Short Chain Fatty Acids and Your Health (Plus How Daily Dose Makes it Easy to Boost Your Intake of Plants)
If you missed part one, go back and begin there to learn more about why fiber is so absolutely essential for your microbiome, gut health, and immune system. Let’s pick up where we left off with short chain fatty acids (SCFA), the tiny metabolites that fight back against inflammation.
Fiber and Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)
When our gut bacteria ferment fiber, metabolites called short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are formed. SCFA are a major energy source for the cells lining our colon. They support immune system function, help nourish intestinal tissues, and stimulate the growth of some types of good bacteria in your gut.
Short-chain fatty acids themselves are anti-inflammatory. They help regulate your immune system and inflammatory response by promoting immune cell activity and interrupting inflammatory signals.
SCFA are also critical for blood sugar control. They can help with insulin sensitivity (or make your cells respond to signals that control blood sugar) to improve blood sugar balance. Blood sugar dysregulation can lead to reduced immunity by impairing your white blood cell function.
So SCFAs benefit us by keeping inflammation levels down, reducing oxidative stress on cells (which can lead to cellular damage), balancing our blood sugar, and supporting immune function.
What about Low Carb Diets and Fiber?
Fiber isn’t just in fruit and veggies - it’s also found in grains, starches, legumes, nuts, and seeds. While some of these fit on a low carb or keto plan, the majority may not.
This brings up a concern with a very low-carb diet over the long term—they aren’t great for your microbiome because they can be so low in fiber-rich carbs. So a well-planned low-carb or keto diet must also contain a variety of plant foods to support your microbiome and immunity.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
General nutrition recommendations usually suggest 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily for optimal health.
But the most current science demonstrates that it’s not enough to simply eat 35 grams of fiber daily, but that we must get a diversity of this fiber from plants – upwards of 30-40 different plants each week. The diversity factor is actually proving to be more important to health than the amount of fiber alone.
Aside from fiber, think of all the gorgeous polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you’d get from eating all those gorgeous plants.
By eating this way, you’re getting the best microbiome diversity, and your immune system will thank you by functioning at its best!
But let’s all take a closer look at our daily intake. It takes a lot of hard work and planning to actually eat that much fiber. And most of us are not even coming close.
Think about it. Even if you add some greens to your smoothie or eggs, have a salad with lunch, snack on a few sliced veggies in the afternoon, and include a serving of roasted veggies with your meal for dinner you probably aren’t hitting 20 grams.
The Daily Dose Makes it Simple to Stay Healthy
That’s where the Daily Dose comes in. We make it simple to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods daily without overthinking, planning, or even worrying about what your next meal will be.
The plant diversity you’ll enjoy alongside The Daily Dose means more SCFA production (which helps immunity and inflammation) and more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals supporting immunity.
Daily Dose meal plans are the perfect way to get all your fiber needs met so you can feel good about what’s on your plate! Our Paleo Plan makes it simple to eat this way with rich, low glycemic produce and carb sources that your body will love.
Even if you follow a keto diet, which, as mentioned, can neglect the microbiome, we’ve got you. Our Ketotarian approach to keto ensures you get all your needs met without going overboard on carbs or protein.
Let us show you how to eat a healthy plant-based diet and give your gut microbiome and immune system the support it needs.
Tricia Williams is a talented Chef recognized as a leader in the fields of Nutrition and Holistic Health. Some years ago, Tricia founded Food Matters, a boutique, nutritionally-sound meal delivery service. Closely collaborating with her clients’ coaches, integrative physicians, and nutritionists, Tricia was able to successfully tailor meal plans that met both their taste preferences and their health goals.
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