Dietary fiber plays an important role in supporting and promoting your healthy digestive system, gut, and weight! However, Western diet (also known as standard American diet) is often associated with insufficiently low dietary fiber intake. 
For that reason, often people who make poor nutritional choices or have a low-fiber diet (poor in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds) may need to supplement with additional fiber in order to compensate for the caused infufficiency and maintain their digestive and gut health.
This article will guide you through the different types of fiber supplements that you can find on the market and will give you some tips on how to take those!
But first things first, let’s learn what the recommended daily fiber intake is and why we need fiber to stat healthy.
Don’t forget to consult with your healthcare provider whether fiber supplementation is suitable for you and your health condition (especially if you suffer from chronic health conditions or take medications). In any case, don’t start supplementing without the permission of your doctor or dietitian.
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How much fiber to eat a day?
The recommended daily intake of fiber varies mainly with calorie consumption. That being said, the recommended dietary fiber intake in the US is 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 consumed calories, according to FiberFacts.org.
That makes about 25grams of fiber for women and 38 grams of fiber for men (taking into account the daily calorie intake in the US).
(Not) a fun fact: the average person consumes only half the recommended dose of dietary fiber per day.
Why is fiber healthy?
Recent medical research has confirmed the suggestions about the health benefits of dietary fiber consumption. Those health benefits include :
- Lower risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases
- Support heart health and reduce risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
- Reduced risk of colorectal cancer
- Improved cholesterol profile
Nonetheless, every type of dietary fiber has some unique health benefits, which you can find in the next section.
What fiber supplement is best?
Are there any fiber supplements that you can buy? Of course! There are many supplements on the market, most of them derived from plants while others are chemically created.
When it comes to choosing the best supplement for you, it’s a good idea to consult this decision with your healthcare provider or a dietitian, as he/she can give you tailored advice, taking into account your health condition, allergies, and dietary pattern. The same applies to the amount of supplement that you should take daily.
Keep in mind that by taking fiber supplements you are NOT substituting diverse and balanced diet.
Now let’s see the different types of fiber supplements:
You can often find fiber supplements in two forms: capsules and powder.
- The capsules are easier to take and are more suitable for travel and on the go.
- Fiber powder should be dissolved in water (according to the instructions on the package) before consumption.
Usually there is little to no difference in the efficiency of the supplement when it comes to its form.
Types of fiber supplements on the market
It is a naturally derived soluble fiber, which is often extracted from beetroot, chicory root or asparagus. Inulin is a prebiotic fiber which plays a role in supporting and improving gut and digestive health. 
It is primarily used in the food industry to increase the fiber content of processed foods (so next time you see “Rich in fiber,” check the ingredient list of the product, maybe you’ll see inulin). As a supplement, it can be found both capsules and powder.
This is a soluble fiber, which is naturally derived from oats, beans, seeds, berries, apples, and others. It is mainly sold in capsules (where fiber is extracted from various sources). However, there are some powder beta-glucan products, such as oat fiber, apple fiber, acacia fiber, etc.
Multiple medical studies have evidenced the imunomodulating properties of beta-glucan, as well as it’s potentially positive effect on various health conditions including infections, arthritis, diabetes, low immunity and cancer. 
You can find both soluble and insoluble pectin fiber (always check the description of the supplement when buying). It is naturally derived from fruits` peels, nuts, and seeds. The most popular type is apple and citrus pectin, and again, they can be found in the form of both capsules and powder.
Evidence suggests that pectin may play a role in improving the absorption of iron in the gut, protecting the body tissues from microbial invasion during stress, and helping the body to detoxify from heavy metals and toxins. 
This fiber is soluble and is derived from the seeds of the psyllium plant. It is usually sold as a powder, and it has no strong smell or after taste when consumed. Psyllium husk can help patients with IBS to improve their life quality by supporting healthy stool formation (and preventing diarrhea and constipation). 
How to take fiber supplements?
Below you can find TOP 8 tips for fiber supplementation.
- Capsules are easier to take, and don’t have strong taste or smell (unlike most fiber powders).
- Drink a lot of water when you supplement with fiber. This way you will stay properly hydrated.
- Follow the instructions on the fiber supplement package to prevent side effects, such as bloating and cramping.
- If you take medications (e.g., ibuprofen), consult with your doctor if you can start supplementing with fiber.
- To experience all the benefits of dietary fiber, take the supplement a few minutes before eating.
- You can use powder fiber supplements for baking and cooking, as this way you can increase the fiber content of your dishes.
- Pectin can be found in many different flavors, so you have the freedom to choose your favorite.
- Do not spend too much on fiber. It is cheap to produce fiber supplements, but because of their popularity and the strong demand, the brands increase the prices. Therefore, it’s often not worth it go for the most expensive fiber product.