Fiber is essential for healthy digestion, and high-fiber diets are linked to better heart health.
High fiber food sources include:
- split peas
- Black beans
- Lima beans
There are fiber supplements available in many forms that can help those who want to increase the amount of fiber in their diet if they are not eating or getting enough food.
Some of the reasons people use fiber supplements include preventing constipation, lowering cholesterol, managing weight, glucose, and diverticulitis (1).
It may also regulate blood sugar and even reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, soluble fiber is associated with lower blood pressure, which may lead to reduced cardiovascular risk (
You can find soluble fiber in foods like:
- flax seed
- dried peas
Insoluble fiber does not absorb water and adds bulk to your stool. It helps move food quickly through your digestive system and can relieve constipation. Insoluble fiber has been linked to a reduced risk of diverticulitis and cardiovascular disease (8,
You can find insoluble fiber in foods like:
- dark green leafy vegetables
- Brown rice
- Benefits: Inulin helps maintain intestinal bacteria.
- fiber content: 3 grams for 2 tablets.
Inulin can be found in chewable tablets like Choice of fiberWhich one is 100% prebiotic fibers.
- Benefits: Less likely than psyllium to cause bloating and gas.
- fiber content: 2 grams per tablespoon, 1 gram per 2 caplets.
It is also sold as a thickener and emulsifier in the culinary world. Due to the chemical structure of methylcellulose, it only dissolves in cold, not hot liquid (18).
- Benefits: Relieves painful symptoms of IBS and Crohn’s disease.
- fiber content: 6 grams for 2 tablespoons, 2 grams for 5 capsules.
Psyllium, also called ispaghula, is made from the seed husks of the herb Plantago ovata. Psyllium contains 70% soluble fibermeaning it may help increase feelings of fullness and slow digestion (19,
It also contains 30% insoluble fiber, so it passes through the gut relatively intact, providing bulk and helping to regulate bowel movements (
Besides the overall good feeling of being regular, research has shown that psyllium – present in the form metamucil — may relieve painful symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and anal fissures (
- Benefits: It is gluten-free and can be added to foods when cooking.
- fiber content: 3 grams for 2 tbsp.
It can also be used in cooking and does not thicken. Like most soluble fiber, it also helps regulate your digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels (
Benefiber contains only soluble fiber, so it’s helpful for people trying to manage their blood sugar, such as people with type 2 diabetes (
Although there is no evidence to suggest that fiber supplements are harmful, it is best to get fiber from natural sources to ensure that you are better able to reap the health benefits that fiber provides. food (
Whether you increase your fiber intake with a supplement or a high-fiber diet, be sure to increase your fluid intake as you increase your fiber intake. Liquid is needed to help push fiber through the digestive tract.
Increasing your dietary fiber intake is generally considered safe for most people, but if you’re having gastrointestinal issues beyond occasional constipation, talk to your healthcare provider before adding supplements. of fiber to your routine.