Fiber Supplements come with a myriad of benefits. But when to take fibre supplements is a great concern now. The best time to take fibre supplements may vary from person to person and underlying conditions. However, you can get a general idea about it here to make a choice.
Plant-based foods are rich in fibre that promotes digestive health. It reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, it helps to maintain proper cholesterol levels in the blood. Hence, protects the body against severe digestive issues and heart disease.
However, when the body doesn’t get enough fibre from natural ingredients, fibre supplements act as a saviour.
1. Types of Fibers
The diet you consume should be fibre-rich to initiate easy digestion. Now what is fiber? Fibre is a complex carbohydrate that is found in plants. In contrast to other carbohydrates, it cannot be digested in the body.
Thus it can move through the digestive system and brings a great deal of health benefits to the body.
According to data from the National Library of Medicine, the dietary fibre intake for most European countries and the US is about 30-35 g per day for men and 25 – 32 g per day for women.
Generally, fibre is of two varieties. These dietary fibres include soluble and insoluble fibre.
1.1 Soluble Fiber
This type of fibre is a gel-like substance. It can be dissolved in water easily. It helps in maintaining the cholesterol and sugar levels in the body.
The food that contains soluble fibre includes oats, beans, citrus fruits, and vegetables.
1.2. Insoluble Fiber
Insoluble fibre cannot be dissolved in water. It helps in promoting bowel movements and thus prevents constipation.
The foods that contain insoluble fibres are grains, nuts, and green vegetables like broccoli.
2. Benefits of Fiber Supplements
2.1. Digestive Health
The function of the fibres is to absorb excess water. It adds bulk to the stool creating an easy pass. Hence reduces the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.
- Promotes regular bowel movements
- Prevents constipation
- Helps in reducing the diarrhea situation.
2.2. Manage Weight
Food that is high in fibre can be quite filling in small quantities. However, it helps in forcing you to take less food. Thus, it avoids fat deposition in the body.
Further less consumption of food can help in controlling appetite and assist in weight management.
2.3. Reduces the Risks of Cardiovascular Diseases
Fiber has lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, so it reduces the risk of heart disease efficiently.
2.4. Controlling Blood Sugar
For individuals with diabetes, fibre is an excellent ingredient to regulate blood sugar levels.
The lower sugar level is due to the slowing down of the absorption of sugar. Thus, this aids in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
2.5. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
A high-fiber diet can be a great option to have a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. It maintains proper colon and bowel health.
3. When to Take Fiber Supplements
A well-balanced diet can be useful in eating whole foods. This food is a primary source of dietary fibre. Intake of fibre per day may change according to your situation.
Here is a list of situations giving an idea of when to take fibre supplements.
Due to low dietary fibre intake, the bowel movement may become tight and hard. This can make you nauseous and can cause severe headaches. Moreover, the lack of dietary fibre can be a contributing factor to dry stools.
Thus extra bulk of fibre is needed to soften the stool and promote regular bowel movements.
In this case, you can take fibre supplements by getting a checkup from a healthcare professional.
3.2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal condition. It can cause:
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular bowel movements
Certain fibre supplements like psyllium can aid in alleviating the IBS symptoms. Thus can provide a good source of soluble fiber.
3.3. Low-Fiber Dietary Problems
Some medical conditions can limit your ability to consume a good amount of fibre through food. Thus the individuals may suffer from severe gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis.
Hence those people need to consume low-fiber diets. In such conditions, fibre supplements can be a great option.
3.4. Weight Management
When you are aiming to lose weight then increasing the grams of fibre you intake can be highly beneficial. A fibre-rich diet can make you feel full easily.
Fiber supplements can be used with a balanced diet. This may help In controlling appetite and reducing the overall calorie intake.
Excess sugar contained in the blood causes diabetes. This can be harmful to health.
Soluble fibre supplements can be a great help in the case of diabetes. It can increase the fibre content in the body. Hence, it can help slow the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract.
Further taking fiber content can help in getting a healthy lifestyle. This can further help in reducing sugar content.
3.6. Lowering cholesterol
Certain types of soluble fiber like beta-glucans can help in decreasing the LDL cholesterol level. This can further be a great advantage for heart health.
This beta-glucan is found in certain cereals like oats and barley.
3.7. Need For Fiber
Apart from all the above conditions, there may be some other needs in your body. So your healthcare professionals may recommend you to get through it.
The conditionals may vary from person to person. Some might have surgical situations. Hence, in this situation, supplements can help.
So, a healthcare professional can give you detailed information about when to take fibre supplements.
Pro tip – Excessive amounts of fibre supplementation can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and adverse effects. So make sure to get a checkup and proceed after a prescription.
4. Key Considerations for Taking Fiber Supplements
It is advisable to get professional help on taking fibre supplements. Because you alone cannot diagnose any underlying conditions. Thus, it can be detrimental to the body.
Here are the steps that you should take to understand just how much fibre and to take fibre supplements:
4.1. Get a Consultation
Before you proceed, the first and foremost thing that you should do is consult a healthcare professional.
This could be a doctor, a certified dietician, or any qualified expert. They can give you personalized recommendations based on your needs and health status.
The three things that you should keep in mind while visiting a doctor are:
- Take an appointment
- Get a complete health check-up
- Seek any advice to cope with the health status
- Grab a written prescription for future use
- Ask for a personalized diet (if applicable)
4.2. Make a Routine
After your check-up, introduce yourself to the supplements. But be sure to use it in small quantities.
Further, you can adjust the increased daily fibre intake gradually.
The gradual increase in the fibre content can help you reduce:
- gas formation
4.3. Stay Hydrated
Make sure to drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Drinking adequate fluid can help in:
- Proper absorption through the small intestine
- Initiate movement of the fibre through the digestive tract
- minimize the risk of digestive discomfort.
- Prevent gas and bloating
4.4. Accurate Time
Establish a proper routine for taking the fibre supplement and stick to it. Because consistency is an important factor. Further, this can help your digestive system to adapt to the elevated fibre intake.
Make sure to pay attention to how your body responds to the supplements you take. If you experience adverse effects, then feel free to consult with your healthcare provider.
Further, professionals can help in :
- Adjusting your dosages
- Changing the type of fibre supplements.
- Altering the timings
4.6. Maintain a Balanced Diet with Supplements
The food you eat is precious to your body. So getting a habit to a proper diet can be a great option for you.
Always take a balanced diet while consuming fibre supplements. You can focus on consuming a variety of whole foods such as:
- Whole grains
- Other fibre-rich foods.
Hence, Supplements should not be a substitute for your diet. It should complement your diet. Balancing diet is a top secret here.
4.7. Read the labels
While selecting the fibre supplement, make sure to read the product labels. This ensures that you are getting a high-quality product. Further, it can help you to meet your specific needs.
Your focus should be on the following factors:
- Types of fibres
- The dosage per serving
- Ingredients present in it
Make sure to check if any allergic substances are present, if this is the case, you can always take suggestions from your healthcare professional.
Some fibre supplements also contain added sugars and artificial sweeteners, hence it is necessary to check it once before consuming to avoid any unexpected problems.
5. Common Types of Fiber Supplements
Every fibre supplement is different and is given in various forms with its specific characteristics and potential benefits. The most common types of fibre supplements include:
It is a soluble fibre that is obtained from the Plantago ovata plant. It is well known to absorb water and thus forms a gel-like substance.
Psyllium supplements are available as powders or capsules that are effective in
- Promoting proper bowel movements
- Relieving constipation.
- Mitigating IBS symptoms
- Preventing diarrhea
Inulin is a soluble fibre that is naturally found in plants. These are extracted from the chicory root. It serves as a prebiotic that helps in nourishing gut bacteria.
Thus Inulin supplements can be available in powders, capsules, or chewable tablets. They help support proper digestive health and regularity.
Methylcellulose is a synthetic, non-fermentable, and soluble fibre. This can be quite gentle to the digestive system. Further, it can help you relieve constipation. It also manages IBS symptoms if any.
Methylcellulose is available in the form of powders and capsule forms.
5.4. Wheat Dextrin
Wheat dextrin can be a soluble fibre that is extracted from wheat starch. It is found as a fibre supplement for most well-tolerated individuals.
Wheat dextrin can help in promoting regular bowel movements and alleviate constipation.
5.5. Calcium Polycarbophil
Calcium polycarbophil is an insoluble fibre that can alleviate constipation. It adds bulk to the stool and thus makes it easier to pass. It is available in the form of tablets and capsule forms.
Each type of fibre supplement has its unique characteristics. The use depends on the specific needs and thus any dietary restrictions or sensitivity that may have.
Your healthcare provider can guide you in selecting the most appropriate fibre supplement for your situation.
6. Precautions and Side Effects
When you take fibre supplements, you can get many health benefits. However, if it is taken with inadequate hydration or excessive quantities then it can cause side effects. These side effects include:
6.1. Gas or Bloating
Increased intake of fibre in excessive quantity scan has gas production and bloating. This can be a temporary problem that can be resolved soon.
When fibre supplements are taken in excessive quantities, they can absorb much more water from your body and thus lead to diarrhea.
Hence it is advised to increase the supplements gradually and remain well hydrated to minimise the risk.
6.3. Gastrointestinal Discomfort
Some individuals may experience cramps in the stomach, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal discomfort when taking fibre supplements.
Moreover, for this reason, it is highly essential to consult with a healthcare provider if the symptoms persist.
6.4. Allergic Reaction
If you are allergic to specific fibre supplements, discontinue them with the consultation of the healthcare adviser.
Lastly, it can cause itching, hives, or swelling and if you face such problems feel free to seek medical attention.
7. Key Takeaway
Dietary fibre is an essential element for a healthy diet. It has numerous benefits. It can help if you are having any kind of problems related to fibre deficiency.
So when to take fibre supplements? You can take fibre supplements at night or as suggested by your healthcare provider per day. Thus, it helps in getting absorbed by your body and reducing constipation.
The key to success lies firstly in utilizing fibre supplements judiciously and secondly, in taking the supplements under the guidance of professionals. Further, it is important to choose the right type of fibre supplement. This aids in maintaining proper hydration by monitoring the body’s response.
Finally, don’t forget to have a balanced diet. You can have high-fiber foods and supplements based on your specific needs. Thus by doing this with utmost care and consideration, you can harness many benefits in your body.