Honey contains negligible amounts of dietary fiber, but it has prebiotic and probiotic properties!
Health benefits of fiber
Consuming adequate amounts of fiber is essential for good health. High fiber intake has been linked to significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, high fiber intake may lower elevated blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels!
Additionally, fiber improves insulin sensitivity and enhances immune function!
Furthermore, fiber contributes to healthy gut microbiota, which is also crucial for good health. Gut microbiota protects the body from chronic inflammations, improves metabolic processes, and promotes weight loss, due to regulation of appetite!
How much dietary fiber do we need a day?
There hasn’t been established an ideal daily dose for fiber. Not an upper safe dose. But, it is highly recommended to consume at least 28g of fiber a day. If you consume more than 2,000 calories a day, you should consume more fiber as well. As a rule of thumb, we should consume about 14g of fiber per 1,000 calories.
However, most people fail to meet these fiber recommendations. It’s estimated that people who follow a standard Western diet, which is rich in animal-based foods, consume less than half of the required dose of fiber! Actually, animal products contain no fiber. Fiber is naturally present only in plant-based foods.
How much fiber in honey?
Honey has many health benefits, mainly due to its particularly high antioxidant content. In fact, a tbsp of honey a day could help us lose weight, despite the fact, that it consists almost 100% of sugars.
Moreover, honey contains negligible amounts of dietary fiber. It has only 0.04g of fiber per tbsp.
But, honey contains oligosaccharides and low molecular weight polysaccharides, which have prebiotic properties.
These compounds aren’t digested in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. They’re fermented by beneficial microflora in the large intestine. Prebiotics are types of fiber that help good bacteria grow in the gut, improving digestion and immune function.
Fresh honey contains probiotics as well. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms. They inhibit the growth and development of pathogens, keeping the gut healthy.
Should I eat honey?
Consuming reasonable amounts of honey, as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, are good for our health. It’s particularly high in phenolic and flavonoid compounds.
These compounds fight oxidative stress, and have potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties! In fact, honey may play a beneficial role in certain inflammatory diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, as well as neurodegenerative diseases.[6,7]
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Common foods high in fiber
If you want to increase the daily fiber intake, you should follow a whole food, plant-based diet. Only plants contain high amounts of dietary fiber. Beans, vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, seeds, and nuts are the best dietary sources of fiber!
The skin of fruits and vegetables is the richest part in fiber! So, whenever possible, prefer buying organic foods in order to avoid peeling them. Consuming whole fruits and vegetables significantly increases the daily fiber intake.