The 9 Best Fiber Supplements of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Boost digestion and meet your daily fiber requirements

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First Look

Best Overall: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber at Amazon

"No matter your food allergies or preferences, this supplement provides a natural option with its gluten, dairy, soy-free formula."

Best for Constipation: Organic India Psyllium Herbal Powder at Amazon

"While some fiber supplements contain either soluble or insoluble fiber, this option contains both to boost regularity and cleanse."

Best Budget: Benefiber On-the-Go Sticks at Amazon

"Receive three grams of fiber from one stick, which you can easily stick into a pocket or your bag for when you're on the go."

Best for Diarrhea: Heather's Tummy Fiber Organic Acacia Senegal at Amazon

"If you're experiencing diarrhea or IBS symptoms, this prebiotic absorbs excess fluid and slows down the passage of stool."

Best Natural: Mamma Chia White Chia Seeds at vitacost.com

"If you prefer to take a non-supplement route, these protein and magnesium-infused chia seeds are a versatile meal addition."

Best for IBS: Anthony's Organic Psyllium Husk at Amazon

"A budget-friendly powder, Anthony's psyllium husk can easily be added to water or smoothies as your daily dose."

Best to Help Lower Cholesterol: Garden of Life Raw Organic Flax Seed Meal with Chia Seeds at Amazon

"You can reap multiple nutritional benefits from this flax and chia blend that not only aids digestion but heart and brain health."

Best Capsules: Renew Life Daily Digestive Prebiotic Fiber at Amazon

"If you're prone to gas and bloat, these capsules may provide comfort along with constipation relief."

Best Gummy: Benefiber Assorted Fruit Gummies at Amazon

"A low-sugar supplement to your daily fiber intake, these'll remind you of the fruit-flavored gummies of your childhood."

There are many types of gastrointestinal distress. One of the primary forms of distress is constipation. In fact, it is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal complaints in the United States with at least 2.5 million doctor visits for constipation in the US each year, and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on laxatives yearly. One reason for the high rates of gastrointestinal distress in this country is that the average American only consumes about 50% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. The recommended daily intake is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Your exact needs may vary depending on your energy needs. The American Heart Association suggests eating a variety of foods to meet your fiber needs. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds are all rich in fiber, and while it's best to meet your needs through food, supplementation can be a helpful way to boost your intake. 

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like consistency that can help to lower cholesterol, balance hormone levels, and improve glucose levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, but it helps constipation by bulking stool and increasing bowel transit time. Fiber supplements contain one or both of these fibers to help improve digestion, and many incorporate other complementary ingredients.

A quick note: when increasing your fiber intake, it is important to increase the amount of water consumed during the day. The water that is absorbed by fiber comes from food and beverages during the day as well as your body's fluid reserves. If you're not consuming enough water with fiber-rich foods and fiber supplements, you are more likely to become dehydrated, which can worsen constipation. Plus, if you don't drink fluid as directed with your fiber supplement, the added bulk of a fiber supplement can create intestinal discomfort or potentially swell in your throat, making it difficult to swallow.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber

One of the top companies in the supplement industry, Garden of Life, created Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber that checks all the boxes you could want in a supplement. Certified USDA Organic, non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and kosher-certified, this is a high quality, best all-around product. 

This product is made with optimal gut health in mind. Formulated with an organic prebiotic fiber blend, this powder feeds the good bacteria in the gut. In addition to feeding the beneficial gut bacteria and supporting a healthy GI tract, prebiotics have been shown to improve immunity. One tablespoon provides five grams of fiber (four grams of soluble fiber and one gram of insoluble fiber). According to one five star Amazon review, “[this is] the most gentle fiber I've ever used. It dissolves easily and there is no thickening or gritty residue, and the results are easy and dependable.”

Best for Constipation: Organic India Psyllium Herbal Powder

Organic India Psyllium

Courtesy of Amazon

In order to combat constipation, it's important to look for a fiber supplement that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass through your digestive system more quickly. Soluble fiber helps stool pass through the intestinal tract by absorbing water from your stomach and intestines, turning the fiber into a gel consistency (think of it almost as a lubricant). 

Organic India’s Psyllium Herbal Power is a non-GMO, vegan-friendly product that contains a total of four grams of fiber per serving. One serving (one tablespoon) provides three grams of soluble fiber and one gram of insoluble fiber. It's recommended to add one tablespoon of psyllium husk to a ten ounce glass of water or your favorite beverage and drink immediately. If left in liquid for a while, the psyllium mixture will become thick and gel-like thanks to the soluble fiber. For an even tastier option, try adding one serving to your favorite smoothie or overnight oats. 

Best Budget: Benefiber On-the-Go Sticks

Who likes to tote around their large tub of fiber powder? Enter Benefiber’s convenient on-the-go sticks. Not only is this product great for on the go, it is a great choice for those on a budget. Benefiber is gluten and sugar-free as well as non-GMO, and each stick provides three grams of fiber. The powder dissolves clear in liquid and contains no taste. If this product is not for you, GSK Consumer Healthcare will provide you with a reimbursement within 45 days of the date of purchase.

Best for Diarrhea: Heather's Tummy Fiber Organic Acacia Senegal

Heather's Tummy Fiber is made of 100% organic Acacia Senegal, a soluble form of fiber. Soluble fiber can aid in the alleviation of diarrhea by absorbing excess fluid and slows down the passage of stool through the intestines. Research on acacia fiber and its role in helping diarrhea is limited; however, some reviews show it might be helpful in aiding symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

A prebiotic, Acacia Senegal can also help support the growth of good gut bacteria. Acacia is the sole ingredient in this product, which is also free of gluten, artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. It is recommended to start with a half of a teaspoon twice a day, increasing gradually. 

Best Natural: Mamma Chia White Chia Seeds

Mamma Chia Seeds

 Courtesy of Mamma Chia

Chia seeds are by far the best option if you are looking for a way to improve your GI health and overall well-being without supplements. Packing 16% of the recommended daily intake of fiber in one tablespoon, these small but mighty seeds are also full of nutrition. Containing three grams of protein, four grams of healthy fat and 10% of the recommended intake of magnesium, chia seeds are a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or on top of avocado toast. When in contact with water, chia seeds swell to about ten times their size and form a lubricating gel that can help move stool through the intestines. 

Containing mostly soluble fiber, these superfoods can help lower LDL cholesterol and slow digestion, which helps to promote blood sugar stability. Unlike traditional supplements, these seeds do contain more calories than typical calorie-free or low-calorie fiber supplements: one tablespoon is 60 calories, so you may want to be mindful of how often you incorporate chia seeds into your diet.

Best for IBS: Anthony's Organic Psyllium Husk

Research is mixed on which type of fiber is best for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some studies suggest that soluble fiber might be more effective in treating IBS symptoms. Psyllium husk has been used in many research studies, and for this reason, Anthony’s Organic Psyllium Husk is a worthy supplement for IBS. Batch tested and verified gluten-free, this product contains five grams of mostly soluble fiber and is more affordable compared to other organic versions. 

Best to Help Lower Cholesterol: Garden of Life Raw Organic Flax Seed Meal with Chia Seeds

Ground flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals. Garden of Life’s raw organic blend of ground flax seeds and chia seeds provide four grams of fiber and the three grams of protein. The main fiber in flax seeds is soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol by reducing the cholesterol absorbed in the bloodstream. In addition to fiber, this product contains two grams of omega-3-fatty-acids which have been shown to be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Best Capsules: Renew Life Daily Digestive Prebiotic Fiber

Renew Life Daily Digestive Prebiotic Fiber supplement for adults is vegetarian-friendly, and it comes in convenient capsules for use at home or on the go. One five-capsule serving contains two grams of fiber sourced from organic flax seeds and oat fiber. In addition to organic flax and oat, these capsules also contain organic fennel seed which has antispasmodic properties and may be helpful for those that suffer from gas and bloat. These capsules are also non-GMO, dairy and soy-free, and do not contain any added sugar. 

Best Gummy: Benefiber Assorted Fruit Gummies

If powders and capsules are not your thing, try Benefiber’s prebiotic fiber gummies plus probiotics. Two gummies contain three grams of fiber (100% soluble), contain two billion CFUs of probiotics and only one gram of sugar. These gummies do not contain gluten or artificial colors. Though they might be tasty, it is not recommended to exceed more than four gummies per day. 

Final Verdict

If you're looking for an all-encompassing fiber supplement to help regulate your digestive system, Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber is your best bet. For those with a stomach sensitivity, like IBS, opt for Anthony's Organic Psyllium Husk, which will gently alleviate symptoms without further irritating your stomach.

What to Look for in a Fiber Supplement

Type of Fiber: Insoluble and soluble fiber are both important and both have their own unique properties and benefits to the body. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine which type of fiber is best for your needs. 

Dose: The dose of fiber ranges among products and it is important to consult with your health care provider about the appropriate product and dosage for your individual needs. Follow the dosage instructions recommended by your healthcare provider or the product they recommend. In general, it is best to start with a low dose and always increase fiber gradually, and with extra fluids.

Ingredients: In general, it is best to keep the ingredient list as small as possible. Doing so ensures that there are no potentially harmful or irritating ingredients added like artificial colors or preservatives. Some products are allergy-friendly while others may not be. In addition, there are products that may contain additional ingredients such as herbs or probiotics.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted by her against clinical research, product reviews, and third party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to my clients but she would take them herself if needed. 

The Ultimate Fiber Supplement Buying Guide

By: Sydney Greene

Fiber is an important nutrient for many reasons. Probably most well known, is its primary role is gastrointestinal health. When the intake of fiber decreases, our tummy and bathroom troubles increase. Another important role of fiber is cardiovascular health. Evidence suggests that the increased consumption of insoluble as well as soluble dietary fibers can directly impact the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The recommended daily intake is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men each day. Your exact needs may vary depending on your energy needs. The American Heart Association suggests eating a variety of food fiber sources. Fiber is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds and it is best to meet your needs through food; however, supplementation can be a helpful way to boost your intake. 

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like consistency that can help to lower cholesterol, balance hormone levels and improve glucose levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water but it helps constipation by bulking stool and increasing bowel transit time. Fiber supplements contain one or both of these fibers to help improve digestion, and many incorporate other complementary ingredients. Fiber supplements can be consumed in tablet, capsule, powder, gummy, or whole food form. When picking the right supplement, it is important to consider the desired outcome. Always consult with your healthcare provider when choosing a supplement and remember, fiber is best tolerated in food form; continue to enjoy high fiber foods in addition to a supplement. 

Key Considerations

Type of Fiber

Insoluble and soluble fiber are both important and both have their own unique properties and benefits to the body. In addition to the two categories of insoluble and soluble fiber, there are also types of fibers that readily ferment or are unable to ferment in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Examples of soluble/non fermented fibers that might best help constipation and diarrhea is psyllium. The “gel” that is created when psyllium comes into contact with water is retained throughout the GI tract and has a normalizing effect on stool meaning, it might help form loose stools or soften hard stools. Readily fermented fibers are part of an emerging area of science relating to their effects on the gut microbiome. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine which type of fiber is best for your needs. 

Fiber Source

Whole Foods

When it comes to supplements in general, nothing compares to eating foods in their basic, natural state. Our bodies were built to extract, digest, and absorb nutrients from whole foods. If fruits and vegetables are not super high on your list of favorite foods, it is still possible to boost your fiber first from whole foods before a formal fiber supplement. How is this possible? Well, seeds are especially high in fiber and a small portion of them can do just the trick.

 Chia seeds are by far the best option if you are looking for a way to improve your GI health and overall well being without supplements. Packing 16% of the recommended daily intake of fiber in one tablespoon, these small but mighty seeds are also full of nutrition. Containing three grams of protein, four grams of healthy fat and 10% of the recommended intake of magnesium, chia seeds are a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or on top of avocado toast. When in contact with water, chia seeds swell to about ten times their size and form a lubricating gel that can help move stool through the intestines. You can think of two tablespoons of chia just as you would two tablets or capsules of a bottled “supplement”. 

Another seed that does wonders in the fiber department is flax. One tablespoon of flaxseeds contains roughly three grams of fiber. Sprinkle these nutty, flavorful seeds on top of yogurt or oatmeal or use them as a “breading” for chicken tenders.

Functional Fiber

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) categorizes fiber as either dietary fiber or functional fiber. Functional fibers may be nondigestible carbohydrates that have been isolated or extracted from a natural plant or animal source, or they may be manufactured or synthesized. Supplements in more traditional forms like powders, capsules, or tablets are usually made up of functional fibers. Naturally occurring fibers such as inulin, gums, and pectin are extracted from various plants, seeds, and fruits and used to create supplements. When shopping, look for products that list where the fiber comes from. For example, Fiber-3 Powder from NOW Foods using golden flax seeds (a whole food) and organic inulin from blue agave. 

Labels To Look For

Non GMO

A Non-GMO Project Certificate of Verification (COV) demonstrates that an individual product is Non-GMO Project Verified. The definition of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is “plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs.” GMO Crops are engineered to withstand application of toxic herbicides which might have negative health effects. 

USDA Organic

Products that are labeled USDA Organic are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as well as pesticides and herbicides. This seal also ensures that the entire product contains 95% or more certified organic content. USDA organic standards are set high and enforced from start to finish—every step along the way.

Glyphosate Residue Free

Glyphosate, a key ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, has been making headlines recently due to its negative effects on hormones, gastrointestinal health, respiratory health, and immune functioning, among other concerns. The Glyphosate Residue Free label, is a newer certificate from The Detox Project, an independent research and certification organization that encourages transparency in the food and supplement industries on the subject of toxic chemicals. 

Third Party Certification

Shoppers might see labels such as “CL, Labdoor, NSF, or USP.” These labels indicate that a company has undergone voluntary third party testing of their products to check for purity, potency, and quality. 

Ingredients

In general, it is best to keep the ingredient list as small as possible. Some products are allergy-friendly while others may not be. In addition, there are products that may contain additional ingredients such as herbs or probiotics.

Contraindications

Fiber supplements may exacerbate issues such as gas, bloating, or constipation under certain circumstances. First, it is important to increase fiber slowly in order to give the gastrointestinal system a chance to adjust. Second, when increasing fiber, it is also important to increase the amount of water consumed throughout the day. If you have diabetes that is managed with insulin, speak to your doctor or nutritionist about the amount of fiber you are adding to your diet as this might have an impact on insulin dose. Fiber supplements may also interfere with medications, so it is important to consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting a fiber regimen.

Ingredients to Avoid

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are not typically found in most fiber supplements; however, they are found in some fiber gummy products. Artificial sweeteners include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame-k. The research on these relatively newer ingredients suggests that they can give a negative effect on the gut microbiome. 

Sugar Alcohols

Look out for ingredients such as “erythritol, sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol”. These ingredients are widely used as sweeteners and can cause gastrointestinal distress in the form of bloating, cramps, flatulence, and tummy pain.

Allergies

Finding a supplement that meets allergy-friendly requirements can be hard. Thankfully, gluten free products are more common than ever; however, for other dietary restrictions such as wheat, soy, egg, yeast, nut, shoppers will have to check the bottle a bit more closely. Brands like Pure Encapsulations, Klaire Labs, and Garden of Life meticulously test their products for allergens. 

Doseage

The dose of fiber ranges among products and it is important to consult with your health care provider about the appropriate product and dosage for your individual needs. Follow the dosage instructions recommended by your healthcare provider or the product they recommend. In general, it is best to start with a low dose and always increase fiber gradually, and with extra fluids.

Conclusion

Not all supplements are created equal. The right supplement for you depends on your goals, medical history, budget, and dietary needs. Remember, supplements are meant to be added to already nourishing diets and should never take the place of real foods. Ease into a new fiber regimen and always consult with your healthcare team when adding something new into your routine. 

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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