From weight loss to a stronger immune system – and even reducing time spent in the bathroom – sometimes it takes only small changes to benefit several areas of your life.
I asked registered dietitian nutritionist Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, for her favorite and easiest digestive health tips. Stoler is author of “Living Skinny in Fat Genes”.
Lisa Nelson, RD: Why are we seeing so many TV commercials aimed at people suffering from digestive issues?
Dr. Stoler: “It’s because millions of Americans don’t have healthy guts. That can affect your overall health as well as your ability to get out and enjoy your life. No one likes spending extra time in the bathroom, or worrying about embarrassing accidents.”
Lisa Nelson, RD: Is there one small dietary change that people can make to improve the typical digestive issues?
Dr. Stoler: “Adding a daily scoop or capsule of galactomannan fiber to your diet may sound boring, but it could have a huge impact on your life. It may even help you lose weight. Making this change is super easy.”
Lisa Nelson, RD: What is the connection between fiber and digestive health?
Dr. Stoler: “About 80 percent of your immune system activity happens in your gut. When your gut is out of whack and your body lacks fiber, your healthy bacteria can become imbalanced. Your digestive processes suffer. Your immune system and overall health may break down. You may have gas and bloating, as well as occasional constipation or diarrhea. As your system struggles to push out waste, you may feel lethargic. For the approximately 15.3 million Americans diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, these symptoms are all too familiar.”
Lisa Nelson, RD: What other dietary habits may interfere with having a healthy gut?
Dr. Stoler: “The issue gets more complicated when you’re on the go and don’t have time for freshly cooked meals. People who avoid gluten also tend to have trouble getting sufficient fiber because gluten-free staples such as bread and pasta are typically very low in this important nutrient.”
Lisa Nelson, RD: How does fiber improve weight loss?
Dr. Stoler: “Research shows that a gluten-free galactomannan fiber helps to normalize bowel movements. It also helps keep you satisfied after a meal, reducing your urge to snack.”
Lisa Nelson, RD: What do you say to people who avoid fiber supplements because they taste funny, get gloppy when they try to mix them in water, or seem to cause even more gas and discomfort?
Dr. Stoler: “I tell them to just remember Sunfiber. It’s much easier to pronounce than galactomannan, and the powdered version can be easily added to virtually any food or beverage without changing its taste, aroma or texture. This is an ideal solution for those who want to add more fiber to their diets without experiencing any additional gas or bloating. Sunfiber is also a prebiotic, which means it helps to nourish your beneficial gut bacteria.”
Lisa Nelson, RD: So supplementing your fiber intake really can have a big impact on your life?
Dr. Stoler: “Absolutely! You’ll spend less time behind the bathroom door, and more time participating in life This one simple change may help you lose weight, support your immune system and help to normalize your bowel movements. You may even start to feel more energetic.”
Dr. Stoler adds that Sunfiber, which she referenced, is a well-researched guar fiber. Studies are available at www.Sunfiber.com.
Knowing what you need to do for your health is just one step of your journey. Now you must implement the necessary. Access the free guide How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits here.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Health Pro for HealthCentral