Fiber: Your Menopause Secret Weapon

by Barbara Sobel, MS, CNS, LDN

Fiber is an unsung health hero! Most of us connect fiber with supporting regular, healthy bowel movements. While that is one benefit of fiber, there are many more. And many of those benefits are especially important for women during their menopausal journey and beyond.

The USDA recommends that women eat at least 28 grams of fiber each day. Most of us are not getting enough fiber in our diets. Each Bossa Bar contains 7 grams of fiber. Most of this fiber is from chicory root. We chose chicory root specifically for our bars.

Chicory root is related to the dandelion plant family. You may have seen it used as a caffeine-free coffee alternative. Chicory is well tolerated and considered safe except for those with ragweed or birch pollen allergies.

The actual fiber in chicory is a prebiotic fiber called inulin. Prebiotic fibers are fibers we do not digest but ferment in our gut and create short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs are metabolized by the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in our gut, reducing inflammation throughout the body and creating a host of other health benefits, including supporting weight loss and maintenance, lowering blood sugar, supporting bone and cardiovascular health, and preventing some kinds of cancer. 

Inulin has been shown to support healthy weight loss and maintenance by slowing down the rate that we digest our food. This helps fill us up faster and keeps us satiated and fuller longer. Fiber naturally and gently supports portion control. 

Furthermore, by slowing down carbohydrate digestion, Inulin helps slow the release of glucose in our body after we eat, helping to keep our blood sugar more stable and reducing the long-term risk of type 2 diabetes

By slowing the effects of sugar in our bloodstream, we feel less tired after we eat and avoid those blood sugar dips that can leave us scrambling for a snack or feeling hangry (hungry and angry at the same time). In addition to reducing the risk of blood sugar control issues, Inulin has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c in women with type 2 diabetes. 

Prebiotic fibers, including inulin, support bone health by increasing the bioavailability of minerals in the foods we eat, including calcium and magnesium, which are needed to help maintain bone density as we age. A healthy gut rich in butyrate, the most abundant SCFA, has been shown in studies of men to increase the bioavailability of vitamin D, another key nutrient crucial for maintaining bone health. This is promising research, and we would like to see more studies that include women. 

Foods high in fiber are heart-healthy. Cholesterol binds to fiber so that excess can be eliminated. In addition, Inulin specifically has shown some promising results for lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. And while more studies are needed, diets high in fiber, especially diets higher in soluble fiber like chicory, have also been shown to lower the risk of both colon and breast cancers

With so many health benefits, fiber gives us a big bang for our buck. Not sure if you are getting enough fiber in your diet? Log your food for a few days, count how many grams of fiber you eat, and average it over a few days. 


If you need to increase your fiber intake, Bossa Bars can help. Each bar contains a quarter of the daily recommended amount of fiber. Other high-fiber foods are fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Increasing fiber in our diets can create positive changes in our gut bacteria within a few days but start slowly. Some people can experience gas and bloating if they increase their fiber consumption too quickly.