What Is The Best Fiber Supplement For Women In Menopause?
Every so often, we come across a product that truly works. We test it ourselves and are so impressed by the results, we want to share it with you. just better.® prebiotic fiber is one of those products.* Below you'll find a link to receive a 10% discount on just better.® probiotic fiber.
Weight gain and digestive issues: could menopause be any more entertaining?
It’s true – as we age, metabolism slows, and unfortunately, so does digestion, meaning food hangs around longer in your body, fermenting and causing bloating and gas. The slowing can also mean constipation, which brings its own menu of delights.
However, just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re stuck with constipation, weight gain, and wind. Making sure you get enough fiber to keep your gut happy can go a long way towards dealing with tricky digestion. Fiber is what good gut bacteria thrive on, and a happy gut means better overall health.
Oddly, though fiber is in a lot of foods, many of us just don’t get enough of the good stuff. So we chatted with Kristin Hirano, Registered Dietitian, Certified Nutritionist and CEO and founder of Just Better Brands, about why fiber matters and how to get more of it.
Why do humans need fiber?
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and our bodies need both for optimal function.
Soluble fiber, as its name indicates, dissolves in water. It helps keep cholesterol in check, keep our hearts healthier, and manage blood sugar levels.
Insoluble fiber passes right through us, assisting us in eliminating solid waste from our bodies comfortably and appropriately.
According to Harvard Health, eating enough fiber from veggies, fruits, and whole grains can decrease your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. And the more fiber you consume, studies show, the more benefits you get.
And yet, says Kristin, despite the fact that it’s in a whole lot of foods, 97 percent of us fall far short of the USDA recommended daily intake. Women should get 25 grams a day; 38 for men (after 50, it’s 21 for women, 30 for men). Yet most of us top out at 10 to 15 grams a day.
Why don’t we get enough?
People may not make the effort to eat high-fiber foods, not realizing how important fiber truly is. Additionally, Kristin says, preparing high-fiber foods is more work.
“It’s ideal to get all of our fiber from whole foods,” she says, “but this is a challenge for people with busy, fast-paced lifestyles or special diets. Many people just don’t have time to plan, shop, prep, chop, and cook whole foods on a daily basis.
“Busy people often choose highly processed convenience foods which are often low in fiber. And unfortunately, many weight-loss diets restrict grains as well as fruits and vegetables.”
What is just better.® and why is it the best fiber supplement for women?
If you don’t get enough fiber from your food, you may need to supplement to get the benefits. Kristin’s just better.® prebiotic fiber is one easy way to get the fiber you need.
Probiotics vs prebiotics
To understand how products like just better.® can benefit your body, you need to understand the process going on in your gut, says Kristin.
“Probiotics are the good bacteria in our gut. We need to replenish and feed them on a daily basis to stay healthy and keep bad bacteria from taking over and making us sick. Probiotic bacteria come from fermented foods like yogurt, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and so on.
“Prebiotics are soluble fiber that probiotic bacteria feed on. Nourish them with the right prebiotics, and the probiotic bacteria will thrive and colonize your gut (in other words, take up real estate and make babies!).” Result? Happy gut = better health!
just better.® is a prebiotic fiber (so it feeds the good bacteria in your gut) made entirely from non-GMO soluble corn fiber. One ingredient: that’s it!
According to Kristin, clinical studies demonstrate that the ingredient in just better.® can:
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full faster and stay full longer
- Balance blood sugars, which prevents spikes and crashes and curbs cravings
- Reduce cholesterol and triglycerides
- Fix digestive issues, and
- Nourish good, probiotic gut bacteria.
How does just better.® help women in perimenopause and menopause?
Digestive issues. The prebiotic fiber in just better.® improves stool frequency and volume, Kristin says, so it’s great for women with constipation issues. But because it helps regulate digestion by nourishing your gut, it can also help women suffering on the other side of the spectrum with diarrhea.
For those diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) – which can worsen with hormonal change – just better.® is a low-FODMAP fiber. Foods with Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols (FODMAPs) can irritate the body and cause stomach pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Low-FODMAP foods such as just better.® can help.
Weight management. According to Kristin, “If you are trying to lose weight, adding extra fiber to your diet may be helpful to achieve your health goals. Fiber expands in the stomach, making us feel full faster. Fiber also coats the inside lining of the intestine, which slows the rapid absorption of sugars into the blood stream. This is what helps us feel full longer by preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. This also helps to curb sugar cravings.
“Researchers have determined that prebiotic fiber also plays another roll in weight loss. When probiotic good bacteria eat the prebiotic fiber, they make chemicals called SCFAs (short chain fatty acids). When this happens, a signaling pathway is activated. A message is sent to the stomach and intestines that there is plenty of food (you can go ahead and stop eating… We have enough here).
“Also when there is an abundance of SCFAs, this increases digestive motility, which makes food move though the digestive tract more quickly, allowing less time for calorie extraction. When SCFAs are scarce (a low-fiber diet), motility is decreased and the message sent to the stomach and intestines is that there is not enough food. This causes food to move though the digestive tract more slowly to provide for MORE caloric extraction.
“In other words, our gut bacteria determines whether we gain or lose weight!”
Diabetes and cholesterol. Women in menopause are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And because estrogen helps control cholesterol levels, many women see their “bad” cholesterol rise after menopause.
Says Kristin, “Fiber deficiency is at the core of many of our most common chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Increasing fiber intake decreases risk of diabetes by preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. Increasing fiber intake also works like a cholesterol sponge. Fiber binds to cholesterol and escorts it through the GI tract and into the sewer system and prevents it from getting absorbed into blood vessels and creating plaques that cause heart disease.”
Here’s what just better.® doesn’t do.
It doesn’t change the nature or flavor of the food or drink it’s added to. It dissolves quickly and completely in liquids (I’ve seen women put it in their WINE, no joke). It survives baking just fine and doesn’t add a gritty texture when baked in or sprinkled on foods.
It doesn’t send you sprinting for the bathroom. Because just better.® is a soluble fiber, it’s much more gentle to the system than “bulk” fibers. Most are able to add it with no reactions other than positive ones (better regularity, less hunger, fewer cravings). But Kristin recommends starting with 1 tbsp the first day, just to be sure all goes (ha ha) well.
It doesn’t create a dependency. Your body won’t become “dependent” on just better.®, Kristin says, but if you stop taking it, you’ll need to replace the fiber with food. Eat more plants! (Hint: even if you’re enjoying just better.® fiber, eating more plants is still a good idea!)
To learn more about just better.® fiber and read the rave reviews of people who use it, check out their website. Gennev community members can use this link to receive a 10% discount on just better.®!*
*Team Gennev have tried this product and liked it, or you wouldn’t see it on our website. genneve has an affiliate relationship with Just Better Brands and receives a commission for purchases made via this link.
Have you tried just better.® or another product for adding fiber to your diet? What did you think; did it help? Leave a comment below, on our Facebook page, or in midlife & menopause solutions, our closed Facebook page.
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