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Published on June 25, 2020

8 Best Fiber Supplements on iHerbs (Reviewed by a Gut Health Expert)

8 Best Fiber Supplements on iHerbs (Reviewed by a Gut Health Expert)

You know fiber is good for you and that you’re supposed to eat a certain amount of fiber each day. But do you actively include it in your diet?

Dietary fiber—or roughage—is a type of carbohydrate known as a complex carbohydrate.

In its most basic sense, fiber is plant-based foods that can’t be digested or absorbed by your body. Complex carbohydrates such as cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, and beta-glucans are more resistant to digestion in the small intestine, so they must instead be fermented by the bacteria in your gut.

They’re also referred to as non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) or structural carbohydrates, and they play an important part in your fiber needs.

There are plenty of fiber-rich, prebiotic foods out there that can help to boost your recommended daily intake.[1] But if you don’t like the taste or texture of these foods, you’re not likely to eat them!

It can also be difficult to source, prepare, and eat exactly the right foods every day to keep your body functioning properly. That’s where fiber supplements come in handy, and that’s why finding the best fiber supplement is important.

A supplement is simple and convenient, and it helps to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of fiber every day without having to plan your menu. Maintaining an adequate fiber intake is one of the best ways to support your microbiome and optimize your gut health.[2]

If you are looking for the best fiber supplement, here are 8 of the best ones you can find on iHerb!

1. Now Foods, Whole Psyllium Husks

    Psyllium husk is a type of soluble fiber, one of the two fibers vital for the healthy functioning of your digestive system. If you’re looking for the best fiber supplement, you should definitely consider this one.

    Psyllium husk forms a gel as it passes through your small intestine, absorbing water and helping move waste through your gut. It also provides a type of ‘food’ for your gut microbiome when it reaches the large intestine.

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    One of the great things about psyllium husk is that it can treat both diarrhea and constipation. It absorbs extra fluid in the bowel, slowing overactive bowel movements. It also adds bulk to the stool, which helps trigger peristalsis, reducing constipation.

    Psyllium husk is tasteless (and calorie-free), so it can be easily added to smoothies or other (cold) flavored beverages. One serving of psyllium husk is a great way to get almost your entire daily fiber needs in one glass!

    Check out Now Foods, Whole Psyllium Husks here.

    2. Jarrow Formulas, Prebiotic Inulin FOS Powder

      Inulin is a type of soluble fiber made up of fructose molecules. These chains of fructose can’t be broken down in the small intestine, so they’re fermented by the bacteria in your gut.

      This makes inulin a fantastic prebiotic: fuel for your beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria work to turn inulin into short-chain fatty acids that provide nourishment to your cells, as well as allowing your microbiome to thrive.

      Taking Inulin FOS powder is an easy way to add fiber and prebiotic goodness to your daily diet. Please note that some fructooligosaccharides (also known as FOS) can also feed some species of ‘bad’ bacteria or yeasts in the gut, so it may not be suitable for everyone.

      Check out Jarrow Formulas, Prebiotic Inulin FOS Powder here.

      3. Heather’s Tummy Care, Organic Acacia Senegal Tummy Fiber

        Those who are sensitive to inulin or insoluble fibers and struggle to tolerate FOS or psyllium husks may be better off with Acacia Senegal. This is the best fiber supplement for you if you are sensitive to insoluble fibers.

        This gentle plant-based substance is a prebiotic with high soluble fiber content and can help manage digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. It’s also helpful in managing appetite, reducing gut inflammation, alleviating constipation, relieving diarrhea, and improving satiety—without the potential side-effects of other fiber supplements.

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        This Tummy Fiber helps to support bowel motility in those with a particularly sensitive gut or suffering from IBS-related diarrhea and constipation. By helping to slow colonic fermentation, this formula may also help reduce gas and bloating.

        Check out Heather’s Tummy Care, Organic Acacia Senegal Tummy Fiber.

        4. Nature’s Way Glucomannan From Konjac Root, 1,995mg

          Konjac root is the starchy part of the konjac plant. It’s an excellent dietary fiber called glucomannan, which is often used as a dietary fiber supplement. Glucomannan is an easily digestible soluble dietary fiber that helps move food through the intestines.

          It works by absorbing water in the stomach and the gut, adding bulk to stools, and triggering peristalsis (the wave-like movements that push waste through the intestines). This helps to reduce the incidence of constipation while also minimizing gas and bloating.

          Glucomannan also appears to be beneficial for those with sensitive bowel function, and studies have shown it can improve bowel transit time and prevent constipation.

          Check out Nature’s Way glucomannan from Konjac Root, 1,995 mg here.

          5. Garden of Life, RAW Organic Fiber

            If you need both nutrients and fiber, then this might be the best fiber supplement for you. This nourishing blend is an easy way to get a large portion of your daily requirements in one serving.

            It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber for maximum benefits, along with organic sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. This is a good option for those who can’t tolerate heavier fibers such as psyllium.

            The beneficial fiber in this supplement help to support the balance of healthy gut flora, as well as keeping your bowel movements regular. It can also help to relieve constipation.

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            The soluble fiber content triggers the process of fermentation, producing the short-chain fatty acids butyrate, acetate, and propionate. These fatty acids play an important part in many different bodily systems and act as a source of energy for the cells lining your colon.

            Check out Garden of Life, RAW Organic Fiber here.

            6. Garden of Life, Super Seed, Beyond Fiber

              This vegetarian supplement provides a nutrient-dense source of dietary fiber with 14 sprouted seeds, grains and legumes. Flaxseed and chia seed are excellent sources of soluble fiber, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.

              It also contains a proprietary blend of probiotics that are designed to replenish gut flora and support healthy intestinal balance. Other ingredients including sprouted legumes and seeds also help regulate bowel function and overall health.

              High in fiber, just two servings provide nearly half your daily recommended intake plus 24% of your daily recommended protein.

              Check out Garden of Life, Super Seed, Beyond Fiber here.

              7. Hyperbiotics Prebiotic, Organic Proprietary Blend

                This prebiotic fiber supplement is psyllium free, soy-free, and dairy-free. It contains specific fibers that support your healthy bacteria by helping bacteria get established in your intestine and thrive throughout your digestive tract.

                As a ‘fertilizer’ to your gut microbiome, this blend helps to promote the maintenance of good bacteria while supporting healthy digestion, weight management, and metabolism. Acacia Fiber slows the fermentation process, which aids digestive health.

                This formula also contains a variety of digestive enzymes plus inulin, FOS, resistant starch, and soluble dietary fiber to support the gut and the growth of ‘friendly’ bacteria. This powder can be easily incorporated into a smoothie or other foods.

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                Check out Hyperbiotics Prebiotic, Organic Proprietary Blend here.

                8. Nutricology ProGreens With Advanced Probiotic Formula

                  If you struggle to get both vegetables AND fiber into your daily diet, a ready-made blend that contains all of these may be the best fiber supplement for you. ProGreens is a ‘superfood’ formula that contains a host of nutritious fibers, including flaxseed, apple pectin, and fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

                  It also boasts organic grasses and natural foods rich in the nutrients that aren’t necessarily present in standard vitamin supplements. Along with these greens and mineral-rich sea vegetables, ProGreens provides a healthy dose of adaptogenic herbs and active probiotics, which help soothe the digestive tract and keep the intestines moving properly.

                  The probiotics are an added bonus to the fiber content, providing support to your gut microbiome and their work in the fermentation process.

                  Check out Nutricology ProGreens with Advanced Probiotic Formula

                  Final Thoughts

                  Finding the best fiber supplement isn’t easy because it depends on a lot of factors. That’s why we compiled this list of 8 fiber supplements you can find on iHerb.

                  Just make sure that you’re getting the right one for a healthier and livelier gut.

                  More Supplements for Your Health

                  Featured photo credit: Anna Pelzer via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  More by this author

                  Lisa Richards

                  Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

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                  Last Updated on November 12, 2020

                  Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                  Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                  If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                  If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                  In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                  What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                  If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                  Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                  • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
                  • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
                  • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                  • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
                  • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                  • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
                  • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                  Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

                  Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                  Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

                  1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
                  2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                  The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                  Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                  You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

                  Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

                  If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

                  Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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                  Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

                  Symptoms of fatigue include:

                  • Difficulty concentrating
                  • Low stamina
                  • Difficulty sleeping
                  • Anxiety
                  • Low motivation

                  These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                  Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                  How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                  The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                  Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                  Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

                    The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                    Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                    Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

                    If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                    It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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                    4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                    Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                    1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                    2. Exercising regularly
                    3. Using stressbusters
                    4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                    After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                    I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                    Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                    • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
                    • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
                    • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                    • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                    The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

                    Living Healthy

                    Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

                    In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

                    As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                    Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                    1. Unplug

                    Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

                    Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                    2. Unwind

                    Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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                    3. Get Comfortable

                    Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                    Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                    Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

                    This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                    Exercise

                    Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                    That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

                    I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

                    If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                    Attitude

                    Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                    When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

                    But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

                    Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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                    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
                    2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
                    3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
                    4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
                    5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
                    6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

                    This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                    When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

                    Nutrition

                    Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                    If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

                    Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                    Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                    1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                    2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
                    3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
                    4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
                    5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                    6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
                    7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
                    8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
                    9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

                    Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                    That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                    Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

                    The Bottom Line

                    If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

                    If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

                    Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                    More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

                    Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                    [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                    [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                    [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                    [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
                    [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
                    [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                    [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                    [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
                    [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                    [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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