5 Beauty Benefits of Fiber
Fiber is a crucial element of food for health, we know that. In fact, it’s the only ‘food waste’ that we actively seek out, mainly for its vital role in promoting good digestion. Except it’s not just digestion that this pseudonutrient supports; it can be one of the best things to support a holistic beauty ritual.
Firstly, let’s recap on the different kinds of fibers our body needs. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, or in other fluids in the digestive tract, which creates a gel that adds bulk to the stool. Insoluble fiber attracts water to the stool, which makes it easier to pass, placing less strain on the lower organs of the digestive system. Resistant starch is also believed by many to be a ‘third type of fiber’, but it’s actually a starch that resists digestive processes in the body, and supports the fermentation of fiber for healthy digestion.
But that’s on digestion; how do these fibers help us maintain a naturally beautiful glow? You’re about to find out.
1. Helps Eliminate Toxins From The Body
Toxins are ever-present in our modern society, from the food we eat to the air we breathe, and they can have long-lasting effects on our bodies. One of the most common places we often find a toxic overload reflected is in the skin, which can manifest in everything from acne and skin conditions to premature aging. Due to fiber’s crucial role in healthy digestion, it can help to accumulate any toxins in the digestive tract and eliminate them as waste.
2. Promotes Gut Health Thanks To Prebiotic Fiber
We now know that gut health is paramount to healthy skin, and a healthy body overall, so ensuring gut flora is healthy and thriving should be the cornerstone of any beauty routine. And in this instance, it often comes down to prebiotic fiber - the kind found in foods like bananas, artichokes, onions, garlic, and whole grains. These ferment in the gut and support the microbiota, in turn promoting health and well-being. Emerging research goes so far as to suggest that prebiotic fibers can have a positive impact on the skin microbiota, which is a significant step in acknowledging the role of holistic beauty.
3. Helps To Reduce Inflammation In The Body, Which Often Shows Up In The Skin
If there’s one thing we’ve been talking about at Food Matters this year, it’s chronic inflammation. Learning to address it isn’t a new concept, in fact, it was the focus of Max Gerson’s signature therapy, but lately, it seems like globally people are beginning to recognize just how many ways inflammation can impact our health. Chronic inflammation in the body, especially in the digestive tract, tends to show up in the skin in the form of acne and dryness, sometimes even triggering conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Poor gut health can lead to increased inflammation, so using fiber to address any inflammation can reduce the risk of any skin conditions emerging.
4. Aids In Absorption Of Skin-Supporting Nutrients
Our skin requires more than just an elaborate beauty routine to thrive, it requires work on the inside too - especially the uptake of various nutrients in the body. One of fiber’s key roles, through the slowing of the digestive process, is to help the body absorb essential antioxidants and nutrients found in the diet. Certain nutrients like lutein, lycopene, and Vitamin C are needed for healthy skin, so these need to be readily absorbed. Antioxidants are equally important and are known to reduce and prevent aging due to oxidative stress.
5. Studies Show It Slows Down Signs Of Aging
Soluble fiber, the one that dissolves as it moves through the body, is actually a crucial ingredient to graceful aging. This is because of the slowed digestive process, something we collectively need to get a little better at doing. So when this principle comes to aging, the magic nutrient is collagen. You’ve likely come to know it as the holy grail of skincare, keeping complexions soft and supple, as it provides elasticity to the skin barrier. But your body’s natural collagen production declines with age, which is why it helps to support uptake with foods that contain plenty of fiber, as well as Vitamin C which is essential for absorption.
So of the fibers, soluble and insoluble, prebiotic or not, what’s the best for your skin? Well, it turns out that the answer’s not quite that simple - we need a delicate balance of them all to support our digestion, and support our skin in turn. And while there are supplements that offer additional fiber, the best way to do that is through the diet. Look to include healthy helpings of fruit and vegetables, as well as organic wholegrains into your daily meals - and truly nourish your skin from the inside out.
Now that you’ve learned the secret to beautiful skin from the inside out, why not treat yourself to some beautiful clean products? Shop our natural beauty favorites on the Food Matters store.