We’re always being told to consume more fiber. It’s one of the biggest complaints that health food activists have about US food culture, and when you look at the facts, it’s not hard to see why.
Adequate fiber intake is essential for overall health and wellbeing (as we’ll discover below under “benefits of fiber”) yet 97% of Americans don’t get enough.
That’s a huge percentage of the population that’s missing out on a substance that could be drastically improving their health.
This is a substance that can eradicate constipation, regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and improve heart health.
It should be no surprise that constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are such big problems in the US when you consider that we’re missing out on one of the things that can help with all those issues.
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Benefits of Fiber
We alluded to some of the benefits of fiber above, but let’s take a closer look:
- Improves Gut Bacteria: There is a huge market for prebiotics and probiotics because Americans are not getting enough fiber, and this fiber plays an important role in regulating these bacteria cultures (1). A healthy gut can drastically improve overall health, and it all begins with this bacteria.
- It Can Lead to Weight Loss: Countless studies have shown that dietary fiber can cause weight loss (2). This topic is still controversial and up for debate, but it’s believed that its impact on satiety causes it to suppress the appetite, which means you consume fewer calories. It’s important to note that this only seems to work with specific types of soluble fibers. (3)
- It Reduces the Risk of Colon Cancer: Countless studies have linked a low-fiber, high-fat diet to an increased risk of colon cancer and it’s believed that the reason this cancer is such a big issue in the US is because we eat very little fiber and consume highly processed foods. If you cut those processed foods out and add lots of fiber to your diet, then you can reduce your risk of developing this disease, which is the third most prevalent form of cancer in the world.
- It Can Stop Blood Sugar Spikes: High fiber diets have been studied for their potential to prevent diabetes, as studies have shown that fiber can reduce blood sugar spikes when consumed as part of a large carb meal. (4) This is very important for anyone who is consuming a high-carb diet.
- It Can Improve Heart Health: Fiber can have a direct impact on many of the factors associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. It can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol for instance, and one study found that people who consumed a high fiber diet were less likely to get coronary heart disease (5) (6).
Best Fiber Supplements
The best way to get fiber is to consume it in its natural form. Studies suggest that fiber can be beneficial even when consumed in the form of psyllium husk, which is all but devoid of nutrients.
But there are way more studies highlighting the benefits of fiber as consumed through vegetables, seeds, beans and other natural sources.
Detox Organics is one of the best supplements to combine these natural nutrients with healthy fiber, and we have hundreds of thousands of customers who use it to improve regularity and overall health.
You can also try the following natural supplements if you’re simply looking to increase your fiber content:
This fiber supplement is harvested from the seeds of the plantago ovata plant. It is a bulk-forming laxative that is mixed with water and then consumed quickly.
Over time it clumps together and forms a sponge-like brick, which forces its way through the gut and pushes older waste out.
It’s 100% pure fiber, and some of the studies performed on psyllium husk show just how effective fiber can be.
This one gave it to overweight patients and found that it could lower cholesterol, a notable benefit of fiber in general, and it has also been used to treat Crohn’s and IBS. (7)
The important thing to remember is that you need to consume a lot of water throughout the day, especially if you are using prescription drugs like opioids. If not, and if you deprive your bowel of fluids, that “brick” of psyllium can dry out and cause more problems than it fixes.
This is used as an alternative to psyllium as it is said to produce less bloating and gas, a common side effect with psyllium.
It suffers from some of the same issues, works in the same way and provides many of the same benefits. The most common form is sold under the name “Citrucel”.
This one is not as common or popular, but it really should be. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then maybe a scoop of apple fiber will do the same.
This is a natural way to increase your fiber intake, and it’s also relatively cheap, with many major supplement sites now selling it in bulk.
Sold under the brand name “Benefiber” this is a byproduct of wheat, but at the same time it is gluten-free and shouldn’t cause issues with people looking to cut back on gluten. It’s also easy to add to foods and drinks as it doesn’t thicken like other fibers do.
The Fiber Misconception
Fiber is essential, there is no denying that. But there are also a few misconceptions out there regarding it.
It was once believed that the reason vegetables—and green leaves in particular—were so healthy was because they contained fiber in addition to micronutrients.
This belief prevails with millions of consumers and if you ask them what makes things like kale and arugula so healthy for the heart, they might point to the high fiber content or the micronutrients, and the problem with this is that they then think it’s okay to substitute these greens with psyllium husk and a multi-vitamin.
Same thing, right? Not at all.
Research now suggests that the reason these things are so healthy is because they are an excellent source of dietary nitrates (not to be confused with nitrites, which are used to preserve meat and are incredibly bad for you).
These work wonders in the body, relaxing blood vessels, improving performance, and doing all kinds of other amazing things. They also make your muscles more efficient, as dietary nitrates do the same thing (in a natural way) as those nitric oxide supplements that became so popular several years back.
When you eat a bowl of salad you’re getting the fiber, the nutrients and the nitrates—it’s a whole package, and it’s not something you can replicate with tablets.
If you want a quick and easy way to substitute leafy greens and other vegetables, take Detox Organics. It contains extracts of whole superfoods, which means you get those natural nutrients in addition to the fiber, and you get them in the synergistic mix that you’re supposed to.
Conclusion: Natural Fiber is King
If you struggle to consume enough fiber, then there are bulking agents that can help and are preferable to stimulant laxatives.
But the best way to benefit from fiber is to consume it in a natural form, whether that be by consuming a scoop of Detox Organics in addition to some fruits and vegetables, or by eating 5 to 8 portions of whole fruit and vegetables a day.