If you look at the current dietary recommendations being offered by most healthcare professionals, you would find the mention if fiber among them.
The reason is many organizations including American Heart Association and American Diabetic Association have found that fiber is really effective in improving cardio vascular health as well as controlling type 2 diabetes.
Most recommendations suggest that you should try to fulfill your dietary requirements from your food. Which means that you should take food which are naturally good sources of fiber. The guidelines tell us that we can meet the dietary fiber requirements by eating more fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds. In case we are still not able to meet the fiber needs then we can go for supplements.
Why Dietary Fiber is Recommended Over Supplements
Meeting your fiber needs from food instead of supplements means that you are eating a wholesome meal which includes good variety of veggies, fruits and other plant based products. It also means that there are less chances that you will go for junk food.
More Nutrition – Eating such food will not only meet your fiber needs, but also your need for other vitamins and minerals. So you end up eating more nutritious food. Here are some other benefits.
Greater Protection Against Diseases – Eating more fruits and vegetables will protect you against many diseases such as cancer and heart disease as they contain chemicals which are naturally beneficial for us.
More Energy – Eating more fiber rich food makes sure that you are not constipated, removes toxins from the body and gives you more energy.
When Are Supplements Recommended
In general people who are healthy and take enough amount of fruits, vegetables, lentils and legumes do not need fiber supplements. However, in certain cases supplements may be needed or beneficial.
1. Some people do not take enough food hence do not get the required amount of fiber. For such people taking fiber supplements are always good.
2. During pregnancy, women need to take folic acid and iron supplements. In such cases taking fiber fortified with iron and folic acid is always beneficial.
3. Before surgical operations of the abdomen region, fiber supplements may be used to clear out the bowels. Many times suppositories are also used.
4. Some people are habitually meat eaters and do not like to eat much of plant based foods. For such people fiber supplements are must as fiber is not present in animal meat.
5. For Constipation Relief also doctors suggest fiber supplements most of the time.
6. If the cholesterol levels are too high then also fiber supplements can help you.