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  • Alyson Chaney

Fueling your mental health with fiber.

What is all the fuss about fiber? The short answer? Fiber mitigates the effects of stress on the body.

But you know I don’t like just giving the short answer!

Stress is a significant health concern and can cause major changes in the gut and in the brain, which can cause changes in behavior. In recent years there has been growing research on the link between gut bacteria and stress-related disorders including anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Dietary fiber feeds gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which are the main source of nutrition for cells in the gut. Foods containing high levels of fiber will stimulate the building of these short-chain fatty acids.

Dietary fiber is important for our overall health, not just digestive health and here’s why,

  • Promotes regular bowel movements

  • Feel satisfied for longer

  • Improve cholesterol

  • Improve blood sugar levels, which reduces anxiety symptoms

  • It can assist in preventing some diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and bowel cancer.

On the flip side poor diet quality negatively impacts the gastrointestinal microbiome and has been linked to depression, anxiety, and stress. Eating processed foods and drinking excessive alcohol makes your symptoms worse. Eating a diet high in fiber can help combat this. Here is a shortlist of foods that are high in fiber:

The fiber found in food is not limited to just those listed. The real MVP in the fiber world are legumes, are a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas, and lentils and are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. The indigestible sugars in beans that make it all the way down to your colon act as prebiotics to feed your good bacteria in your gut. Along with fiber, beans are packed with folate and phytates (which may also help reduce the risk of depression!)

It’s important to increase your servings of fiber slowly over time. If you consume a lot of fiber to quickly, you may experience bloating, gas, and pain. But instead of cutting this vital nutrient, try drinking more water! Drinking plenty of water -which you should be doing anyway- will help you see the benefits of eating fiber.

Heres a tip to get more fiber out of fruits and veggies, if the skin is edible (think apple or cucumber) Keep the skin on!! The skin on fruits and vegetables is packed with fiber that gets wasted if you peel. This is also why smoothies are so amazing! You are filling your stomach with much-needed fiber.

So now you know the low down on fiber its time to put your knowledge to good use! Buy the beans and eat the greens! Stay satisfied my friends.

Disclaimer: Alyson Chaney Wellness offers health, fitness, and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on Alyson Chaney Wellness. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk. Each person is different, and the way your body responds to a particular diet may be significantly different from the way other people respond. You should speak with your physician or healthcare professional before starting any diet or exercise program. If you require any more information or have any questions about my site's disclaimer, please feel free to contact me by email at

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