A few things have contributed to my writing a post about fiber supplements.  First, I had a baby 6 weeks ago.  If you’ve ever popped out a baby, you know why this is relevant, and if you haven’t, you can probably figure it out.  Second, I read an interesting article on how prevalent chronic constipation is in young kids and how it can be a big problem for years if not addressed.  Kids who get freaked out by pooping or have a bad experience can tend to hold it in as long as possible and actually stretch out their little colons.  This can lead to their inability to tell when they have to poop.  Poor little guys.  Third, I have a potty-training toddler who happened to start freaking out when she needs to poop.  Having just read this article, I wanted to ensure that she’d avoid the above-described uncomfortable and potentially dangerous fate.

So, the best all-natural fiber supplement is, in my opinion, psyllium seed husk.  I came across psyllium seed husk when doing research for a client.  What’s interesting about it is that it’s equally effective for constipation as well as diarhea, making it ideal for people with irritable bowel syndrome.  It bulks the stool (therefore binding it) and softens it.  All in all it’s a great digestive regulator.  It’s all-natural, cheap and effective.  And it’s totally tasteless.  When I was diagnosed with IBS by a doctor many years ago I was told to take a metamucil fiber wafer each day.  It didn’t help, tasted disgusting, and had a lot of sugar in it.  This is much more pleasant and effective.

When I recently had my baby I found that two tablespoons a day dissolved in water was the right amount for me.  I also discovered that if you stir it into apple juice (those little apple juices at the hospital were the perfect size!) and let it sit for a few minutes, it thickens and takes almost exactly like apple sauce.

This is how I discovered an awesome trick for toddlers and any kid who needs digestive regulating.  My freaked out toddler was holding in her poop, poor kid, and because I didn’t want to kick-off any chronic constipation issues I began offering her a little “apple sauce” as a treat.  She loves it.  I simply take a tablespoon of psyllium seed husk and mix in enough apple cider to form an apple-sauce like consistency.

It is important to let the mixture sit long enough for it to fully bulk up – at least 5 minutes.  You don’t want to swallow it while the fiber is still expanding – there’s even a warning on the package that it can get stuck in your throat if you do – so be patient and add more liquid if necessary.

It’s pretty easy to find at a grocery store like Whole Foods and sometimes can be found at more traditional stores.  Just be sure to buy the bulk powder and not capsules as it’s really no fun to be opening capsules to poor into juice.  You can also buy it online at amazon for any of you prime shoppers who just like this stuff delivered to your door.

I would recommend psyllium seed husk as a supplement to anyone who could use a little help in the digestive department.  Of course, if you’re experiencing chronic digestive issues it’s best to understand the underlying issue and address it.  But for temporary issues that we all experience, this product can’t be beat.