The Best Fiber Supplements for 2017 Reviewed
What is Fiber?
Fiber, a critical nutrient at the forefront of preventative-health has been referenced throughout TV commercials, news, and articles online. Doctors and nutritionists regularly talk about the various benefits of increased fiber in the diet. However, modern-day culture has allowed for unhealthy, low nutrient eating habits that have made it difficult for many individuals to obtain adequate amounts of this nutrient. While this may seem overwhelming at first, gaining sufficient fiber in your diet can be as simple as taking a fiber supplement or learning how to cook with the colorful variety of tasty plant foods available. Most importantly, by learning more about fiber, including its different forms as well as how fiber works in the body, you might just be that much more motivated to engage in a creative approach to meeting the daily recommended intake of 25-30 grams.
The dictionary defines fiber as a “dietary material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin, which are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes.” Cellulose can be used to produce paper sheets, lignin is an important part of wood and bark, and pectin is commercially sold as a light brown powder with no energy value. So, what is the point of consuming such substances? Don't picture yourself eating a piece of paper yet, and let us explain to you why fiber in fact so important for your health.
Our bodies do not digest fibers, but they bring great benefits to our organism depending on its type. Fiber can be either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance, but insoluble fiber remains unchanged and it's more bulky. Soluble fiber is great to absorb substances and throw them away and insoluble fiber does its part by adding to the stools and help it pass more quickly through your intestines. Some types of soluble fiber can lower the risk of heart disease, while insoluble fiber can prevent diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Basically, fiber cleanses the body by getting rid of dangerous toxins.
Since it is not digested, insoluble fiber will add bulk to your gastrointestinal tract, and if there is any kind of food residue this additional material will help your body remove waste faster. Some food residues can contain carcinogens, causing colorectal cancer, and by removing this waste through dietary fiber, you will decrease your cancer risk. Even if you don't digest fiber, there are bacteria inside your lower intestines that break it down. In doing so a new substance is created, called butyrate, and it is capable of slowing down the growth of tumors in the rectum and colon. Additionally, it makes us feel full without providing extra calories, which can be very helpful if we want to lose weight or prevent metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
On the other hand, soluble fiber joins with water creating a gel. It absorbs many types of substances from our digestive system and throws them out of our bodies. A great example is cholesterol, which is concentrated on the bile in your gallbladder and it is released to your intestines. It is usually reabsorbed but when it joins with soluble fiber it will remain in your stool and lower your blood cholesterol. Additionally, soluble fibers can help you feel more full and slow down the release of sugar into your blood, preventing heart diseases, obesity and diabetes.
You will find insoluble fiber on fruit pulps, lentils, vegetable peels, whole wheat products, barley, crunchy vegetables and rye flour. On the other hand, a good source of soluble fiber can be found in legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains. Oatmeal, oat bran, citrus fruits, strawberries, potatoes, raw cabbage, pasta and dried beans are considered to have a high value on soluble fibers.
But we are living in a culture that is constantly on the go, and sometimes we don't have the time to prepare the right food. This modern lifestyle can be stressful and affect our bodies and health if we just sit idly by. This is why supplements can be a good way to reach our fiber requirements. It is always better to look for a natural source of dietary fiber, but if you need a bit more and decide on supplements, you should know how to make a smart decision in our crowded market.
For healthy adults, the USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. So, a person eating 2,000 calories a day should aim to get 28 grams of fiber daily. We have researched and collected a list supplements that are highly rated by physicians and nutrition specialists, and these are five of them:
5 of the Best Fiber Supplements in 2017:
Super Seed is a powerful, whole food blend of sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. It has all the essential dietary fiber contents that you need to supply for your body. Super Seed is formulated with organic flax seed and probiotics, along with Garden of Life's Whole Food Fiber Blend. It includes sprouts of flax, sunflower, chia, sesame and pumpkin seeds, adzuki beans, millet, quinoa, garbanzo beans, buckwheat, amaranth and red lentils.
All of these ingredients in Super Seed have been chosen for their ability to support regular bowel function, but also giving especial importance to keeping a normal gut flora balance through probiotics. It is an excellent source of fiber, and two servings of Super Seed provide nearly 50% of the Daily Value for fiber, plus 24% of the Daily Value for protein.
Psyllium is a type of fiber that comes from the husk of Plantago ovata's seeds. Most brands of psyllium husk comes from conventional industrialized farms. However, Organic Psyllium does not use pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. It is a certified Organic product without chemical treatments used on the crops.
Organic India's certified organic farmers grow the highest quality organic psyllium available. From the planting of the seeds to the delivery at your store, Organic India maintains the highest standards of environmental awareness and social consciousness. Organic whole husk Psyllium provides 22 percent of the daily recommended intake of dietary fiber.
Benefiber is a 100 percent natural product. It dissolves completely in beverages such as coffee, juice, yogurt and baked goods. It can be an interesting choice for an additional health benefit after drinking a simple cup of coffee. Benefiber provides 35 percent of the daily recommended fiber for your body, and has 90 servings.
Methylcellulose is 100 percent soluble fiber and found in powder form. Because of methylcellulose’s chemical structure, it only dissolves in cold liquid, so it is great for drinks with the exception of hot tea. Unlike psyllium, methylcellulose is less likely to cause bloating and gas, and a good choice for those who suffer from flatulence. 2 grams of fiber per teaspoon serving.
Fiberlax relieves constipation and helps restore stool regularity. It works by increasing the water in your stools and making them softer and easier to pass through your gastrointestinal tract through regular bowel movements. It should be used continuously for 1-3 days to see results and it's especially formulated for patients who suffer from constipation.
Research has shown that our bodies are very efficient at maintaining homeostasis, which is a healthy equilibrium in body functions. But modern lifestyle changes and an unhealthy American diet can make it challenging to make food choices. Natural dietary fibers are a great source to counter many deleterious effects in our diet, but also fiber supplements can have a huge impact on our health. The good thing about fiber supplements is that you will feel a dramatic difference after a few days. We know more than we did a century ago about how to maintain good health, and fiber is a key ingredient to a healthy, balanced life!