Inflammation can cause everything from bloating to weight gain, disease, sleep issues, headaches, and more. After learning that fact, it's quite clear why the wellness community has turned it into something of a buzzword; the fact is that keeping excessive inflammation at bay is important to our overall health. All in all, we feel better, function better, and look better when inflammation is scarce.
One of the main ways to avoid inflammation is through our diet—by eating healthy foods that are rich in nutrients. According to The New York Times, though, there's a specific type of food that has a particularly special anti-inflammatory effect, and scientists are just now discovering how it's linked to maintaining a healthy gut. Let's just say that it's definitely not the type of food we expected to be anti-inflammatory. Keep scrolling to see which type of food you should start incorporating into your diet ASAP.
The type of food in question is any and all that contains healthy fiber. The ironic part is that the fiber doesn't benefit our cells directly. Instead, it benefits our gut's microbiome, or the collection of good bacteria that line our digestive tract. The research is all thanks to Fredrik Bäckhed, a biologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and his team who found that the good bacteria in our gut feed on healthy fiber. Giving these healthy bacteria the food they need to thrive cultivates a diverse and thorough microbiome.
So why do we need a healthy microbiome, you ask? Well, our gut plays a massive role in our immune system, so through boosting our gut health we're also directly boosting our immune system. From there, our bodies are better able to fight infections and disease. Essentially, our bodies are less inflamed. The New York Times goes as far to say that eating lots of healthy fiber will lower our overall mortality rate.
How's that for healthy diet inspiration? If you're like us, you're already Googling the best fiber-filled dishes. Look for foods like quinoa, lentils, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. "It points to the boring thing that we all know but no one does,” Bäckhed told the publication. "If you eat more green veggies and [fewer] fries and sweets, you'll probably be better off in the long term."