Everything You Need To Know About Fiber Supplements

Everything You Need To Know About Fiber Supplements

Fiber provides a lot of perks if you want to stay in shape while still getting all the nutrients that you need. Most people obsess over their protein intake – but if there’s no fiber, you’ll end up feeling horrible the whole day.

Basically, fiber has the ability to lower your cholesterol levels, keeping your blood sugar at a normal level, and helping you lose weight. This is simply because it brings your digestive transit at an appropriate level.

Measuring Waist

The problem is that not many people get enough of this nutrient from their meals – which is why a need for fiber supplements might come around. Still, before you begin taking supplements, you might want to do some health research beforehand.

What Is Dietary Fiber?

You’ve probably heard of this a couple of times: “you should eat more fiber.” But what is exactly this “fiber” that everyone is speaking about?

Dietary fiber, also known as bulk or roughage, is the part from fruits and vegetables that your body can’t absorb or digest. Unlike other essential nutrients – such as protein, fats, or carbohydrates – fiber can’t really be digested by the body.

Fruit And Veggies On Table

As a result, it just passes through. It goes through your stomach, continues through your small intestines and colon, and then exits your body without being “sidetracked.” It’s like eating without the commitment.

Simply put, dietary fiber is generally known as the nutrient that keeps our bowels functioning. In other words, it prevents constipation – allowing us to take out the trash when it needs to go.

You can take out dietary fiber from a great area of ingredients. They are present in veggies and fruits, as well as in whole grains – which is why such a diet is always recommended when you want to lose weight.

Now you know why so many nutritionists recommend that you eat a fruit or a salad every now and again. It’s not necessarily because of the low-calorie intake. It is, however, because it pushes you to go to the bathroom when you have to.

How Does Fiber Affect The Digestive System?

You know that moment when you are stuck in the bathroom, but nothing seems to want to come out? It wouldn’t have been a problem if you didn’t already know you had stool to pass. It just doesn’t want to come out.

Fiber helps by softening and plumping up the stool – therefore making it easier to pass. Furthermore, dietary fiber acts as an “equilibrium” nutrient, since it can bulk up and solidify liquid stool.

As a result, fiber helps you prevent both diarrhea and constipation. Plus, since it makes you feel fuller for a longer time, it will also aid you to lose weight. Meals that are high in fiber are lower in calories – making you drop those pounds easily.

The way your stomach is affected also depends on the type of fiber that you are consuming. The best natural fiber supplements are classified into two categories:

Insoluble Fiber

This type of fiber is commonly known as “roughage.” It’s basically the matter found in grains, fruits, nuts, and veggies that will not dissolve in the water. As a result, insoluble fiber is not broken down by the gut – which also means that it does not go into the bloodstream either. Everything will go directly into your bowel.

This way, waste will bulk up in your digestive system – which means your stool will be regular and just the way that it should be. With the proper intake of the best insoluble fiber supplements, constipation should be considered a thing of the past.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is sticky and soft, absorbing the water from within your digestive system in order to create a gel-like substance. The best sources for this kind of fiber are avocados, fruits, barley, oats, peas, and beans.

Food In Bowl

Basically, by absorbing the water, soluble fiber will help soften the stool. As a result, it will be much easier for it to pass through your gastrointestinal tract – no matter if you go for foods or the best soluble fiber supplements.

Soluble fiber also sticks to sugar and cholesterol, lowering them, and thus preventing heart diseases. Furthermore, soluble fiber increases the population of good bacteria in your bowel, therefore improving your immunity.

For a healthy fiber intake, you will need to consume both types of fibers. Not only will it prevent you from gaining weight or developing certain conditions, but it will also help you feel in a better mood on a daily basis.

How Modern Diet Is Insufficient In Fibers

In the past, it was very easy to get some fiber intake. You wouldn’t see your grandparents struggling so much with constipation. They would be healthy, live long lives, and only eat products from their own cultures.

Nowadays, however, it’s easier to get something from the fast food, such as hamburger, some fries, or a large portion of tacos. Even sandwiches are no longer the way they should be.

Fast Foods

Fast food generally lacks fiber altogether. The reason behind that is simple: you are more likely to find fiber in unprocessed foods than in processed ones. Therefore, if you want to get fiber, you’d have to consume veggies and whole grains.

The problem is that no fast food serves vegetables and old grains – at least not unprocessed ones. Fast foods give you pizza, French fries, fried meat, and all kinds of foods that underwent processing – which means that your fiber intake is zero. As a result, if you spend most of the day hogging fast food, you should not be surprised that you’re constipated.

Too Much Bread

One may think that bread is packed with fibers, but here’s a news flash: bread is processed as well. Not all types of bread are like that, as you can find ones with a healthy intake of fiber. The problem is white bread – which has no fiber whatsoever.

Still, we all know that white bread is the cheapest and easiest available – which is why most people buy it. Fast foods use it, restaurants use it, you probably even use it at home every day.

You eat bread so that you get that sensation of fullness; however, there’s one thing that you should keep in mind: “it’s a trap!”

The average person eats 2/3 meals and 1/3 bread – which means that 1/3 of the fiber intake that you should get is no longer there. By eating bread, it’s like filling your stomach with water – only that the “water” has more calories.

Young Man Eating Bread

This is the reason why more people should go for fiber supplements. If they cannot take their correct amount of fiber from foods, they need to find it from someplace else.

What Fruits And Vegetables Have More Fiber?

So, you’ve decided to boost your diet and get the fiber intake that you need. If you do not want to rely only on fiber supplements, here are the fruits and veggies that should provide a decent amount of fiber.

Split Peas

This ingredient is mostly used in Indian cooking, but you should know that a cup of cooked split peas has a little bit over 16 grams of fiber – which is a lot more than what oatmeal brings to the table. Plus, split peas are rich in protein. So, not only that they take away the stool problems, but they’re also very filling. They represent one of the best comfort foods that you could go for.

Broccoli

If you were the type of kid to put your broccoli aside when you were young, you will probably want to rethink that as an adult. Broccoli has around 5.1 grams of fiber per cup, and it’s also low in calories. So, we have a winning combo right there! Combined with some eggs, garlic, and onion, this ingredient will give you all the fiber that you need.

Raspberries

Raspberries are an easy-sell since they are pretty much nature’s candy. A cup of raw raspberries will offer around 8 grams of fiber, which is enough for a snack.

If you add some oatmeal, coconut, and vanilla in the mix, you’ll have the perfect, fiber-filled desert.

Avocados

There’s a reason why avocados are called “superfoods.” A whole avocado contains around 13.2 grams of fiber – which means that even half the fruit will be just more than enough.

Plus, avocados are filled with healthy fats and vitamins, making them better than most fiber supplements.

Pears

If you want to go for a simple yet inexpensive way to get your fiber intake, then you should definitely add pears to your list. An average pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber per pear, which is quite a lot.

Pearls In Bowl

You can eat pears raw or you can add them to recipes. They work well as sweeteners, especially if you want to make caramelized roasts (since pears contain a high amount of natural sugars).

Psyllium

Psyllium is not a vegetable, but not necessarily a fruit either – still, it is one of the best sources of fiber that you can get your hands on. Psyllium (or psyllium husks) are part of the Plantago Ovata seed – a plant that is native to India.

Psyllium is hygroscopi0c, which means that it’s capable of absorbing fluids – therefore acting as a laxative. Packed with dietary fiber, the best psyllium fiber supplements can prevent constipation and help you have a normal stool.

Benefits Of Dietary Fiber Supplements

Everyone should be crazy about getting enough fiber. Without fiber, we would be sitting with a pile of toxins in us for days – and we all know how ugly it gets when the trash is not taken off the premises.

The best-rated fiber supplements will help you solve this problem, improving your gastrointestinal tract – and solving other problems along the way as well.

Since we already know you can’t take all your fiber from food, here are some reasons why you might want to add supplements to your diet.

They Control Blood Sugar

A healthy dose of soluble fiber will slow down your body’s process of breaking down carbohydrates and sugar absorption. For this reason, supplements will help keep your blood sugar in check.

They Prevent Strokes

Research shows that fiber-rich supplements represent the best anti-stroke medicine. By just consuming 7 grams of fiber per day, you decrease your chances of having a stroke by 7%.

Healthy Heart

It was found out that there is a very thin line between a healthy fiber intake and a healthy heart. Most doctors say that those who are on a fiber-rich diet are 40% less likely to have a heart attack.

They Solve Skin Problems

Do you have problems with acne and skin rashes? Supplements or a diet that is rich in fiber – particularly from the psyllium husk – can help move the fungus and bacteria that are responsible for the breakouts.

Young Woman Clean Skin

Weight Loss/Management

We already know that fiber supplements encourage digestion and the elimination of waste. However, considering that fiber offers that feeling of fullness, you may also lose weight – which is a great benefit for overweight people.

Good Bacteria Production

Al the good bacteria in your gut will feed on dietary fiber. Therefore, if you consume the appropriate amount of fiber every day, you will also increase the production of good bacteria.

You will need good bacteria to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. This way, you will be less likely to get sick or develop metabolic abnormalities.

They Reduce The Risk Of Colon Cancer

While there’s mixed evidence about this fact, many researchers claim that taking fiber supplements can help decrease the risk of colon cancer.

There are many theories on how this works, but the main one is that fiber shortens the period during which waste travels through the colon – therefore eliminating the carcinogens much faster.

They Prevent Hemorrhoids

Having hemorrhoids is as embarrassing as it is uncomfortable. However, it was shown that a diet rich in fiber may lower the risk of developing this condition.

They Prevent Kidney Stones Or Gallstones

Those who were unlucky enough to experience kidney stones claim that they would rather have a second child than to pass another stone.

However, it was proved that a high-fiber diet can reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones – most likely due to its ability to regulate the blood sugar. 

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

If you're having problems with your gastrointestinal tract, you may not be taking enough fiber into your system. No matter if you need the best fiber supplements for constipation of for diarrhea, this nutrient will balance everything out.

Great For Gastrointestinal Problems

Not to be confused with insulin, inulin is a soluble type of fiber that you can take from several plants. It will help the production of good bacteria in your gut – and will prevent more problems related your gastrointestinal tract.

Illustration Of Healthy Gut

Why Is Dietary Fiber Good For Kids?

Every person needs fiber in their system – and this applies especially to children. Fiber allows us to feel full and it keeps things moving in the digestive tract.

Even a full-grown adult has problems with their gastrointestinal tract – so imagine how difficult it must be for a child to keep things moving. Considering that they are not yet fully developed, it might be difficult for them to get things going.

A healthy fiber intake every day will not only give your child the energy necessary to move around but will also make sure they won’t develop obesity at an early stage. Fiber supplements should ensure they are growing nice and healthy.

One simple way to make sure that your kid is getting enough fiber is by serving them at least 5 fruits or veggie servings per day. Once you have that down, you don’t really need to count their fiber intake anymore. 

What Are The Health Risks Of Not Getting Enough Fiber?

We’ve already made clear the benefits of adding fiber to your diet – but what happens if you don’t do it? Well, here’s the long story short:

Digestive Health Issues

Both soluble and insoluble fiber play important roles in keeping the colon functions at a proper level. Therefore, by not giving your body the fiber that it needs, it won’t be able to add bulk to the stool – which means it won’t be that easily eliminated.

Stool that stays in the colon for too long can lead to various problems. It can lead to colon cancer, IBS, and it can cause a large variety of health issues.

Cardiovascular Problems

Cholesterol builds up in your body and blood; you can’t really help it. And if the levels get too high, the risk of a coronary heart disease or a stroke will also increase.

Fiber, on the other hand, will bind to this cholesterol and will quickly eliminate it – because we all know how fiber doesn’t really like to stay in the body.

If you don’t get enough fiber, you risk cholesterol buildups – which can lead to various cardiovascular problems.

Constipation

There are two reasons why people generally become constipated; they either don’t drink plenty of water or they do not consume enough fiber.

Sitting On Toilet

If the stool is too hard (or not hard enough), it will not pass that easily through the bowels – even when you know it’s there, “aching” to be released.

Weight Gain

If you don’t consume fiber-rich foods, you put yourself at risk of weight gain. Basically, fiber works by keeping you satiated – so if you don’t consume enough fiber, you’ll feel continuously hungry.

So not only will you not be passing stool, but you will eat a lot more as well. This is a surefire way to gain weight.

Blood Sugar Control

Refined carbohydrates such as sugary foods or white bread get quickly digested in your body when there’s barely any fiber – which means your blood sugar levels will also be prone to rise.

By not adding fiber supplements in your diet, you are practically exposing yourself to Type 2 diabetes.

When Should You Take Dietary Fiber Supplements?

Generally, you need to take the necessary fiber from foods; however, there are times when that might not be enough. If you are an American, then the chances are that you’re not getting enough fiber.

Generally, it is recommended that you consult your doctor regarding any extra fiber intakes. Still, a surefire way to tell if you need these supplements is this: if you’re constipated, you need more fiber in your system.

A person with a healthy digestive tract will pass stool at least once a day. If you’re not doing it, but you’re eating as healthily as you can – then you definitely need to look for the best fiber supplements to take.

You may want to try looking to increase your intake when you feel like you are gaining unnecessary weight. Look for the best fiber supplements oriented towards weight loss. They will help you clear away the toxins much faster.

Keep in mind that there’s also such a thing as “too much fiber.” Loading up on too much fiber may cause cramping, bloating, gas, and other side effects. It is recommended that you only stick to 5-7 grams per meal.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you need fiber in your system. You must take it from foods (ideally), and you also have to take fiber supplements to make up for your deficiencies. With today’s average diet, it’s not even a surprise that most people will need supplements.

Senior Woman Drinking

If you’re asking yourself “What are the best fiber supplements out there,” you might want to take a look at our buying guide. We’ve gathered a few products that are popular among consumers – all of which offer superior effects.

We probably speak for everyone when we say that a person is as happy as his or her bowels. If they move correctly, then everything’s alright. If not, there’s no shame in taking some “helpers.”

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