Baby Constipation: How to Identify Constipation and What to Do

Being a new parent can be amazing and very scary. You’ll watch and listen for your baby’s every sound and move. So, it’s easy to get scared by, sometimes, the simplest things. Since we’re all about bowel movements, we did some research on constipation in babies and want to share what we found.

*Please note: Do NOT use fiber supplements and fiber powders to treat constipation, diarrhea, and bloating in children younger than 6 years old.

First: Identify Constipation in Your Baby

Parents are the best ones to identify a change in their babies bowel movements.

Parents know their infants more than anyone. So, you are the best judge to determine if their bowel movements are not as frequent. To check, ask yourself:

  • Is my baby having less frequent bowel movements than usual?
  • Does my baby’s stool look like hard little pebbles [Consistency is the biggest indicator over frequency]? 
  • Is my baby more fussy than usual when trying to have a bowel movement?
  • Does my baby strain for more than 10minutes without any results?

What is straining?

Straining happens when trying to pass a bowel movement. If you’ve ever been through the experience of constipation with no luck, then you know what straining is.

Also, it’s important to note that babies grunt for their first few months. So, if your newborn is grunting don’t be alarmed. This is their way of trying to pass a bowel movement since their stomach muscles have yet to develop.

“A newborn who grunts usually passes soft stools.”

This means grunting is not the same thing as constipation. 

Second: The Cause

It's important to first identify and know the signs to determine if your baby is experiencing consitpation
Studies have shown babies who consume breast milk, are less likely to have diarrhea and an upset stomach.

If you believe your infant is constipated, there could be a couple reasons. 

If you are breastfeeding, “Breastfed babies are less likely to have diarrhea and upset stomach” than compared to babies who are formula fed. This doesn’t mean breastfeeding is the better option if your infant is already used to formula. Keep in mind, with formula your baby will more likely experience constipation. 

Another reason, if you are breastfeeding and believe your little one is constipated, it may be the diet of the parent. Although, this isn’t typically the reason. What you eat still affects them when you’re breastfeeding. So, a simple diet change could help!

In addition, not receiving enough fluids like milk or water can impact your infant’s bowel movements. Just like you! Read all about how water is digestion’s best friend here!

Third: Remedies

First, , we recommend contacting your pediatrician.

There are a few home remedies that can alleviate your infant’s tummy troubles. First, if they are formula-fed, try switching to another formula. 

Second, try movement. We’ve talked about how movement is great for digestion in this blog post. So, it will also help your little one! To do so, have your baby lay on their backs with their knees up. Then do bicycle motions with their legs. The movement should help get their digestive system moving and grooving. 

Third, if your baby is eating solid foods or puree foods, make sure to include some high-fiber foods like:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Prunes
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa 

The Bottom Line

As the parent or guardian, you are ultimately the best person to determine if your baby is experiencing constipation. Afterwards, we recommend contact your pediatrician before trying any of the remedies on your own.

We do NOT recommend using fiber supplements or powders on children younger than 6 years old.

Gut Health 101: What are Prebiotics and Probiotics?

As we become more health conscious, we’re constantly being thrown so much information and it changes everyday! So, we’re here to help explain prebiotics and probiotics. What the heck are they and do we even need them? Or is this another fad?

No prebiotics and probiotics aren’t a fad. And yes, you need them.

Prebiotics

Gut.Three small bowls, an avocado, and 1 half peeled banana. There is a single hand holding a blueberry with their thumb and index finger.
Some of the most common fruits and vegetables are considered a prebiotic!

Prebiotics are non-digestible substances (fiber) which feed the good bacteria in your gut. So, high-fiber foods like avocados, oats, berries, and chia seeds are a prebiotic. But when you’re having a busy day and forget to fuel your gut, there are supplements like Naturlax to keep you moving and grooving! 

“I have bacteria in my gut?”

Yes, you and everyone else do! In fact, we have more bacterial cells than human cells. Crazy, right?!

The good bacteria play a vital role in our health. They’re responsible for things digestion, mood, and even mental health. So, it’s important to always nourish the good bacteria in your gut with prebiotics. 

Probiotics

Prebiotic. On a yellow background, there are 4 small bowls. One filled with cheese, another with chopped pickles, third with sauerkraut, and the fourth with yogurt. There is also a clear glass of red kombucha tea. The same hand is in the shit holding a cube of cheese between the thumb and index finger.
Fermented vegetables, yogurt, sauerkraut, and cheese are all considered probiotics.

There is a significant difference between the two. Probiotics are the helper, live bacteria which fight off bacterial infections and support the immune system. Foods like fermented vegetables, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea all contain probiotics! But if you ever find yourself in a pinch, there are probiotic supplements that can help.

So, prebiotics are kind of like the fuel for good bacteria. Probiotics are the good live bacteria. Both we need for a diverse microbiome. 

“Wait, what’s a gut microbiome and why does it need to be diverse?”

Well, remember earlier when we said we have more bacterial cells than human cells? Your body is filled with trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up your microbiome. Since our gut microbiome is responsible for our immune system, it needs diverse good bacteria to help fight off invasive bad bacteria. Therefore, the more diverse bacteria you have, the better the microbiome is at fighting off infections. 

Here’s How You Can Improve Your Gut Health

Although diversifying our gut microbiome may sound complex, it’s actually quite simple.

First, we recommend consuming more high-fiber/prebiotic foods. And don’t forget to mix it up a little. If you are used to oatmeal, try adding chia seeds and flax seeds into your diet. Your gut loves variety! 

Second, an easy tip to diversifying your gut is by eating fruits and vegetables according to the season. This way, you’re eating a lot of different fruits and vegetables than you usually would. 

You can easily do this by shopping for fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market. This is because farmers markets typically grow and sell produce by the season. Also, this supports small businesses and reduces waste and pollutants! 

On average, food travels over 1,000 miles from the point of production to the retail store.[iii] In contrast, many farmers markets only allow vendors to sell food produced within 200 miles. Some markets only have food grown within 50 miles.”

You’re doing good for you, the farmers, and the planet. It’s a win, win, win! 

Third, eating more probiotic foods! Next time you see a bottle of kombucha tea, give it a try! You can even include pickled vegetables into your salads, sandwiches, and meals! You can easily add in probiotic supplements into your daily routine.

Fourth, movement! You can read all about how movement is great for your gut health here

Lastly, do your best to get plenty of rest. Sleeping puts your body into a “rest-and-digest” state. 

It’s also been shown to reduce anxiety and improve the feeling of relaxation.”

Factors like being stressed can affect your gut health and digestive system. But by making sure to get plenty of rest, your body is able to reduce anxiety and feel relaxed. 

Just to review: prebiotics and probiotics are two different things but both are essential for a healthy gut.

Movement and Digestion: How to get your bowel moving

Uncomfortable bowel movements happen to everyone. We often don’t consider fiber, or just don’t know about it. But there are many other contributing factors such as gastrointestinal illnesses, dehydration, and lack-of-movement between meals. So far, we’ve discussed how dehydration and a low-fiber diet can play a role in constipation. So, we’re going to focus on movement and digestion! 

How Food Travels Through Your Body

What digestion can look like. A man holding his stomach and a drawn white outline of the body's digestive system.
Your digestive system is more than just your stomach and colon!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about digestion.

Digestion doesn’t start at the stomach. In fact, it starts as soon as you place food into your mouth. And the more you chew, the easier it is for your organs to break down the food you eat. Then, once the food is broken down, your body absorbs the nutrients and tells them where to go. So, what happens if you aren’t eating nutritious meals? 

“Processed and fast foods are often high in fat, making them difficult to digest. They are also rich in sugar, which may upset the balance of bacteria in the gut.”

When your diet is high in processed and fast foods, you’re depriving your body of key nutrients. Also, your body doesn’t agree with processed foods. That’s more work or overload for your gallbladder and kidneys.

Anyways, we all know the last part of digestion, bowel movements💩 

We’ve all experienced uncomfortable bowel movements, but probably don’t have the answer to our troubles. While the contributing factors may vary by person, we’re here to discuss how movement can help!

Why Movement is Important for Digestion

Movement. A low shot of a person's feet in athletic shoes talking a walk surrounded by Cherry Blossom Trees.
Getting some movement in after a meal tells your digestive tract muscles to get moving too!

Now, we’re not saying to do extreme cardio after a heavy meal. Actually, we don’t recommend that at all. We’re talking about light and easy movements such as going for a 10-15min walk and here’s why!

Moving around and using your muscles after you eat triggers peristalsis [peh·ruh·staal·suhs]. Peristalsis is a series of wave-like muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract.”

So, if the muscles in your digestive tract are moving, then so is everything in there too! Which means by moving your body, your digestive system is getting a push of encouragement from your muscles. 

So, “How long after a meal should I do light exercise?”

Well, this doctor recommends waiting about 1 hour after your meal. 

Light Exercises We Recommend

10-15 Minute Walk

As mentioned earlier, walking for at least 10-15 minutes around the block or on a treadmill will trigger peristalsis!

Belly Breathing

But did you know there is a type of breathing that also aids in digestion? It’s called diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing. Basically, instead of inhaling with your chest, you inhale with your stomach. This form of breathing helps with digestion because it puts your body into a “rest-and-digest” state. It’s also been shown to reduce anxiety and improve the feeling of relaxation. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Sit with legs crossed. Make sure your spine is aligned. Head over heart, heart over pelvis.
  2. Place one hand on the middle of the upper chest.
  3. Place the other hand on the stomach, just beneath the rib cage but above the diaphragm.
  4. To inhale, slowly breathe in through the nose, drawing the breath down toward the stomach. The stomach should push upward against the hand, while the chest remains still.
  5. To exhale, tighten the abdominal muscles and let the stomach fall downward while exhaling through pursed lips. Again, the chest should remain still.

Yoga/Stretching

“People believe yoga aids in digestive health by reducing stress, increasing circulation, and promoting physical movement, or motility, of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.”

There is a form of yoga that encourages belly breathing with each movement. So, if you are up for it, try it!

We are no yoga instructors, only yoga do-ers! So, here’s our recommended yoga tutorial that focuses on digestion!

If you like this blog about your body, check out our Water and Digestion Blog!

Why Water is Great for Digestion and Overall Health

Have you had any water today? Well, bottoms up! Proper hydration is an important part of every diet, and we are going to tell you why. Basically, water is great for your overall health and digestion but we’re going to share more details. 

Hydration is Digestion’s BFF

One of water’s many roles in our bodies is aiding in digestion! Fluids help move things along in our digestive tract, just like fiber does. But fiber never works alone, it always needs the help of proper hydration! 

Check out our blog post High Fiber Diet, to learn more about fiber!

Dehydration is one of the most common reasons behind constipation. Without enough fluids, your digestive tract can’t easily move or break down food. The large intestine will begin to absorb water from your food waste which leads to uncomfortable poops. Not giving your body enough fluids can really harm your digestive tract and bathroom experience. And if you don’t believe us, then here’s a study done with elderly adults: 

“ poor intake of water or excessive loss of fluid and electrolytes from the body such as during vomiting, high sweat rates or from renal disease can reduce water content of the stools and lead to constipation.”

While H2O is helping to break down foods, it’s also helping your body absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat. Water is a true multi-tasker! 

So far, water aids in digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients. What a pal! 

Water is an important part of everyone's diet.
Proper hydration plays an important role in preventing constipation.

How Much Water Should I be Drinking

Your body needs plenty of fluids because of the many ways our body uses them. Your kidneys, skin, brain, stomach, heart, colon, and your entire body needs water. So, this what experts suggest

Did you know we also intake water from the foods we eat! Proper hydration isn’t only about chugging a gallon of water but also incorporating foods with a high-water content. These can be foods like watermelon, cauliflower, tomatoes, and more

Proper Hydration is Good for Your Body and Brain

Proper hydration is important for regulating body temperature and helping brain function!

In warmer climates, drinking enough water is crucial for your body temperature because of sweating. Sweating’s role is to cool down your body temperature and it can’t do that without enough fluids. 

Some say constipation is a “summer disease” because how easy it is to become dehydrated in the summer months. So, drink more fluids in the summer and warmer climates to avoid constipation and keep your body cool. 

Now, let’s talk about your brain. Researchers have studied how dehydration affects cognitive function. Here’s what they found: 

“ Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state. “

In order to perform at your very best, don’t forget to include plenty of fluids!

It's important to listen to your body if you are feeling dehydrated.
In warmer climates, its especially important to keep your body hydrated!

Hydration is Key

When it comes to digestion and the overall upkeep for your body, water is key! You can increase your water intake by incorporating foods with a high-water content and of course, drinking plenty of water.

Constipation in Your Children: Three Easy Ways to Relieve It

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Constipation in children is something every parent has dealt with. Constipation is very common but it can be easily treated. Here are three easy ways to relieve constipation in your children! But first, let’s discuss how to tell if your child is constipated.

First off, infrequent bowel movements. Now, this can look a little different for each child because some kids might have bowel movements 2 to 3 times and for others it can just be once a day. This is mostly normal, but if you noticed your child hasn’t had a bowel movement in a couple days, then they’re probably constipated. 

Also, a common symptom of constipation is abdominal pain. 

“Constipation is a top reason kids get belly pain. If you haven’t had a bowel movement (poop) for a while or if it hurts to go to the bathroom or your bowel movements are hard, you are probably constipated.”

Here’s how parents can relieve constipation for their children!

Fluids to Solve Constipation

Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Dehydration can cause a number of problems, such as constipation. Fluids help move things along in your intestines which means, no constipation! So, it’s important they get enough water.

If your child is picky, like most, we suggest adding in flavoring drops to their water! They’ll be hydrated and love the fun flavors! 

Here’s where parents can buy all-natural and organic Water Flavoring!

High-Fiber Foods

Eating fruits and vegetables are important for children’s diets because they contain a ton of vitamins and nutrients! A key nutrient to prevent constipation is fiber! Here’s our blog post explaining fiber and why it’s important!

Luckily, the answer to your child’s tummy troubled can be found already in your kitchen! But we should note, children aren’t the only ones that can use a fiber boost. On average most Americans fall short of the recommended daily amount. So, eat some high-fiber foods with your kids.

Here’s a list of High-Fiber Foods you and your child will love. 

  • Apples (with skin) at least 3.6grams of fiber
  • Bananas 3.1 grams of fiber
  • Avocados about 6 grams of fiber
  • Raspberries 4 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving
  • Oatmeals 10grams of fiber per 3.5oz
  • Whole Grain Cereal 9.1 grams of fiber per 1/3-cup serving

Fiber Supplements for Kids

We recommend speaking with your doctor before giving your child fiber supplements. 

What if your children are extreme picky eaters? Well, there are a ton of options out there to relieve constipation for your children. Most kids are on-the-go, so it can be a challenge to make sure your child is getting the nutrients they need. 

That’s where Naturlax 4 Kids comes in! We make it easy to give your child a fiber boost with so many delicious kid-friendly flavors to choose from. 

But don’t worry, just because these flavors are for kids doesn’t mean adults can’t have some too!

As an added bonus, we created a Chocolate Fiber Chia Pudding using our Chocolate Flavored Fiber for Kids!

Parents and kids will love this Chocolate Fiber Chia Pudding!

Like this recipe? Try out our Keto No-Bake Energy Bites!

This Chocolate Chia Pudding is a recipe parents and kids will love!

Chocolate Fiber Chia Pudding

This Chocolate Fiber Chia Pudding contains 15 grams of fiber per serving, giving your kids a fiber boost!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 5 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Add in the chia seeds and non-dairy milk into a jar. Mix together.
  • Add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, fiber powder, and maple syrup into the jar with the chia seeds. Whisk together until combined.
  • Let the chia pudding chill in the fridge overnight to thicken.
  • Serve the next morning or as dessert. Top with chocolate shavings and strawberries or with toppings of your choice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 29.1gProtein: 9.2gFat: 11.2gSaturated Fat: 1.4gSodium: 68mgFiber: 15gSugar: 8.5gCalcium: 215.5mgIron: 3.5mg
Keyword Healthy Recipes for Kids, Kid Recipes, Recipes for Kids, Vegan, Vegan Pudding
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Should You Include Fiber with Your Fast?

Whether you choose to fast or not we wanted to answer the questions: What can you consume while fasting? Should you include fiber with your fast?

Why Fast?

There are various techniques and reasons for fasting other than weight loss. Research has shown fasting to actually help the regrowth of cells and support the fight against heart disease.

“The intent of intermittent fasting isn’t necessarily only to restrict calories, but also to allow your body to focus on maintenance and recovery, rather than digesting.”

Also, fasting isn’t just a trend. Humans have been fasting for centuries whether for religious reason or during the hunter-gather period. Fasting, has a long history and have been studied due to the religions that practice fasting.

It’s important to choose a fast that’s right for you and your needs. Some choose to fast most of the day and leave a few hours for eating, 16:8. Others do a variation between days. So, they’ll fast for 2 days out of the week. However, intermittent fasting 16:8, seems to be the easiest and most popular.

Here’s What Your Body Does While Fasting:

While in a fasting state, the body produces ketones. Ketones are responsible for the protein and molecules that influence health and aging.
While in a fasting state, the body is working by producing ketones.

After we eat, our bodies use glucose for energy and fat is stored and becomes triglycerides [lipids]. But when you’re not eating, “triglycerides are broken down to fatty acids and glycerol, which are used for energy. The liver converts fatty acids to ketone bodies, which provide a major source of energy for many tissues, especially the brain, during fasting.”

By restricting your calorie intake, your body produces ketones. This molecule is in charge of proteins and other molecules that influence health and aging. Ketones also have significant effects on your systematic metabolism. Because of how your body works while fasting, studies have shown fasting to have tremendous effect on increasing life-span. Prolonged calorie restriction in animals has shown an 80% increase in life-span.

What Can I Eat While Fasting?

Contrary from what most people believe about fasting, there are actually a few things a person can consume during this state. This can be foods and beverages such as black coffee, water, tea, coconut oil, butter, and bone broth.

Aside from the healthy fats like butter and coconut oil, it is key to stick to low-calorie drinks and supplements during your fast. Although, the healthy fats contain calories, it won’t break your ketones state.

What About Fiber?

Naturlax Flavored Fiber Packets contains 20 calories per serving.

Fiber, has been proven to help with appetite control. This means, by including more fiber into your diet, you’ll actually feel fuller for longer. Fiber, ” creates a gel-like substance in the gastrointestinal tract that takes up more space in your stomach. “

So, how can fiber help you with fasting? Well, most fiber supplements, such as Naturlax, contain calories that can break your fast. So, we don’t suggest fiber while fasting. Instead, try including fiber into your preparation routine. Since fiber helps you fell fuller for longer periods, it can help fight the hunger cravings.

Most importantly, fiber will relieve any fasting-related constipation! A common side effect of any diet changes is constipation. To prevent this, include high fiber foods, or fiber supplements along with plenty of water before your fasting periods.

Cure Your Post-Valentine’s Day Sugar Overload with Fiber

Did you know 58 million pounds of chocolate is sold for Valentine’s Day?. That’s a lot of chocolate and a lot of sugar! And for those who don’t have a special someone in their lives, “43% of Americans will buy themselves candy this Valentine’s Day.” So, you’re not the only single person treating yourself. 

Whether the sugary sweets were a gift from someone else or yourself, it sounds like you won’t be the only one indulging in treats. BUT the day after this romantic holiday may leave you feeling sluggish, nauseated, and even constipated. 

Don’t worry, we’re not here to tell you not to indulge! Instead, we want to recommend how to detox from a sugar overload. But first, let’s discuss what an excessive amount of sugar does to your body and even mood. 

How Sugar Affects You

Most sugar added in candy and sweets are simple carbohydrates. So, your body easily absorbs them. And as fast as they come, as fast they go. That’s why you’ll get a “sugar rush” and why your blood sugar levels will spike! 

If you aren’t diabeteic, an excessive amount of sugar won’t cause dramatic effects. But this doesn’t mean it’s good for your body. 

Studies have shown a continuous diet of excessive amounts of sugar, long-term can lead to “type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemias, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.” Eating foods high in sugar and low in nutrients, has long-term effects and short term effects for your body and health. 

The Chocolate Wasted Constipation Cure

With flavors like Butterscotch, you are bond to fall in love.

Short-term, chocolate treats and baked goods can cause constipation. Why? Because those sugary foods lack nutrients like fiber. And without the proper amount of fiber in your diet, you’ll experience constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. With or without Valentine’s Day, the majority of Americans “don’t get enough fiber in their diet.” So, most Americans can use a fiber boost! At least you’re not alone there.

Fiber is a great solution for a sugar detox! Here’s why:

First, fiber creates better bowel movements. So, you can forget about constipation. Second, fiber is great at filling your stomach! Most high-fiber foods are complex carbohydrates, which means our bodies can’t easily break them down. Instead, those foods will sit in our stomachs for a longer time thereby creating that full-feeling. Then, when you get offered store-bought Valentine’s Day cupcakes you won’t be tempted.

Or maybe you’ll still eat that Valentine’s Day store-bought cupcake. It is pretty in pink.

Prep for the Day with Fiber

Increasing your daily fiber intake is as easy as Boysenberry Pie!

If you believe this Valentine’s Day will end with a ton of sugary treats then try doing some prep work. You can do this by incorporating some high fiber foods into your breakfast that day. Try eating oatmeal, chia pudding, or baked oat bars.

Okay, maybe you don’t have the time to make breakfast or you just aren’t a breakfast person. There’s a solution for you! Try a plant-based and sugar-free fiber supplement like Naturlax! Not only do we make fiber easy but tasty too! Among our 80 flavors, we have 5 Chocolate Flavored Fiber Powders. So, you can still have your chocolate cake and eat it too! 

Avoid Being Bloated and Constipated during the Holidays

Don't forget to grab some fiber for all your holiday dinners to prevent constipation and that bloated feeling.
Include Naturlax this holiday season.

The holiday season means joy, socially-distant family time, and more food than can fit on the table! This can also include the uncomfortable feeling of being bloated and maybe even constipation. But enjoying the holidays doesn’t always have to end up this way. We have crafted a few tips and tricks to make sure you still feel great even after the holidays. 

Don’t get Bloated on All-Year Round Foods

We’ve all been there, completely overwhelmed by all the delicious home-made plates that we only get to have once a year. Some dishes are too good to pass on. But things like turkey, pumpkin pie, bread rolls, and cranberry sauce can be purchased all year long. So, there’s no need to break your diet or overindulge on these items.

Also, try a lighter hand on the starchy foods like potatoes and white breads or try avoiding them altogether to avoid that bloated feeling.

Move Your Body to Help Digestion

Make sure to move! Stuffing yourself and being a couch potato isn’t helpful for your digestion. We suggest taking a walk or doing some form of activity to get your body moving. This can be something as simple as the post-dinner clean up. 

You don’t have to do heavy cardio if your body isn’t used to it. A simple walk around the block can help digestion and prevent the bloated feeling.

Water to Prevent Constipation

“The intestines require enough liquid to move waste through.”

Staying hydrated is always important but here’s why water can help you during the holidays. Water is great at preventing constipation because it helps keep the stool soft so it’s easier to pass along. [sorry if this was TMI but hey, we’re a fiber company ]. After all, “dehydration is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation“.

Water is especially important if you plan to consume alcohol while waiting for the main course. Alcohol is very dehydrating which will lead to holiday constipation! So, make sure to include water!

Staying hydrated is just as important, if not more important than fiber. After all, you need to stay hydrated while intaking high-fiber foods. Let’s talk about our favorite digestion aid, fiber!

Fiber for the Holidays

Try reaching for more fiber-rich sides like spinach, green beans, carrots, and whole grain breads. Fiber is absolutely essential for handling big dinners because it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Also, it will move things along so you won’t experience holiday bloating and constipation. 

Don’t skip breakfast! Some people will skip meals as preparation for the big dinner but if you are someone who is inexperienced with fasting it won’t actually help. So, don’t skip breakfast. Instead try a high-fiber breakfast like oatmeal, chia pudding, or a smoothie to get some fiber in before the big feast! We even have a Mini Pumpkin Pancake recipe filled with over 4grams of fiber!

If you’re thinking of trying all-natural fiber supplements then we have the deal for you! For the first time, we are offering a Fall Holiday Fiber Bundle! An exclusive deal that can keep you feeling great for the holiday season!

Three Types of Plant Based Fiber Supplements

Did you know psyllium isn’t the only plant based fiber supplement? That’s right! We’ve done some searching and found two other plant based fiber supplements. This includes inulin and acacia, and no we don’t mean açaí. We are going to talk about how these fibers are different and how they are similar from one another. You can determine for yourself which plant based fiber is the best.

As always, we recommend speaking with your doctor to find the best fiber supplement for you. 

They All Do This

But let’s start with the basics. All of these fibers are prebiotic and soluble. Prebiotic means it feeds and nourishes the good bacteria in your stomach and stops the production of bad bacteria.

Okay, now onto the rest.

[Read all about soluble and insoluble fiber in our Types of Fiber 101 post]

We’re beginning with our personal favorite [since we use this in our products], psyllium! 

Psyllium

Psyllium husk fiber is derived from the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata found in India.
Psyllium-based fiber is more accessible than the others.

Psyllium comes from the seeds of Plantago ovata. Psyllium absorbs water and creates a gel-like substance in your stomach. This fiber is commonly found and used in the market unlike the other two. So, it’s more accessible. And with products like ours, you can enjoy plant-based fiber powders in over 80 delicious flavors!

Benefits of Psyllium

This source of fiber comes with loads of benefits like, relieving constipation, appetite control, insulin control, maintaining blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol-you get it. The list can go on and on.

Unlike acacia fiber, psyllium fiber has been shown to be more effective in lowering the level of blood sugar and blood cholesterol. Something to keep in mind.  

Speaking of acacia fiber, let’s discuss this one next!

Acacia

Acacia fiber supplement is derived from the sap of the Acacia Senegal tree found in Africa.
Acacia isn’t gritty and doesn’t thicken in water.

As mentioned earlier, it’s not açaí. But an açaí bowl does sound super refreshing…

Anyways, acacia is derived from the sap of the Acacia Senegal tree. Unlike psyllium, acacia isn’t gritty and doesn’t thicken in water.

Benefits of Acacia

Just like psyllium, acacia suppresses your appetite, reduces gut inflammation, alleviates constipation, relieves diarrhea, and supports in weight loss.

Unfortunately, since Acacia isn’t as popular as psyllium, there have been far less studies on how acacia affects the body. But researchers have found acacia fiber helps protect our livers from acetaminophen’s (Tylenol) “toxic effects”. Also, researchers found when treating constipation, acacia fiber didn’t work as well as psyllium fiber.

Thank you, next.

Inulin

Inulin fiber is found in many fruits, vegetables, and grains but it is derived from chicory roots when produced for fiber supplements.
Inulin is derived from chicory root when used as fiber supplements.

Inulin is found in vegetables like onions and garlic but it is derived from chicory root when used as fiber supplements. Also, it doesn’t have a strong taste so you can add inulin to foods without it disturbing the flavor! This explains why it’s used to replace fat or sugar in foods like ice cream, dairy products, and baked goods–you can’t taste it!

Benefits of Inulin

Other than having a undetectable flavor, inulin has a reduced caloric value. And since it’s a prebiotic it can treat and prevent eczema and even “traveler’s diarrhea”! Important to note for your next international trip.

“When choosing between inulin vs psyllium, you should note that the higher content of fiber in psyllium leads to its ability to fill the digestive tract more than inulin”

Decided on a Winner?

Now, let’s sum it all up: Soluble fibers are a prebiotic that alleviate constipation, relieve diarrhea, and reduce gut inflammation making a happier stomach.

It’s important to check with your doctor to see if fiber supplements are right for you! But did you know that natural fiber supplements can have negative effects on certain medications. You can read all about this in our post here.

Medication and Fiber Supplements: The Dos and Don’ts

Fiber supplements are a great way to increase your daily fiber intake, but if you are taking medication it may not be.
Naturlax Psyllium Capsules are easy to take but may interact with certain medications.

Psyllium fiber is great for your body but it isn’t always the best when taken with certain medications.

We recommended speaking with a doctor before adding fiber supplements into your diet.

If you are considering taking digestive supplements, that’s great! It shows you are invested in yourself and your body. But there are some things you must be cautious of when taking these supplements.

Having Too Much Fiber is a Thing

Yes, too much fiber can be a bad thing. When beginning to incorporate more of this nutrient into your diet, proceed with caution. Do not take too much too fast. This can cause bloating and diarrhea.

Ease into it so you can enjoy all of fiber’s natural benefits. And don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids along the way.

Natural Negative Effects with Medications

Naturlax’s all-natural Psyllium Powders are sourced from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant (psyllium). Although our products are plant-based, it has natural negative effects with certain medications. See, that’s why it’s important to consult with your doctor, especially if you are taking any medications. 

Since our soluble fiber doesn’t get absorbed and isn’t easily digested, (this is why fiber gives you that full feeling), it can slow the absorption of the medication too. 

Dr. Gharib from Harvard Medical School said it best when they said,

  “ If there’s lots of fiber and medication in the intestine at the same time, it’s possible that the medication may get swept along with the fiber, so it will be excreted instead of fully absorbed.”

The Kind of Medicine We’re Talking About

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “what kind of medication are you talking about?” Well, these:

Antidepressants medications: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Doxepin (Sinequan), Imipramine (Tofranil)

Diabetes Medications: Diabeta, Glucophage

Carbamazepine: Tegretol

Cholesterol-lowering medications: Cholestyramine (Questran), Colestipol (Colestid)

Digoxin: (Zocor)

Lithium

All this information and more can be found here! Remember, most of these interactions are mild but it’s important to talk to your consult with your doctor.

Here’s What We Suggest

If fiber supplements aren't ideal for you, there are plenty of fruits and veggies that contain enough fiber for you!
Fiber can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

We need some fiber in our bodies. But what is a person to do? Well, as mentioned earlier, talk with your healthcare provider. They may just recommend taking these supplements 2 to 3 hours before or after you take your medication.

If none of these options fit you, don’t worry, there are plenty of fruits and veggies that add the necessary nutrients into your diet without causing an issue.

Here on the blog, we have crafted many delicious and fiber-licious recipes like our Vegan Baked Pumpkin Oat Bars and High Fiber Tropical Smoothie!

Biggest Takeaway

Since natural psyllium isn’t absorbed and digested, (adding bulk into your stool) it can have a negative interaction with certain medications. This happens when taking your medication around the same time as taking fiber supplements.

While most of these interactions are mild, we encourage you to speak with your doctor before adding fiber supplements to your diet.