Dietary fiber is the key to our healthy digestive system! But often, we need to supplement with it, in order to maintain proper metabolic rate and efficient absorption of nutrients.
If you are looking for your perfect supplement, this is the ideal article for you!
But first things first, let’s learn what is the Recommended Daily Dose of Fiber intake.
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How much fiber should you consume daily?
The recommended daily intake of fiber varies with sex and age:
Male under 50 years old: 38 grams/ day
Male over 50 years old: 30 grams/ day
Female under 50 years old: 25 grams/ day
Female over 50 years old: 21 grams/ day
It is known that the average person consumes only half the recommended dose of dietary fiber per day.
Are there any fiber supplements that you can buy? Of course! There are many supplements on the market, but mainly: soluble fiber supplements. Most of them are derived from plants, but there are some supplements, which are chemically created.
My advice is always to choose natural supplements, as they are gentle to the body and can cause no health harms. Here I should mention that the fiber supplements are not suitable to substitute healthy eating. They can only fill in the fiber gaps in your diet.
The fiber supplements can be found in two forms: capsules and powder.
- The capsules are easier to take and are more suitable for travel and on the go.
- Fiber powder first should be dissolved in water (according to the instructions on the package) and then it can be consumed. In my opinion, it is always better to take a powder, because the body recognizes it as a natural source of dietary fiber. Just as if you eat a fruit or veg (but the powder is much richer in fiber content and has no other macronutrients to be digested).
Types of fiber supplements on the market:
It is a naturally derived soluble fiber, which is mainly extracted from beetroot, chicory root or asparagus. It is primarily used in the food industry to boost the fiber content of processed foods. So next time you see “Rich in fiber,” check the ingredient list of the product. As a supplement, it can be found both capsules and powder, but in my experience, the capsules are overpriced and not as effective as the powder. The price for 200 grams of inulin powder varies around 12 euro.
This is a soluble fiber, which is naturally derived from oats, beans, seeds, berries, apples, and others. It is mainly sold in capsules (where the fiber is extracted from various sources). But there are some powder beta-glucan products, such as oat fiber, apple fiber, acacia fiber, etc.
The selling price of the capsules can fluctuate a lot, depending on the brand, but a high-quality beta-glucan supplement can be found at the average of 15 euro for 60 capsules. The powders are relatively at the same price: around 10 euro for 300 grams, but again, in my point of view, they are way more effective.
Most of the pectin types are soluble, but some brands on the market sell insoluble pectin (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, but the powder pectin is easier to find in the market. Pectin is a very popular type of fiber. As a result, the prices vary between brands, but you can find a good quality supplement at around 25 euro for 300 grams, or averagely 15 euro for 60 capsules.
This fiber is soluble and is derived from the seeds of the psyllium plant. It is sold as a powder, and it has no strong smell or after taste when consumed. The price averages at 10 euro for 500 grams.
Tips for fiber supplementing
I have tried all types of fiber supplements, from inulin to psyllium. I will share with you my Top 10 lessons learned:
- Powder supplements work way better than capsules, as it is difficult (nearly impossible) to overdose it, thus no side effects can be caused.
- Drink a lot of water when you supplement with fiber, to stay 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 from fiber, take the supplement a few minutes before eating.
- Beta-glucan powder supplements can be unpleasant: I had to drink the oat fiber with a pinched nose.
- The most pleasant powder fiber supplement is acacia fiber (it has nutty after taste).
- Psyllium can be used in home cooking to boost the fiber content of meals.
- 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. The prices, which I have stated in this blog-post can be used as a guide for reasonable prices.