Best Fiber Supplement for Women
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment
It’s no secret today that fiber is one of the most important dietary compounds for optimal digestive health. Most women experience digestive issues and need fiber supplements because of recurrent hormonal changes in several life phases such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. But when it comes to choosing the best fiber supplement for women, many women don’t have a general idea of what they should look for.
Here we’ll discuss everything you need to know about dietary fiber and what to look for to choose the best fiber supplement for women. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is fiber?
- Types of fiber
- Benefits of fiber
- Best fiber supplement for women
- How to use fiber supplement
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is fiber?
Fiber, also called roughage or dietary fiber, is various complex types of carbohydrates found in plant-based foods that cannot be properly broken down or digested in the human body. Nonetheless, these carbohydrates are vital for optimal digestive health.
Fibers don’t get absorbed by the body, rather pass through the gut and help move all substances that are inside along the way. But they not only work wonders for digestion but also improve many important bodily functions such as detoxification.
People usually obtain fibers from regular diets, but people may choose to take fiber supplements when their foods don’t contain enough fibers.
Types of fiber
Fibers are classified into two types based on their solubility - insoluble fibers and soluble fibers. Though both types of fibers aren’t broken down in the digestive tract, insoluble fibers are those that don’t dissolve in the water, whereas soluble ones get dissolved.
Insoluble fibers are larger in composition and pass through the digestive tract almost intact and thus, beneficial for improving bowel movements and relieving constipation. Common sources of insoluble fibers may include wheat bran, dark leafy greens, and various whole grains such as nuts and soybeans.
Soluble fibers get dissolved in the water and transform into a semi-solid substance that not only helps improve the digestive function but also offers many health benefits such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the blood. Good sources of soluble fibers include fruits, beans, nuts, oats, and a range of vegetables like sweet potatoes, black beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and lima beans.
Benefits of fiber
Fibers appear to be beneficial in various health conditions. Multiple studies showed fibers are effective in reducing the risk of developing:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Overweight or obesity
- Diverticular disease, an age-related inflammatory condition of the intestine
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
Best fiber supplement for women
In order to choose the best fiber supplement for women, you will need to focus on the solubility of the fibers. Since soluble fibers dissolve in water and form a gel-like semi-solid substance in the gut, it not only improves digestive health but also promotes overall human health in many ways.
Soluble fibers can help improve the body’s use of sugar and keep blood sugar levels in check. They also help lower cholesterol levels naturally and thus, help in promoting weight loss and reducing the risk of developing various heart and blood (cardiovascular) diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
A 2011 review published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that supplementing psyllium fibers (soluble) with a normal healthy diet significantly improved various metabolic syndrome risk factors such as decreased BMI (basic metabolic index), reduced body fats including harmful LDL cholesterols and total cholesterols, and promoted weight loss.
Psyllium husk is the most-used plant-based soluble fiber which is derived from the coated seeds of the shrub-like plant Plantago ovata that grows in nearly all parts of the world.
How to use a fiber supplement
The best fiber supplements for women don't differ from men's fiber supplements but only in their dosages. While for maintaining good health men need 35 to 40 grams of fiber per day, women need 20 to 25 grams per day. But doses may be higher or lower depending on the specific condition and aim of taking fiber supplements.
These doses can be taken into 2 to 3 divided doses by mixing with a considerable amount of liquid such as water, milk, or any beverage during the day, but not recommended for just before bedtime. Adequate fluid intake and maintaining a gap of a few hours with other medications are also important.
Precautions and side effects
Though fiber supplement is generally safe, sudden changes in diet may produce some digestive issues such as gas or bloating. Hence it’s recommended to start a fiber supplement in moderate doses and gradually increase the amount to avoid side effects.
Besides, some fibers may irritate the gut lining and cause allergic reactions. Some people may experience symptoms worsening in their specific conditions. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to seek help from a certified naturopathic doctor or nutritionist before taking any fiber supplement.
Fiber is essential for digestion and overall health. Apart from improving bowel movements and easing constipation, soluble fibers help balance cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The best fiber supplement for women differs from men's fiber supplements only in its dosages.
Fiber also plays an important role in promoting natural weight loss and reducing the risk of developing various cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Side effects of fiber supplements may include digestive issues like gas or bloating, and allergies. It’s recommended to consult with a naturopathic doctor or nutritionist before using any fiber supplement.
Here you can check out Vorst’s pure and natural Fiber Mix 900G Organic Psyllium Husk Powder.