de97952631a8cacbbb488a4d048deb11 600x - Nutracleanse. Not Your Average Fiber Supplement

Nutracleanse. Not Your Average Fiber Supplement

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Everyone knows that fiber is good for them, especially when it comes to supporting healthy bowel function, including bowel movements.

 

Fiber is found in all plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and pulses (legumes). Studies show that most of us don’t meet the recommended intake of 21-25 g of fiber per day for women and 30-38 g per for men.

 

In fact, it’s estimated that most North Americans only get about 15 g of fiber per day; sadly missing the mark.

 

Fiber supplements have been used for decades as a way to help people increase and meet their fiber requirements. First generation supplements pretty much relied on psyllium fiber, and/or people would stir wheat bran into juices to boost their fiber intake.

 

Today there are lots of fiber supplements that use different ingredients such as partially-hydrolyzed guar gum, acacia gum, and pectins. Still, many prefer to use food-based options such as ground flaxseed or milled and/or whole chia seeds.

 

Omega 3 Nutracleanse is a lesser known food-based, fiber supplement that’s rich in prebiotic fiber, and metabolic-health-friendly soluble fiber that is rich in other nuance phytonutrients. It’s definitely a distinct product in the fiber supplement marketplace.

Nutracleanse ingredients

Nutracleanse is unique compared to other fiber supplement staples such as flax meal, ground chia, whole chia, and wheat bran. Omega3 Nutracleanse is a blend of five simple ingredients, all in one product. It’s made up of ground flaxseed, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder.

 

Nutracleanse is organic, for anyone who where that distinction is important, vegan (it’s all plant derived baby), and gluten free which is a huge plus for those with Celiac disease.

Ground flaxseed

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) — also known as common flax or linseeds — are small oil seeds that originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago.

 

Flaxseeds have enjoyed a lot of well-deserved attention for their contribution to health as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle. They contain several healthy compounds such as the omega-3 fat alpha-linoleic acid, fiber, and lots of phytonutrients that have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease (R, R, R).

 

By weight, flaxseeds get about 30% of their energy from carbs but 95% of that total carb content comes from fiber. This means that they’re low in digestible carbs, a.k.a. ‘net carbs’; this results in little to no meaningful impact on blood sugar.

 

Flaxseed bread recipe

 

Flax seeds fiber content is composed of 20-40% soluble fiber (mucilage gums), and 60-80% insoluble fiber (cellulose and lignans) (R). Soluble fiber in particular is fantastic at slowing digestion which results in balanced blood sugars, lower insulin release, and balanced blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), as well as supporting gut health (R, R).

 

Consuming flaxseeds will definitely help with normalizing bowel movements, support healthy gut bacteria both in terms of having adequate numbers of the good guys, as well as promoting a diverse gut bacteria population. Flaxseeds, with their phytonutrients, may also help to reduce the risk for insulin resistance (hyperinsulinemia) and Type 2 diabetes) (R, R, R).

 

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Psyllium husks

Psyllium is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It sometimes goes by the name ispaghula. It’s most commonly known as a laxative. However, research shows that psyllium may benefit other organs of the human body, including the heart and the pancreas.

 

Psyllium husk fiber has long been promoted as a fiber for the prevention and treatment of constipation. It was a staple of the once super-popular Candida cleanse. As part of a fiber detox, psyllium husks were mixed with caprylic acid, and bentonite clay, along with water (typically in a mason jar), and after a good shake, drank (preferably in one go).

 

The idea was that caprylic acid’s antifungal properties would kill the candida yeast, the clay would bind it and the toxins it produced, and the psyllium husks would scrap the the digestive tract and bind all the waste, toxins, and dead candida, shuttling it out and down the toilet. Once it was shown that bentonite clay is high in cadmium, this detox fell out of favour.

 

Psyllium is a fantastic bulk-forming laxative. It soaks up water in your gut and helps to add bulk to your stools making it easier to trigger a bowel movement and ultimately easier to pass. Psyllium is also a prebiotic fiber which, like all prebiotics, helps to promote the growth of so-called friendly or healthy bacteria in your digestive tract (R, R, R).

 

Psyllium can help to balance blood lipids, blood sugar, insulin levels, and blood pressure (R). It has also been studied for it’s potential role in managing weight. Compared to controls, a study that compared psyllium to a placebo found that psyllium not only improved blood sugar control, but also resulted in a decrease in BMI in those with diabetes by reducing appetite and intake (R).

 

Studies support this appetite controlling feature of psyllium. It can reduce appetite, increase feelings of fullness, and ultimately help control overeating (R, R).

Dandelion root powder

A surprisingly nutrient-packed root, containing good sources of vitamins, C, D, and Bs, beta-carotene, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and calcium.

 

Dandelion are a family of flowering plants that grow in many parts of the world. You may be most familiar with dandelion as a stubborn weed that never seems to leave your lawn or garden. However, in traditional herbal medicine practices, dandelion are revered for their wide array of medicinal properties. Dandelion has most notably been used as a bitter to support liver health and digestive disorders.

 

Dandelion root is rich in the carbohydrate inulin, which is a type of soluble fiber and prebiotic found in plants that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy gut bacteria (microbiota) in your digestive tract (R).

 

While a lot of the antioxidants, such as carotenes, are found in dandelion leaves, dandelion root also contains another type of antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are anti-inflammatory and like prebiotic fibers, support the growth of healthy gut bacteria too (R).

 

Dandelion, including the root, contain two unique acids called chicoric acid and chlorogenic acid which may help to balance blood sugar. Test-tube and animal studies show that these compounds can improve insulin secretion from the pancreas while simultaneously improving the absorption of glucose (sugar) in muscle tissue.

 

In some animal studies, chicoric and chlorogenic acid limited the digestion of starchy carbohydrate foods, which may also contribute to dandelion’s potential ability to reduce blood sugar (R). While interesting, more research is needed to determine the real-life impact of these acids on human health.

 

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Burdock root powder

A root vegetable popular in Japan and parts of China, it is great source of potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamin B-6. Burdock root is a vegetable native to Northern Asia and Europe, though it now grows in the United States.

 

Burdock root has been used for centuries in holistic medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. Traditionally, it’s been most commonly used as a diuretic and a digestive aid (R). Now, researchers have discovered numerous potential uses and health benefits for burdock root. These benefits may be extensive enough to warrant using burdock root as a complementary treatment for certain conditions.

 

Burdock contains multiple types of antioxidant compounds including quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids (R). Antioxidants can also help to reduce inflammation. One study found that burdock root reduced inflammatory markers in the blood of patients with osteoarthritis (R).

Fenugreek seed powder

A commonly used spice used throughout India and the Middle East that adds flavour to many dishes. Fenugreek is an herb long used in alternative medicine. It’s a common ingredient in Indian dishes and often taken as a supplement. This herb may have numerous health benefits.

 

For thousands of years, fenugreek has been used in alternative and Chinese medicine to treat skin conditions and many other diseases (R). While the herb has been studied for its effect on increasing lactation and boosting testosterone levels, the results are mixed and somewhat modest, and the amounts used in studies varied and were higher than what’s found in Nutracleanse (R, R, R, R).

 

Fenugreek may help with metabolic dysregulation (e.g. hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and Type 1 & 2 diabetes), as well as improve carbohydrate tolerance in those without any metabolic issues (R, R, R). In one study, people with type 1 diabetes took 50 grams of fenugreek seed powder at lunch and dinner. After 10 days, participants experienced improved blood sugar levels and reductions in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (R).

 

In another study, people without diabetes took fenugreek. They experienced a 13.4% reduction in blood sugar levels 4 hours after intake (R).

 

These benefits may be due to fenugreek’s role in improving insulin function. Additionally, the effects seen in studies using whole fenugreek powder or seeds may be partly due to the high fiber content (R).

Nutracleanse nutrition

A one-third cup (30 g) serving of Nutracleanse has

  • 120 calories
  • 9 g fat
    • 1.5 g omega-6
    • 4.5 g omega-3 (in the alpha linoleic acid form, not the long chain omega-3s EPA, DPA & DHA)
  • 14 g carbohydrate
    • 9 g net carbs
  • 14 g fiber
    • 8 g soluble fiber
    • 7 g insoluble fiber
  • 4 g protein
  • 225 mg potassium
  • 75 mg calcium
  • 1.75 mg iron
  • 100 mg phosphorus
  • 70 mg magnesium
  • 1.25 mg zinc
  • 0.5 mg manganese

Nutracleanse is low FODMAP

Not only is Nutracleanse gluten-free, certified organic, vegan and non-GMO, it’s low FODMAP too.

 

Low FODMAP diets have become very popular in the past 10 years or so given their well-researched role in the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Getting enough fiber is still important during the initial 2-4 week FODMAP reduction/restriction phase and during the following 8 week reintroduction phase to promote gut health and to support your gut bacteria (microbiota).

 

Many complain of constipation when following a low FODMAP diet and a product like Nutracleanse can help. Nutracleanse is suitable for anyone with FODMAP intolerances and for those with more sensitive digestive issues which has resulted in a lower fiber intake because traditionally higher-fiber foods end up being avoided and eliminated.

 

One serving (one-third cup or 30 g) has an impressive 14 g of fiber which is 37 – 50% of the recommended daily intake of fiber (25 g for women and 38 g for men).

Nutracleanse side effects

As with any food product that’s higher in fiber, if you increase your intake of fiber too quickly, you may experience excess bloating and gas. Slow and steady wins the race. Otherwise, there are no ill effects, or side effects with this product.

 

The amount of each ingredient in the product, as well as what you’d get in a standard 30 g (1/3 cup) serving isn’t excessive so you won’t likely experience any possible side effect like you would if you consumed more than the recommended amount of the individual ingredients per day.

Bottom line

Nutracleanse is a unique whole foods-based, high-fiber product that contains ground flaxseed, psyllium husks, fenugreek seed powder, dandelion root powder, and burdock root powder.

 

It’s easy to use and contains ingredients that can support heart health, balance lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), support digestive health and a healthy gut microbiota.

 

Nutracleanse’s ingredients, as well as its fiber content, help to support blood sugar levels which can support those with insulin resistance and diabetes. By increasing satiety, Nutracleanse may also support weight management when included as part of a healthy diet.

 

While it’s not necessarily meant to replace other whole-food fiber products like standalone ground flaxseed, whole or ground chia seeds, Nutracleanse offers more given its unique ingredient list. Nutracleanse can be your sole high fiber food supplement or it can be included as part of your ‘toolbox’ that might also include flaxseed and chia seeds.

 

Nutracleanse complements keto, low-carb, high-fat, Whole 30, paleo, and vegan lifestyles, as well as any dietary pattern and preferred way of eating. It’s a great, high-quality, whole food fiber supplement that does a body good and is good for the whole family.

 

Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on brain and mental health and antiaging nutrition. Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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