Dietary fiber is one of those things that's necessaryfor optimal digestion, but inherently confusing. That's why I got in touch with Dr. Niket Sonpal, a New York-based internist and gastroenterologist, and a faculty member at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. The best fiber supplements for women(more specifically, cis women) will differ in their dosage ("Women need about 25 grams of fiber per day, while men need 38 grams," Dr. Sonpal tells Mic). But in order to choose the right one for you, there are a few key terms you'll first need to understand:
Solubility: In addition to potentially improving blood glucose control, solubility is also important for regulating bowel movements. "Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and as it does this, it creates a gel that might improve digestion in a multitude of ways," Dr. Sonpal writes.
Prebiotic and probiotic fibers: According to Dr. Sonpal, prebiotics are "the food source for millions of probiotic bacteria that help colonize the gut," while probiotics "help replenish good bacteria in a healthy intestine. Taking probiotics and prebiotics together has many positive effects."
Psyllium husk: Found in many best-selling fiber supplements, psyllium husk is a soluble plant-based powder that "soaks water into the gut and promotes regularity of bowel movements without increasing flatulence," Dr. Sonpal explains. "It is normally used to ease constipation and promote regularity of bowel movements and overall digestive health."
While keeping these terms in mind, check out three of Dr. Sonpal's direct fiber recommendations for women.
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