“Fiber helps balance blood sugar levels in the body, “says dietitian Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, based in New York City.” Fiber helps with digestion, regularity and elimination. . It helps eliminate excess hormones from the body and can help lower cholesterol levels. That [also] it helps control appetite levels, prevent cravings, and maintain energy levels. “
In addition, according to Christine Byrne, MPH, RD, LDN, a non-dietary dietitian based in Raleigh, North Carolina, certain fermentable or prebiotic fibers provide a healthy gut microbiome as they feed prebiotics to your gut.
In this way, fiber is a miracle for the body. The problem is that considering the many unhealthy (and less healthy) options on the market, high-fiber diets are not exactly the norm. This is because fiber is found in plant foods, and Shapiro says a naturally high-fiber diet is one that prioritizes whole foods over processed foods. Therefore, since not everyone has the desire to eat high-fiber foods, there are fiber supplements to help you recover.
Read on for more information on the different types of fiber supplements on the market.
Different types of fiber supplements
When you go to your local pharmacy and walk down the aisle of supplements, you’ll come across a variety of different fiber supplements. But don’t get overwhelmed. Byrne says most fiber supplements on the market are similar, only marketed in different groups. “Fiber supplements for kids could have added aromas and a smaller portion size,” he explains. “Fiber supplements marketed for pregnant women are made with psyllium husk, an insoluble fiber that is especially helpful in preventing constipation.”
Nature Made Wellness Ambassador Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, says another key differentiation between fiber supplements is that some are aimed solely at meeting dietary recommendations for the nutrient, while others have the intended goals. “[Some fiber supplements] “Other products contain different types of fiber to help control specific symptoms related to intestinal health (constipation, diarrhea, etc.).”
Watch the video to learn more about the importance of gut health:
In general, the variation of the fiber supplement depends on the type of fiber used and the ingredients used in the product. Bannan says fiber can be classified as soluble or insoluble, which cannot be digested or absorbed by the body. “Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance that passes through the digestive system,” he says, noting that it has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels in the body, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. “Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and adds volume to help the movement of the material through the digestive system. This can help prevent constipation or problems with bowel movements.”
The best fiber supplements
The best fiber supplements, like so many things, are subjective. What is ideal for one person may be ineffective for another. It is important to talk to your personal physician or dietitian before starting a fiber supplement regimen. With that in mind, here are some of the best fiber supplements based on different key common factors, according to registered dietitians.
The best prebiotic fiber supplement for adults
Nature-Made 6G Fiber Gummies – $ 20.00
“These jelly beans are an excellent source of inulin [prebiotic] fiber that supports the growth of good intestinal bacteria, “says Bannan.” They provide 6 grams of dietary fiber (6 grams of soluble fiber) for a serving of 3 jelly beans. “
The best fiber supplement for constipation
Organic Psyllium Herbal Powder from India: $ 16.00
“If you’re really struggling with constipation, which is especially common among older adults and during pregnancy, an insoluble fiber supplement might be best,” says Byrne. “This one is made with psyllium husk, which contains soluble and insoluble fiber to help you stay regular.”
(FYI: While fiber supplements can help alleviate the effects of constipation, Bannan reminds us that many types of fiber interact differently in the gut. determine the best for you if there is gas). , bloating and gastrointestinal symptoms are the most important.)
The best fiber supplement for kids
Nature Made Kids First Fiber Gummies – $ 18.00
“These daily jelly beans taste good (they come with natural fruit flavors) to help keep your children’s digestive tract on track,” Bannan says. “They offer 4 grams of dietary fiber (4 grams of soluble fiber) for a serving of 2 jelly beans.
The proper daily ration of fiber
Again, it is subjective, it varies for men and women, children and adults. “According to current dietary guidelines, people should aspire to 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories,” Bannan says. All in all, this means that women should get about 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should focus on 38 grams, which you may realize is a lot more than a portion of the supplements. fiber mentioned above.
“There’s no maximum amount of fiber you should take in supplement form, but it’s probably best not to get more than a quarter of your daily fiber from supplements to avoid nasty side effects like gas, bloating, and discomfort. digestive tract, “says Byrne. .
One last word about fiber supplements
As beneficial as fiber supplements may seem, all the experts we’ve talked to agree: It’s best to get the most fiber from whole foods. “Supplements are not a substitute for nutritious foods, but a way to fill in the gaps in your diet that may be causing you problems,” says Byrne. “In fact, fiber supplements may not have the same benefits as high – fiber plant foods, because supplements lack all the other nutrients these foods provide. [So, while] Fiber supplements can help prevent constipation, but they probably won’t lower cholesterol or reduce the risk of chronic disease. “
Given the idea of eating lots of high-fiber foods (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts), Shapiiro says it’s also important to improve your hydration. “When you increase fiber, you also have to increase the fluids to help it make its way through your system,” he explains.
Watch the video for tips from a dietitian on supplements:
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