Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet.
It not only supports healthy digestion, but it has a positive impact on weight management, heart health, and blood sugar control.
This article will explain what fiber is, as well as explain who may benefit from adding a fiber supplement to their routine.
What is fiber?
Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate found in plants. It’s found in a wide variety of plant foods including fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains.
Many of fiber’s benefits are largely due to the millions of bacteria that live in our guts.
Instead of being absorbed by the body, fiber is fermented by the bacteria in the intestines. This fermentation creates a byproduct called short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic disease.
Fiber can be broken down into two main categories: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fibers dissolve in water and feed the gut bacteria, while insoluble fibers are not fermentable by gut bacteria and instead provide bulk to improve digestion.
How much fiber do you need?
Most people do not consume enough fiber. It’s recommended that women consume 25g of fiber daily and men consume 38g daily.
However, national surveys estimate that only about 5% of the population in the United States meets the recommended amounts.
People may not be meeting their fiber needs because they simply may not be aware they are not getting enough. Another potential reason for low fiber intake is because of current diet trends such as gluten-free and keto diets, which are inherently low in dietary fiber.
Although fiber is bountiful in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, it can be challenging for many people to consume enough.
This is where supplementation can play a huge role in boosting health and helping people to meet their needs.
Should you take a fiber supplement?
Many people could benefit from increasing their fiber intake, whether through their food or supplements – or both.
If you’re looking to help support your digestion, manage your weight, improve heart health, reduce blood sugar, or simply support overall health, you can probably benefit from increasing your fiber intake.
Here are some groups that can benefit from increased fiber intake:
Those with digestion issues
Both soluble and insoluble fiber helps improve digestion.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, allowing for easier transit through the digestive tract. Those with constipation or diarrhea can often find relief from adopting a high-fiber diet.
Plus, soluble fibers are especially good at promoting the growth of good gut bacteria, leading to healthier digestion and less bloating.
The fermentation of soluble fibers by gut bacteria produces short-chain fatty acids which include acetate, buyrate, and propionate. These fatty acids reduce gut inflammation which can be beneficial for inflammatory gut conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.
However, if you suffer from any of these conditions it is best to work with a trained healthcare provider to determine the best type of fiber and treatment for your body.
It’s important to note that some people may experience increased gas and bloating in the beginning stages of increasing fiber intake. Therefore, it’s often best to gradually increase fiber intake.
Those looking to manage a healthy weight
Fiber is great for weight management because it helps immensely with satiety.
Having a fiber-rich meal or snack keeps you satisfied and makes it less likely you’ll overeat. Ultimately, if you’re less hungry and consume less food, you may shed some pounds.
Studies show that high-fiber diets can lead to weight loss by reducing overall caloric intake (3).
Because fiber takes longer to move through the digestive system, it creates a prolonged sensation of fullness, leading to reduced intake.
Those looking to improve heart health
Both types of fiber – soluble and insoluble – have been shown to be effective in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.
Fiber is able to bind to cholesterol in the digestive system and drag it out of the body before it’s able to circulate and be absorbed.
Fiber supplements have been shown to specifically target the reduction of LDL cholesterol, which is the type of cholesterol that is correlated to an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Additionally, high fiber diets have also been shown to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure, which are important factors in supporting heart health.
Those looking to manage blood sugar
If you’re looking to stabilize blood sugar or prevent diabetes, increasing fiber intake is an important goal.
After all, fiber plays an important role in blood sugar stabilization.
It’s been shown that soluble fibers slow the absorption of sugar, which therefore reduces blood sugar spikes and can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, fiber does not require insulin which means that consuming a fiber supplement leads to no changes in blood sugar. Including a fiber supplement along with a meal, however, can slow the absorption of carbohydrates, which leads to a more gradual increase in blood sugar.
Best sources of fiber
Fiber can be found both in foods and supplements.
Some of the best sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Here are some great sources of dietary fiber:
- Fruits: apples, raspberries, blackberries, kiwis, plums, and oranges
- Vegetables: brussels sprouts, artichokes, collard greens, and broccoli
- Beans: black beans, navy beans, lentils, and chickpeas
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds
- Whole grains: quinoa, barley, farro, oats, and buckwheat
In addition to dietary sources of fiber, fiber supplements can be quite beneficial for increasing daily fiber intake. Naked Fiber is a fiber supplement made from a fruit native to Northern Africa, known as baobab.
Baobab is approximately 50% dietary fiber and includes a combination of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Naked Fiber provides 5 grams of fiber in each serving and can easily be mixed into any beverage, up to three times daily. It’s super easy to bring on-the-go and a great way to ensure you are meeting your daily fiber needs.
Adding a fiber supplement to your routine can be a great way to improve your health and ensure you are meeting your daily fiber needs. After all, most people are falling short of fiber recommendations.
Fiber supplements can be helpful for anyone, but can be especially beneficial if you’re looking to improve digestion, protect heart health, control weight, or manage blood sugar.
Adding a supplement like Naked Fiber can be a simple way to boost your intake and support your health.