Getting enough fiber in your diet -- ideally anywhere from 20 to 35 g a day -- can help with numerous health issues, including improved digestion, more moderate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. If you're not getting enough fiber in your regular diet, health publications, doctors and other experts have identified several specific over-the-counter fiber supplements that can help you meet your fiber intake goals. Because some fiber supplements may interact with certain medications, consult your doctor before incorporating any new supplement into your diet.
Metamucil comes highlighted by the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse as one possible way for people to get enough daily fiber. It's also highlighted by the National Fiber Council as the only powder fiber brand with sufficient research data backing its ability to reduce heart disease risks and lower blood pressure. Its active ingredient is psyllium husk, which is 70 percent soluble fiber.
Gaia Herbs Chia Fresh Daily Fiber
The "Better Nutrition" magazine put together a panel of 10 physicians, naturopaths and other health experts. The panel recommended the Gaia fiber supplement as one of the top three fiber supplements of 2010. This product received praise for both its fiber content -- 7 g in a serving -- and its omega-3 fatty acids, derived from natural chia seeds. Those who are looking for more than a simple fiber supplement, but also a general nutritional supplement -- it also contains minerals such as potassium -- may find this product ideal.
"Health" magazine and Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, both highlight Benefiber as a top choice among fiber supplements. Beck, reporting to CTV News, notes that Benefiber contains inulin, a specific kind of soluble fiber, which may help to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract and may also potentially help you absorb calcium when taken with calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products. The National Fiber Council reports that Benefiber is one of the few powder fiber brands that have both an all-natural and a fermentable active ingredient.
Sunsweet Naturals SupraFiber
If the idea of fiber supplementation has you thinking of gross-tasting fiber products, try Sunsweet Naturals' over-the-counter product, which garnered a recommendation from "Better Nutrition" magazine's panel. The magazine reports, "Your daily fiber drink never tasted so good." The product's 5 g of fiber are derived from fruits such as apples, prunes and acai berries.
- "Arthritis Today"; High Fiber From Food is Best for Good Health; Mike Fillon; 2010
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse; What I Need to Know About Diverticular Disease; June 2007
- CTV News; Leslie Beck's Q and A on Fibre Supplements; Leslie Beck; May 2008
- Health.com; Take Fiber to Lose Weight; September 2008
- "Better Nutrition"; The Best of Supplements 2010; 2010
- National Fiber Council; Comparison of Fiber Supplements; 2009