5 Signs You May Be Consuming Too Much Fiber & Foods To Help You

Too much fiber can be just as troublesome as not..

5 Signs You May Be Consuming Too Much Fiber & Foods To Help You

Too much fiber can be just as troublesome as not enough. So it’s good to know the signs of taking it too far.

While it may be better to err on the side of too much rather than too little. 

We’re after the Goldilocks of fiber intake, and getting it “just right” is the only way to go.

1. Gas and Bloating

Even though there are several benefits of getting enough fiber, taking in too much can leave you bloated and gassy.

Ironically, when you get your fiber intake right you should experience far less gas and bloating than you did before increasing your fiber.

Finding the right amount of fiber to keep your digestive system balanced is key.

You don’t need to be overzealous and overcompensate for a lack of fiber by eating more than is necessary.

Your body thrives on moderation and variety, so don’t rely on any one food item to bring you all the fiber you need.

Make it a group effort from fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

What causes it: Insoluble fiber moves through the body without being digested. 

And there are certain foods that are high in fiber that are known for increasing the amount of gas in your system.

Broccoli is one high-fiber vegetable known for causing digestive difficulties.

Beans are another notorious food for the gas they can produce, as well as the fiber they contain.

2. Loose Stools

Too much fiber can lead to loose stools and diarrhea if you’re not careful. Loose stools are a sign that the food didn’t spend enough time in the digestive tract. 

And is a signal that you may want to slow your fiber intake.

Eating a balanced meal is one way to insure that you’re getting enough fiber, as well as other foods that aren’t so fiber-laden.

Combining a protein with a high-fiber food as well as a carbohydrate will help you feel full longer while making sure you don’t take in so much fiber at once.

For example, a chicken breast served with a spinach salad and a baked sweet potato gives you plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, but not too much fiber since the chicken contains zero fiber.

What causes it: Foods need time to be digested, and loading up on fiber can push them through before they’re ready.

When you are getting the right amount of fiber you’ll know it because your stools will have bulk. 

Will be easy to pass, and will stick together in the toilet after you pass them.

3. Constipation

It seems counterintuitive that fiber could cause constipation, as its usually recommended as a preventive measure or reliever.

But because fiber soaks up water it can result in stools that are hard to pass and spend too long in the digestive tract.

If you are trying to get more fiber in your diet, make sure that you’re also getting enough water.

If you were previously dehydrated, a common problem in America, and increased your fiber intake, you may have noticed that it didn’t help matters.

Gradually increase your water intake as you increase your fiber. It’s the only way to experience the benefits of proper fiber intake.

What causes it: The right amount of fiber reduces the chances of constipation, while too much can cause it.

This happens because of the water that fiber needs in order to do its job.

Getting more fiber without increasing your water intake can result in constipation.

4. Dehydration

Keeping your water intake the same while increasing your fiber will likely lead to dehydration.

This is because fiber uses up a lot of water in your system, and can leave your internal organs deprived of what they need.

Every organ benefits from getting enough water, and as a result your body suffers when there isn’t enough water to go around.

This of course can be caused by drinking too little water rather than taking in too much fiber.

If you notice that you are drinking plenty of water and still feeling the side effects of being dehydrated, it’s time to check your fiber intake.

What causes it: Not drinking enough water while taking in too much fiber can leader to faster dehydration.

The fiber will soak up the available water, leaving your body dehydrated. Be sure to increase your water when you increase your fiber, and don’t exceed your daily recommended fiber grams.

5. Weight Gain

If you’re increasing your fiber to help slim down to your optimal healthy weight, you might be perturbed to find that you’ve actually gained weight.

But this is exactly what some dieters have reported when they attempt to get on the fiber train.

Take it easy when you attempt to increase your fiber.

The body doesn’t respond well to drastic changes, and it isn’t going to do any good to try and correct the problem overnight.

If you only got an average of 10 grams of fiber a day and are trying to get 30 grams or more, that’s quite a shock to the system.

Try getting 15 grams a day for a week.

20 grams the following week, and keep increasing by 5 grams every week so you can ease your body into this new way of eating.

What causes it: Most reports of weight gain from too much fiber are anecdotal, and there isn’t a lot of explanation as to why this occurs in some individuals.

It may be due to the fiber soaking up water in the body and retaining it from being constipated.

It is usually a temporary condition. But something that you should be aware of and a sign that you may be getting too much of a good thing.

5 Simple Foods That Quickly Relieve Stomach Cramps and Aid in Digestion

Cramps and tummy aches are two issues women deal with on a regular basis due to hormone fluctuations and stress, but they can happen to both men and women if a stomach bug is the cause.

Our digestive systems normally allow us to eat what we please, but at times they can seem quite demanding or uncooperative!

When those times arrive, it’s important to give your tummy some special love.

Eating foods that are hard-to-digest on an already testy tummy is bound to lead to hours of pain, misery, and can even lead to gut inflammation.

It’s common knowledge to lay off the greasy and heavier foods when cramps and digestion take over.

But what many people don’t know, however, is what to actually eat besides just broth and soup until it passes.

If you’re generally hungry, or haven’t eaten in a few hours, it’s important to give your body whole foods however possible.

Many of them contain certain vitamins and minerals that not only support your health but can also aid in the relief process too.

Here are some top picks to choose when you have cramps.

Along with why they work, and the best ways to enjoy them when you’re feeling under the weather.

1. Plain Rice

Rice is a top food to aid in digestion and is especially powerful at helping with cramps.

It’s also one of the most popular grains for those with a gluten intolerance because it’s an anti-inflammatory grain.

But is a terrific food for everyone.

Rice contains high amounts of magnesium and potassium, which both relieve cramps and will reduce pain.

Rice is also much lower in fiber than other grains.

While fiber is a great thing, certain types can make digestive complications worse when your stomach isn’t at its working best.

Go for plain basmati rice (which is white but less refined than minute rice) or wild rice (which is a grass not a grain) that are both easier than some other options like black or brown that contain more fiber.

Rice is also high in resistant starch which means it can soak up toxins and whisk them out of the body—just what you need to get rid of a bug!

2. Mint

Mint is helpful at relieving a number of digestive complications, with cramps and nausea being two of the best.

It reduces muscle spams in the digestive tract and can help with the overall digestive process.

This means it not only soothes, but also helps stagnant digestion that can occur during this time.

Go for peppermint or spearmint leaves used in a smoothie or tea, tea bags, or even essential oils dropped in warm water for an instant tea.

3. Sweet or White Potatoes

Both sweet and white potatoes are both excellent sources of resistant starch that will help move things out of the body but also quiet down an upset tummy in the meantime.

It’s important to cook them thoroughly and enjoy them plain without much seasoning so they don’t cause an upset.

Potatoes are also high in magnesium and potassium to reduce cramps. 

Along with vitamin B6 to reduce tension in the body that can make cramps and digestion issues worse.

You may need to leave the fiber-rich peels off to make your potatoes even easier to digest.

4. Bananas

Bananas are a great source of fuel when you’re not feeling well. 

But be sure you enjoy them slightly spotted because bright yellow ones can cause stomach cramps since they’re not quiet ripe.

Which makes them harder to break down (ripe bananas are also higher in enzymes which aid in digestion too).

Slightly ripe bananas, will however, keep things moving along without causing upset or pain.

They also contain high amounts of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6 which are the top three nutrients to focus on when cramps arise.

5. Non-dairy Yogurt

Yogurt can be an excellent regulator in the body, though dairy can cause quiet the upset for most people.

However, yogurt’s bacteria is one of the most calming to the digestive tract and potent at reducing cramps, bloating, and aiding in digestion.

It can also be more effective than some supplements or other fermented foods because the strains are different.

To get the benefits of yogurt without the dairy, go for soy, coconut, or almond milk yogurt that doesn’t have added sweeteners.

What to Avoid:

Be sure you avoid foods high in fat during a time when your stomach is in pain.

While fats do aid in digestion, they also take longer to digest than these foods above … not something you particularly want when your stomach isn’t up to par.

Stick to mostly bland foods lower in fiber, but still whole-food based versus processed soups and crackers.

Many fruits like papaya and strawberries can also be helpful, while ginger, lemon, and herbs like oregano can help fight bacteria and aid in digestion too.

You can also add vegetable broth to any of these to drink hot.

Which will keep food moving through your system, provide the body with nutrients it needs to heal, and can also be soothing during a time of distress.

Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

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