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Most people need more fiber in their diet. That’s something you’ve probably heard someone say, if not your own doctor.
As you get older, taking control of your diet is essential. Your digestion system can get out of wack fast, and fiber is a great tool to get it back under control.
You don’t want to experience frequent stomach aches or uncomfortable bloating, but this is all too common. Generally, a great solution is eating fiber.
Yet, what is fiber, and how can taking fiber supplements benefit your health? Keep reading the complete guide below for all you need to know on the subject.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is a carbohydrate that naturally occurs in plant-based foods and cannot be fully broken down by human digestive enzymes.
It is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive tract, as well as weight management, blood sugar regulation, and cholesterol maintenance.
Some fiber-rich foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
The two main types of fiber are soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes gel-like which can slow down the digestion process and help with weight loss. Soluble fiber foods include oatmeal, nuts, and legumes.
Insoluble fiber does not absorb water, which can speed up your digestion process, helping food move through quickly and relieving constipation. Insoluble fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.
What Are Fiber Supplements?
Fiber supplements are used when you are unable to get enough fiber in your diet daily. You may also use fiber supplements to help with weight management or to relieve constipation or diarrhea.
You can find fiber supplements that come in powder form so that you can add them to your daily meals.
Or, you can also find fiber supplements that come in capsules, which you could then take with your daily vitamins and other supplements.
Are Fiber Supplements Safe?
Fiber supplements are generally safe, though they do not come without some side effects. It is best to eat fiber from your food, as supplements do not contain the vitamins and nutrients that are essential to your health.
Yet, if you cannot get enough fiber from your food, taking supplements is an excellent way to get your daily dose of fiber.
Often, fiber supplements are used as a treatment plan for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other diseases that affect the digestive tract. In these cases, it is best to leave the treatment plan up to your doctor and discuss it with them before taking any fiber supplements.
Benefits of Fiber Supplements
Taking a daily fiber supplement can help with health problems such as constipation, diarrhea, heart disease, diabetes, and food allergies. When you do not have enough fiber in your diet, these health risks increase.
Fiber supplements can help aid in weight loss, which is one of the most common reasons that people take high fiber supplements. As stated before, taking a soluble fiber supplement can help slow your digestive tract, which lowers energy density.
This means that you will feel fuller without consuming as much. This is why a high fiber diet is recommended to help fight obesity.
Fiber supplements can also reduce high blood pressure, as it lowers the levels of low-density lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol.” This means that you are lowering your cholesterol as well, which in turn lowers your blood pressure and reduces instances of inflammation.
One of the most significant benefits of fiber supplements is the reduced risk of colon cancer. Getting an adequate amount of fiber in your diet will help you prevent diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis occurs when the sacs found in your colon become infected, which can highly increase your risk of colon cancer. Fiber prevents this from happening, and when you are not consuming enough, these risks increase.
Ready to try fiber supplements? Check out Wilsonsupplements.com to get started.
Potential Side Effects
Of course, while you want to get enough fiber to prevent these various health risks from occurring, getting too much comes with side effects as well.
If you have too much fiber, you may experience gas, bloating, unwanted weight loss, a drop in your blood sugar levels, constipation, and diarrhea.
The risk for these side effects increases if you suddenly increase your fiber intake, decrease your hydration levels, and are inactive.
Another risk of having too much fiber is the inability to absorb minerals. Ingesting too much fiber, generally, over 50 grams a day, may cause your body to excrete the minerals in the fiber instead of allowing your body to absorb them.
The most common minerals that this affects are magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. To avoid these adverse side effects, talk with your doctor about what your proper daily dosage of fiber is.
You should start low and increase your fiber intake gradually. While getting enough is essential, be wary of taking too much too soon.
Try Fiber Supplements Today
There are so many benefits to taking fiber supplements, especially if you already know that you don’t get enough fiber from your diet. Consider how much you currently eat and what you want to use fiber supplements for.
If you are active and are taking it for weight management, your dose would be different from someone who is less active but needs more fiber in their diet.
If you have any other questions, schedule an appointment with your doctor to help you find the best supplement for you.
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