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make fiber supplements more enjoyable: girl drinking morning smoothie

How To Make Supplementing With Fiber More Enjoyable

We know: Fiber isn’t exactly sexy. But, it’s what helps keep things running smoothly in the GI department, not to mention that it also reduces risks for heart disease, strokes, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

“Fiber is a key player in maintaining digestive health, regulating blood sugar, and supporting heart health,” says dietitian Jennifer Pallian, R.D., creator of Foodess. “It’s not just about preventing constipation—fiber also feeds our gut bacteria and can even help manage weight by keeping us fuller for longer.”

The thing is, despite all of its not-to-be-understated health benefits, most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets. In fact, a whopping 95 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended dietary fiber guidelines (25 grams for women and 38 grams for men between ages 19 and 50). Miss the mark on the fiber and you’re likely to feel hungrier (like all the time), have roller-coaster energy levels, and notice irregular bowel movements.

Enter fiber supplements. When your daily eats just aren’t cutting it in the fiber department, a supplement (such as psyllium husk powder) can help fill gaps and help your digestive system function as it should. The only downside: Fiber supplements can get a bad rap for being less than delicious.

If you dread taking your fiber supplement, read ahead for expert-backed tips to help make the moment a more palatable part of your day.

  • ABOUT OUR EXPERTS: Jennifer Pallian, R.D., is a registered dietitian and the creator of Foodess. Destini Moody, R.D., is a registered dietitian, the founder of The Athlete’s Dietitian, and an expert panelist at Garage Gym Reviews. Alex Evink, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian at Moderately Messy RD.

The Benefits of Fiber Supplements

People commonly seek out fiber supplements to support their digestion, since soluble fibers that form a gel (think: psyllium and bran) can help alleviate constipation by increasing stool bulk and softening it, Pallian explains.

Fiber supplements also promote overall gut health (which impacts many areas of your general well-being) by feeding healthy bacteria. Research shows that fermentable fiber supplements, like inulin, have positive effects on intestinal microbiota, a major plus for gut health. 

But fiber supplements offer loads of other benefits beyond the gut. Two big ones: blood sugar and cholesterol support, Pallian says. Soluble fibers like psyllium, in particular, can slow down the digestion of carbs, which can help control your blood sugar levels, Pallian explains. Research has also shown that psyllium can support healthy levels of LDL cholesterol. 

Read More: 12 Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Tests Come Back Abnormal

There’s also evidence that links consuming fiber with lower body weight, which may be explained by fiber’s ability to keep you feeling full, thus lowering your overall caloric intake, says dietitian Destini Moody, R.D., founder of The Athlete’s Dietitian and expert panelist at Garage Gym Reviews.

How To Make Supplementing With Fiber More Enjoyable

If you don’t mind your powdered fiber supplement mixed with plain water, by all means, keep up the routine. But if you struggle to stay on track, these expert-backed tips can help.

1. Add Psyllium Husk Powders To Smoothies

Psyllium husk powder blends particularly well into smoothies. Pallian recommends using an unflavored supplement and including thicker ingredients, like banana or yogurt, for best results. “The natural thickness of these ingredients helps incorporate the psyllium without altering the smoothie’s texture too much,” she says.

For digestive health and regularity, drinking a psyllium-enriched smoothie in the morning can kickstart your digestive system and establish a routine to maintain bowel regularity, Pallian says.

You can also mix the powder into your morning coffee, soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt, or your post-workout protein shake. “Incorporating the supplement into things you planned on consuming anyway that have a flavor to mask the fiber taste can be key to being consistent,” Moody says. 

2. Consider A Different Form

Powdered fiber supplements are easy to incorporate into foods and drinks, and go practically unnoticed in many of them. That said, if you find powders unappealing or struggle with taking them, consider capsules, suggests Pallian. You may need to pop a handful of them, but that may be your preferred experience.

Read More: 10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Suddenly So Bloated

Gummies may also be worth trying, depending on the type of fiber benefits you’re seeking. “These are usually made with inulin, which is a prebiotic soluble fiber that can promote gut health and increase the frequency of bowel movements by making stool softer,” Pallian says. “It doesn’t, however, form a cholesterol-loving, glycemic-regulating gel like psyllium and doesn’t have the same bowel-inducing effect.” 

3. Start With Small Doses

This one doesn’t have much to do with the immediate experience of getting your fiber supplement into your body, but has everything to do with your overall experience sticking to a supplement routine. 

When increasing your fiber intake, it’s best to start low and go slow, says dietitian Alex Evink, M.S., R.D., of the Moderately Messy RD. Otherwise, if you haven’t regularly been consuming a higher-fiber diet, you’ll likely experience uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and constipation.

To avoid not-so-pleasant side effects and reap all the benefits of consistency, Evink recommends gradually increasing your fiber intake over a few weeks.

If you’re aiming for a total of five grams of extra fiber per day, you might start with one 2.5 gram dose and add another after a few days or so. If you’re aiming for 10, you might increase that first dose up to five grams and then bump up the second one once you’ve adjusted.

If you experience mild symptoms, maintain your current fiber intake level for a while longer before increasing it again, Pallian explains. If symptoms are more severe or uncomfortable, you may need to reduce the fiber intake slightly before gradually increasing it again.

4. Drink plenty of H2O

Another bigger-picture tip for an all-around more enjoyable experience with fiber supplements: Drink plenty of water, suggests Pallian. If you don’t, you could end up constipated. 

You see, “when you consume fiber without adequate water, the fiber still bulks up and absorbs whatever water is available, but it can become too dense or hard,” Pallian explains. “You want to ensure that the fiber moves smoothly through the digestive tract to prevent it from swelling and causing a blockage.”

As a general guideline, drink at least eight ounces of water with each five-gram dose of psyllium husk, Pallian says. This is part of your total daily water intake, not necessarily an addition to it. A general goal worth striving for: eight total glasses per day. However, personal needs vary, she notes. Keep an eye on your urine; if it’s pale yellow, you’re drinking enough!

5. Stay consistent

For best results, take fiber supplements regularly and not just when you need to get things moving along. Consistency is important to avoid digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, or changes in bowel habits. Your digestive system functions best with a regular fiber intake, so sporadic use won’t provide the same benefits.

Beyond your digestive system, you have a much better shot at reaping other benefits of fiber, such as potential weight management, managing cholesterol levels, and stabilizing blood sugar, if you prioritize consistent use, according to Pallian.

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