way to hit your fiber goal. 

Coach Amber put together this awesome example of a day consuming 25 grams of fiber:

dietary fiber intake, 20-30 grams of fiber a day, eating enough fiber

As you can see, swapping out regular white or wheat bread for bread containing whole grains (like Ezekiel Bread) can make a huge impact on dietary fiber intake. 

Swapping out your snacks with fruit, hummus, or another bean dip can also up your fiber intake. 

Finally, making sure you kick off your day with high-fiber food like oatmeal, whole grain toast, or a chia seed smoothie, can make hitting your daily goal much easier!

So, what do you think? Are these intentional choices something you think you could adjust to?

The benefits outweigh the few moments of intentionality required. Regular bowel movements, less bloating, and staying full between meals were enough to tip the scales for me.


Did you find this breakdown helpful? Check out these quick reads for more: Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps a Day?, Training Tip Tuesday: Confidence Corner, the Gymitmidation Secret, A Dancer’s Guide to the Best Supplements for Muscle Recovery

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