As essential as it may be for glowing health, fiber will simply never be as sexy a topic as the other macronutrients like carbs or good fats. Perhaps that’s why fiber doesn’t get talked about enough and why so many of us are deficient in it.
Brands like our winter wellness partner, Bellway are making fiber as appealing and simple as possible with products like their Super Fiber + Fruit in three easy to drink flavors that fit right into your morning routine.
We asked holistic nutritionist and herbalist, Kristin Dahl to explains just how crucial healthy fiber intake is for women below, including key benefits related to blood sugar balance and good digestion….
A Quick Refresher: Fiber For Gut Health
In women’s health, adequate fiber intake is foundational for healthy aging, hormone balance, inflammation reduction, and disease prevention. While a range of dietary fiber intake from fruits, vegetables and whole grains are necessary in a well-balanced routine, the consistent inclusion of a fiber supplement like Bellway’s Super Fiber + Fruit can help fill the gaps if you’re simply not getting enough. Sadly, many of us are not.
Did you know that fiber can bind to water and other substances? It is also fermentable. That’s what makes it so helpful for supporting a healthy weight, regulating blood sugar, and feeding a healthy gut. Since fiber slows the conversion of glucose to the bloodstream, some find it to be an indispensable tool for dealing with diabetes (1). Its binding abilities make it a powerful support for reducing high cholesterol, clearing excessive estrogen (2), and supporting heart health.
In the last 10 years in my nutrition practice, I’ve seen the powerful effects of increased fiber intake first-hand. With my clients, I’ve seen consistent fiber intake result in: relief from chronic constipation, weight loss, and the reversal of pre-diabetes and blood sugar imbalance.
Fiber has also been a game-changer postpartum, especially as babies become toddlers and moms are constantly on the go – supplementing with fiber is a helpful way to balance the body and nourish the adrenals.
Our modern diet can make it challenging to get adequate fiber from food sources alone. There are a couple of great fiber supplements on the market that I approve of — brands that are natural and just as effective as food sources of fiber. Bellway’s fiber powders are made of psyllium, a natural plant known for its husks, which are an excellent source of soluble fiber (soluble means it gets broken down in water).
10 Benefits of Fiber According To A Women’s Health Pro
Here are ten potential benefits of good fiber intake and why I so often recommend fiber powder with my nutrition clients:
Helps Clear Constipation – Your body needs two things to promote regular bowel movements: fiber and water. Regular bowel movements are important because your body needs to excrete waste products that result from the regular bodily functions, including digestion, as well as from exposure to toxins that build up in the body. You want these substances cleared out as soon as possible. As long as you’re hydrating properly alongside adequate fiber consumption, most healthy women should experience regular bowel movements.
What is considered “regular”? This varies from person to person, but a typical range is one to three times daily. If you go two or more days without a bowel movement, you likely suffer from constipation. Increasing your fiber intake, along with water, can help get things going.
Psyllium offers relief for occasional pregnancy and postpartum constipation, as well as the constipation that sometimes comes with the flux of hormones during the premenstrual and menstrual phases of your cycle.
Helps Regulate Weight If you’re trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, an increase in fiber can help in a few ways; one, by keeping you full longer; two, by helping to regulate blood sugar levels; three by eliminating cravings so that you’re less likely to eat throughout the day.
I’ve worked with countless women who have been trying to lose weight for years and the inclusion of fiber is a key player in their success.
Helps Balance Blood Sugar – Psyllium slows the absorption of glucose to the bloodstream from the food we eat and increases insulin sensitivity to keep you satiated longer, which supports the body in maintaining glycemic balance. (1)
Helps Balance + Rebuild the Microbiome – Psyllium acts as a prebiotic which helps to feed the proliferation and colonization of healthy bacteria in the gut. Healthy gut bacteria is essential for overall health and wellbeing.
The majority of the feel-good hormone, serotonin is made in the gut. Fiber feeds gut bacteria, which feeds the gut, which in turn can optimize those feel-good hormones and your mood.
Helps Clear Skin Issues – By supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes, regulating blood sugar, binding to excess hormones, and increasing bowel movements, fiber can help your skin glow. Your skin is a manifestation of what’s going on deeper in your body, so the best place to start addressing skin health is through diet.
Adequate fiber will ensure your body is regularly eliminating waste products and toxins. It can also help balance your microbiome, which can also be a source of skin issues.
Helps Clear Gas + Bloating – Think of psyllium as a binding and a bulking agent. It binds to partially digested food (along with excess gas), bulks the stool by absorbing water and clears gas and waste through larger, more complete and easy to pass bowel movements.
Helps Balance hormones – Psyllium binds to and helps to clear excess hormones in the forms of estrogen and cholesterol and pulls them out through your daily elimination. Adequate fiber intake can play a helpful role in the diet when hormone-related issues such as pms, pcos, fibroids and menopause are being dealt with(2).
Helps Heal Hemorrhoids – Those with infrequent bowel movements are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. The best way to ensure regular movements is to increase your fiber intake. This may help prevent constipation and can make stool softer, so it is easier to eliminate, thereby healing painful hemorrhoids and avoiding recurrence.
Helps Support Detoxification – Psyllium is a wonderful addition to any internal cleansing regimen. Since psyllium fiber works as a bulking and binding agent, it helps to support the liver and kidneys by absorbing waste products and toxins and clearing them out of the body through bowel movements. This is especially important when you’re on a cleanse: if you’re not eliminating waste products and toxins, you might simply reabsorb them back into the body.
Tips for increasing your daily fiber intake:
My best advice for increasing your daily fiber intake is to go slowly. Introduce more fiber-rich foods into your routine and consider taking 1 tsp of psyllium in a full glass of water each day. Build up over the course of two weeks to 2x per day. Keep in mind that an increase in fiber of any kind in your diet must be followed by an increase in water — stay hydrated!
Bellway contains no fillers or mystery ingredients and is so easy to add into your morning routine! Psyllium draws water (and waste) into your colon. When you take Bellway every morning, simply mix 1 tsp in a full glass of water and drink.
Again, so may of us are deficient in adequate fiber intake — consider increasing your water and fiber intake with a simple product like this one. And see your own doctor or nutritionist to learn more about your body’s own fine-tuned needs.
This story is brought to you in partnership with Bellway. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.