Too Much Fiber – How Can It Adversely Affect Our Body?
Probably a natural distinctive trait of mine – always hoping to see results fast, I neglected the fact that more often than not, things have to go slow if they are meant to be. I can’t believe I have taken too much fiber too quickly, I started to feel unwell.
Let me explain now why too much fiber within a short time is bad… slowly….
A high dietary fiber diet is beneficial to our body in many ways particularly lowering our blood cholesterol, maintaining healthy blood glucose level and reducing our risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, we shouldn’t ignore the potential health issues resulted from excessive fiber intake, especially over a short period.
Image Credit: Cathy Arkle’s Nuts and Grains album
Adverse Effects Of Excessive Fiber
1) Poor Minerals Absorption – Essential minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium will be passed in our body without absorbing them. Take enough supplements to replace them if necessary.
2) Result In Gastrointestinal Issues – Gas and Bloating are common gastrointestinal issues with your upped intake on fiber.
Tips To Reduce Excessive Fiber Symptoms
Apart from increasing the fiber intake gradually and hydrating yourself more, as recommended above, here are some tips to reduce your symptoms:
1) Exercise more
Whether you are taking a walk at the park, or doing cardio workouts, you are encouraged to increase your physical activity level to improve your colon movements.
2) Take Supplements
You may take supplements if you are facing some digestive distress symptoms i.e. if you are facing constipation, you may take magnesium supplements to optimize your bowel function.
Otherwise, you may consider taking multi-vitamins to replace the lost nutrients due to malabsorption.
3) Do It Gradually
A typical daily fiber intake for a healthy diet should be around 20 – 40 grams and if you used to take only 10 – 15 grams per day, you should increase by 2 – 3 grams for a start and monitor if you are facing any digestive distress. I suggest monitoring this over 6 – 8 weeks on a safer side.
4) Drink More Water
As you increase your daily fiber, it is also recommended to increase your water intake, as fiber depends on water. Not drinking enough water may result in dehydration. Dietary fiber comes in 2 types, soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and slows down the food leaving our stomach. Insoluble fiber traps and retains water from our intestines to prevent constipation. Due to their benefits, you can observe that they depend on water to work.
5) Take Probiotics
Fiber only helps to facilitate the digestive process but may not build a healthy environment for our gut. Modern processed foods pretty much kill the good bacteria in our digestive tract,which advertently affect our digestive health. Certain probiotic strain like Bacillus subtilis relies on fiber to thrive, which makes the two a truly winning combination.
6) Try Colon Hydrotherapy
Also known as colon therapy, colon hydrotherapy is a form of colon cleansing that uses special herbs, enzymes, or probiotics, to boost the medicinal properties to remove toxins from our colon and keeping it clear.
You may experience some abdominal issues like gas and bloating during the initial stage of fiber increase because your body is adjusting slowly to the change. However, you shouldn’t feel pain at all and these initial symptoms should go away after a while.
After reading this, I think you should know how to move your pace when it comes with eating enough fiber every day.