Dietary fibers are needed to ease bowel movement. Toxins accumulating in the body due to poor bowel movement make us vulnerable to a large number of diseases. Regular bowel movement helps to prevent toxin buildup in the body. Moreover, dietary fibers even help to remove fats from our body.
By binding to fats, cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine, fibers help to excrete these substances from the body. A fiber rich diet could prevent a large number of illnesses of the digestive tract. It can prevent inflammatory bowel disease, a painful condition characterized by inflammation of the colon or the small intestine.
Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the main source of dietary fibers in our diet. Sometimes we need excess fibers in the form of fiber supplements to meet our regular fiber requirement.
Fiber supplements – types
According to the American Dietetic Association, an average person should consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily. Fiber supplements usually provide 1 to 6 grams of fibers per serving.
Psyllium husk is the most popular fiber supplement. It is the safest fiber supplement. It can be taken for a prolonged period by people suffering from chronic constipation and inflammatory bowel disease.
Fiber supplements are also made from acacia fiber, guar gum, methylcellulose and calcium polycarbophil. To make the fiber supplements palatable, flavors are sometimes added to the supplements.
Some supplements contain added sugar. The sugar-free fiber supplements contain sweeteners. However, supplements containing sweeteners should be avoided by people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
Fiber supplements are usually sold in the form of powder. The powder is mixed with water, juices or milk. These dietary supplements are even sold in the form of wafers, capsules and chewable tablets.
In whatever form you choose to take the fiber supplement, remember to drink plenty of water or fluid. Otherwise, instead of easing your bowel movement, these dietary supplements will worsen your constipation.
Dietary fiber supplements can be taken with meals, in between meals or on empty stomach. People on low fiber diet, should gradually increase their fiber intake through supplements. Sudden increase in fiber intake could increase gas formation.