Many of us know that eating more fiber equals a happy and healthy gut, but it doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re experiencing gut issues like an upset stomach and bloating, they could be on the mend in two weeks if you up your fiber intake.
A study published in the journal mSystems found that it takes this amount of time for an increased fiber diet to start making changes in our gut’s microbiome. Participants consumed an extra 25 grams of fiber each day over the two week period with researchers tracking any significant differences to their gut health. The goal was for them to eat at least 40 to 50 total grams of fiber on a daily basis.
By the end of the study, researchers noted that eating more fiber increased the number of microbiota-accessible carbohydrate (MAC) degrading bacteria. MACs are a key energy source for gut bacteria so having more of them increases its function and efficiency. This in turn can have so many benefits for your health, like helping you lose stubborn pounds without breaking a sweat, slow down any signs of aging, and stabilize your blood sugar levels.
How much fiber should you be eating?
The study also mentions that most of us likely don’t get enough fiber with the average US diet only including 15 grams of fiber per day. This can lead to health complications, such as type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. The ideal amount is 28 grams (if you eat 2,000 calories) each day, according to the USDA.
So what a high-fiber diet might look like on daily basis is focusing on healthy carbs like a cup of oats for breakfast (10.1 grams) and having a cup of lentils (7.3 grams) or black beans for lunch or dinner. Other delicious foods that make for great snacks throughout the day include one cup of sliced avocado (6.7 grams), a medium-sized banana (2.6 grams), and a cup of fresh raspberries (6.5 grams). All these foods combined would deliver 33.2 total grams of fiber per day. Not a bad menu, right?
Everyone’s body responds differently to dietary changes, but a sign that your gut is back in good standing is if things like bloating or constipation are alleviated. Although restoring your gut health may only take two weeks of eating a fiber-rich, it’s a good idea to keep the intake of this important nutrient up even after this time period if you want to maintain that healthy gut function.