You know that fiber is an important nutrient for the body. There are high chances that you have seen how weak your digestive system can become without it. Fiber helps to keep the whole digestive system working effectively. It ensures waste is removed, stools are comfortable to pass, and nutrients are absorbed into the body.
If you feel like you are not getting enough fiber in your diet or there’s an issue with allergies and sensitivities that make it hard to get fiber, you may look towards supplements. They can help increase the amount you get daily quickly and effectively.
However, they are certainly not a one size fits all option for getting more fiber. Here’s everything you need to know about fiber supplements to make sure they are safe for you.
There are No Proof Supplements Harmful
You may hear many people telling you that supplements are not good for you. When you can get a nutrient naturally through your diet, why would you want to take something that’s human made? Many people view supplements as harmful ways to upset your hormonal balance. People view supplements in the way that they view pharmaceutical remedies for illnesses.
Well, don’t worry too much about taking the supplements. There is no evidence that the supplements are harmful to your health. In fact, the studies have shown the exact opposite.
Fiber is so good for your body that many doctors recommend that you take supplements to improve your health. Fiber helps to keep your bowel function normal.
Sure, it is better to get fiber from your food. You will also get a range of other nutrients through your food. When your digestive system is working efficiently, you will gain far more from the ingredients since you will be able to absorb more of the extra nutrients. Supplements do not offer other minerals, vitamins, and macronutrients as real food does.
However, that does not mean you should skip the supplements. Just because you eat foods with natural fiber,it does not mean you are going to see health benefits. Your body needs to be able to absorb it all. You need to get enough fiber through your food, and this is something that many people fail in.
Supplement Your Natural Meals with Man Made Fiber
The trick to gain everything is by using supplements the way they were designed. They are not to replace your natural fiber intake, but to supplement it. The clue is the name, right?
When you supplement your meals with the human made fiber, you will increase the amount of fiber that you get into your diet. You still get the vitamins and other nutrients from your food, but you get more fiber than you would have gained naturally. There is more of a chance of supporting your whole digestive health to take in all the other nutrients that you are getting.
It is worth looking at the amount of fiber you get naturally. You can then determine how much you are missing from your recommended daily allowance. This will help you find a way of using fiber supplements to contribute to your daily intake, so you are not stressing about the amount that you gain.
Fiber Supplements Do Have Some Side Effects
While there is no proof that the supplements are harmful, not all the studies have only shown positive results. There are some side effects that you need to be aware of. This is especially the case if you take medications. If you suffer from certain health problems, you will need to talk to your doctor before you start taking the supplements as they could interact with your medications.
Fiber supplements can make it harder for your body to absorb some medications. This is common in those who take aspirin or carbamazepine medications. If you need these for a medical problem, you will want to make sure your doctor is aware of changing the amount you take in a day and find other ways to manage your medical conditions.
If you have insulin for diabetes, you will want to discuss fiber supplements with your doctor. The fiber can help to reduce your blood sugar levels, which could have a positive effect if you suffer from high blood sugar. You may find that you can reduce the number of medications you take for your health problem. However, this can make the fiber supplements a little dangerous if you naturally have low blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication up to make sure your blood sugar levels remain healthy.
Other side effects are not as dangerous. Most people notice a little gas and bloating at first. This is because the body is getting more fiber than it has had in the past. It takes some time for the digestive system to get used to this and use it effectively. If you continue to take the supplements, you should find that the discomfort comes to an end after a few weeks.
You can minimize some bloating and gas issues using water. Make sure you take your fiber supplements with water and drink plenty of it throughout the day. The water will work with the fiber to keep your digestive system working effectively.
There Are Different Types of Supplements
While you likely initially think of pills that you swallow whole, there are many different types of fiber supplements. If you have mentioned taking them to your doctor, they will likely want to know which type you are considering. Make sure you go in with all your options that sound best for you to help your doctor determine if they are right for you.
Synthetic fiber is one of the most common. You can get powders that you add to your water, capsules that you take like painkillers or chewable forms that are more like candies. These supplements offer a “functional fiber” that will help to get to work on your digestive system immediately. While most of these forms are synthetically made, you can get some natural sources.
Natural extracts are popular options for those looking to avoid issues with their health. You just need to know the form of natural supplement you start to take. Lignin is one of the most popular as it is easy to extract. It is a compound that is naturally made of plant cells.
However, you can also opt for cellulose, pectin, or gum. These are sugars found in different sources. Cellulose is from the plant cells, pectin is from berries and fruits, and gum is from seeds.
Another option is psyllium. This is from Plantago plant husks and has shown excellent benefits against bad cholesterol levels in the diet. By lowering the bad cholesterol, it is possible to protect the heart and whole cardiovascular system. Studies have only shown this form of natural and unnatural fiber is beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Taking a Right Amount of Fiber
Make sure you get the right amount of fiber in your diet. Adding too many supplements into your diet can be dangerous. Your body is not used to the amount that you get, and you can end up with many uncomfortable side effects. It is not just about the bloating and gas. Some people have more cramping, as their digestive system tries to handle everything.
Thisis not just a side effect of supplements. Increasing your natural fiber intake through your food can lead to the same side effects.
Doctors recommend that you increase the amount of fiber you get slowly. Allow your body a chance to adjust and then add a little more fiber. Listen to the way your body feels, especially when combine natural and supplemental fiber into your diet.
Experts suggest that you get around 14g of fiber for every 1000 calories that you eat. Women only need around 25g of fiberdaily for a healthy digestive system. When you get older, you can decrease the amount to approximately 21g. Taking a little extra is not going to do much harm, but you will want to avoid overdosing on this nutrient.
You do not need more than 50g of fiber in your diet daily. Studies have shown that any more than this can negatively affect the way your body absorbs all the nutrients that you give. You want to improve the natural absorption of other nutrients, not make it harder!
Too much can also lead to another discomfort in the gut. You can make the stools too lose or cause more cramping, as your digestive system struggles to manage the amount you are giving it.
The side effects are why it is so important to talk to your doctor before taking supplements. This is even the case if you are healthy. You want to make sure you do not cause other health problems by taking too much fiber daily.
Always make sure you take the fiber with water. You want to remain hydrated throughout the day. The fiber will absorb more water, which will leave your body without it in areas that it needs it. The best thing you can do is add extra water, especially in the beginning. Give your body a helping hand that you can for a healthier lifestyle.
Get Plenty of Other Nutrients
You cannot just focus on the fiber in your diet. It is essential that you look at all the other nutrients, both macro, and micronutrients.
A high protein diet is essential for a high fiber diet. The two nutrients work together to avoid loose stools and ineffective digestive systems. They both break down slowly but help to absorb more nutrients into the whole body. The protein will help to keep your muscles building, while the fiber helps with digestive complaints and other health problems.
At the same time, you will need to think about vitamins and minerals. Remember that the fiber supplements will not include these. While you can take other supplements, it is best to get as many nutrients through their natural forms. Think about the food you eat daily to help improve your overall health.
Don’t Worry About Initial Weight Gain
You have likely heard that fiber can help you with weight loss. The nutrient takes longer to break down, so you feel fuller sooner than you would with some other nutrients. The nutrient also takes longer to break down over time, so you do not feel as hungry throughout the day. You can eat less throughout the day, helping to create a calorie deficit.
However, you will not initially see a weight loss because of the nutrient. Your body needs to adjust to the amount of fiber you are now adding in. You can find that you gain a little weight at first, as your body handles the digesting of the nutrient and you change the way and amount you eat throughout the day.
Bloating can make you feel heavier than you are. You can find that clothes do not fit well, despite the scales telling you that you have not gained any weight. This is your body adjusting slowly and managing the new levels.
Don’t worry too much about the initial weight gain. You will often find that after a few days the weight comes off and you do not feel as bloated as you once did.
You can minimize the feeling of bloating and weight gain. Start by increasing your fiber amounts slowly. This will give your body time to adjust. Drinking more water can also help, as your body can push the fiber through quickly and effectively.
Will You Add Fiber Supplements to Your Diet?
Fiber supplements are a popular way to add more of the nutrient to your diet. They are not necessary, but they can be useful. Make sure you follow the recommendations for fiber that you get and look at both natural and synthetic options.
There are no studies that show long-term health problems, but this will depend on your current health. Talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet to protect your overall health.