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 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!
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 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.
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.