Fiber has long held the reputation and prevalence among the general population for numerous health benefits. However, despite this popularity and significance, less than 5% of people in the US consume enough fiber to maintain optimal health.
Most people around the world are no different from those living in the US, as fiber intake is a matter of grave health concern in other countries. Therefore, people need to enhance their fiber intake by choosing the appropriate food and beverages rich in fiber. However, one can even choose some of the best fiber supplements to substitute and enhance their overall health.
But Why Do You Need Fiber?
Before you reach any conclusion with your fiber intake, it is always best if you first understand why your body requires fiber. Experts define dietary fiber as the component of food that our digestive system can digest without any complications. Fiber is any food that is not fats, minerals, carbs, protein, or even vitamins. Even though your digestive system cannot digest fiber, it still plays many significant roles in the body.
Furthermore, fiber is divided into two categories: soluble and insoluble fiber. Hence let’s dive deeper and better understand the different types of fiber.
Soluble fiber can dissolve with water and form a gel that can slow down your digestion and extend the feeling of fullness in your stomach. These fibers are known for slowing the absorption of glucose to benefit the blood sugar levels and your body’s sensitivity to insulin. In addition, soluble fiber can be very useful in mitigating the adverse implications of type 2 diabetes. You can even increase the intake of soluble fiber to remove water from the stool. And that makes it easier to pass through the intestine. Increase the consumption of food items such as oats, carrots, nuts, seeds, and apples to increase your soluble fiber intake.
As the name suggests, insoluble fiber does not dissolve with water but remains intact to a great extent even when moving through the small intestine. Therefore, if you are having trouble passing your stool due to constipation, insoluble fiber can be very helpful. This is possible as these fibers draw water into the stool, making it much easier to pass through your intestine. This fiber also adds bulk to the stool making it more solid and enabling it to pass with much regularity. You can find insoluble fiber in food items like popcorn, broccoli, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and skin of many veggies and fruits.
Nonetheless, both fibers are highly beneficial for your digestive system. It can be very helpful in maintaining the regularity of bowel movements. All in all, it is highly recommended you consume about 25 grams to 30 grams of fiber from food daily. This will help you ensure you lead a healthy life with a healthy digestive system.
What Are Fiber Supplements?
The anti-carb sentiment has been growing among the general population, especially due to the rising cases of obesity. However, as people reduce their carb intake, they are also missing out on some essential carbs rich in fiber. This is what gave rise to fiber supplements to help one better manage their fiber intake with minimal effort.
Most fiber supplements come in the form of powders, capsules, caplets, gummies, and even chewable tablets. Apart from enhancing your fiber intake, fiber supplements can also be very beneficial for people suffering from health conditions caused due to fiber deficiency.
Many people with conditions such as obesity rely on some of the best fiber supplements for weight loss and also to maintain the regularity of their bowels. Health benefits such as this have further fueled the popularity of fiber supplements, and currently, there are many variants of fiber supplements available in the market.
However, you better make some considerations before consuming fiber supplements, especially if you already have a medical condition. For instance, if you have any type of diabetes, it is recommended you go for fiber supplements that do not contain any form of sugar. In addition, you must avoid consuming fiber supplements made of psyllium if you need to keep your sodium intake under control.
The most common types of fiber supplements include inulin, flaxseed, organic acacia, cellulose, prebiotic, wheat dextrin, methylcellulose, psyllium, and polycarbophil.
Should You Consume Fiber Supplements?
Much research has been carried out to determine the benefits of fiber supplements. Consuming a sufficient amount of fiber can be very helpful for your small intestine, which can consequently aid in lowering cholesterol levels and enhance your glycemic control.
In the case of the large intestine, fiber can act as a laxative. Because of its well-known impact on the water of the stool. Reasons like these paint an apparent picture depicting the importance of fiber for your digestive system, heart health, and even the overall health of your body. The other well-known benefit of fiber is weight management or weight loss. Some of the best fiber supplement weight loss has gained unmatched popularity among people looking for ways to better manage their weight.
Furthermore, despite these health benefits, many experts remain unsure about the health benefits associated with fiber supplements. Many studies determine the impact of both soluble and insoluble fiber on human health. And have been shown to enhance the digestive system to a great extent. This means better bowel movement making way for better overall health.
Studies have further shown that consuming isolated psyllium fiber supplements can help you get the same benefits. This means they can help slow down the stool and make stools much easier to pass through the intestine. In addition, there is still no evidence to support the long-term use of fiber supplements. And has any form of adverse impact on the body.
all the studies available on the subject, it is safe to say fiber supplements do not provide any additional benefits. One would expect from regular consumption of dietary fiber. However, if you are unable to enhance your diet for some reason, then fiber supplements are always an excellent alternative.
All in all, it is correct to imply that fiber supplements can be good for your health as long as you consume them in recommended quantities. However, it would be best if you did not take these supplements as a permanent replacement for dietary fiber. Furthermore, before you start consuming fiber supplements, always make sure to consult your physician and get the right advice about ways to increase your fiber intake.