Fiber is important for many aspects of health. This substance is the general name for carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by the body so are indigestible.
Our bodies are evolutionarily programmed to consume fiber, yet because the average American diet is so highly processed, many people are missing out on this important food group. Many people take fiber supplements as an easy way of boosting their fiber intake without hassle.
Fiber is generally present in certain types of vegetables, grains and pulses and although it does not provide nutritional intake or vitamins, you need it to keep your bowels open, your GI tract healthy and your body functioning healthily.
Studies have found that a high fiber diet lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So it is certainly important for overall health to ensure that you are obtaining sufficient fiber in your diet.
There are two types of fiber. There is insoluble fiber which does not dissolve in water and adds bulk to stools. This type of fiber is important for maintaining a healthy digestion and is often used to treat or improve constipation.
Soluble fiber is the type that dissolves. This has many health benefits, including reducing cholesterol levels because it prevents cholesterol from being absorbed by the body. It also slows down blood sugar level spikes and improves insulin resistance so is a good way of handling type 2 diabetes.
Because of the processed diet which is prevalent in the US, most people do not consume sufficient fiber but you may find that making dietary changes will help. Switching to whole grains, eating more legumes, consuming fruits including apples – a fantastic source of dietary fiber, and eating more vegetables may help improve your fiber intake.
So when should you take fiber supplements?
Increasing your fiber intake is important if you struggle with constipation, have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, suffer from type 2 diabetes or just want to improve and protect your general health.
One fiber supplement that we are impressed with is Standard Process Natural Fiber. This good quality supplement contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and is easy to take. You just add a tablespoon of the fiber mix and blend with water in order to make a high fiber drink. Alternatively you can sprinkle it straight on to your food.
Standard Process is a good quality supplement company that provides great health products for a range of issues so is a name you can trust. We love their Fiber supplement especially as it provides a quick and easy solution to improving medical conditions as well as your long term health.