The Natural Side Effects of Digesting Fiber-Rich Foods

The Natural Side Effects of Digesting Fiber-Rich Foods

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Fiber-rich foods may cause gas and bloating.

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Eating fiber-rich foods may cause uncomfortable intestinal side effects such as gas and bloating, but also aids in weight management and improving cholesterol levels. A high-fiber diet helps to prevent constipation and normalize bowel movements as well. Naturally high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, also contain essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.


Beans aren't jokingly called the "musical fruit" for no reason. High-fiber foods, such as legumes, can cause gas, or flatulence. Dietary fiber is indigestible by your body and passes into your large intestine mostly unaltered. Bacteria that live your intestines use this fiber as food. During this process, called fermentation, bacteria release carbon dioxide and hydrogen as byproducts. Other bacteria in your intestines consume some of this gas and, in turn, release methane and sulfur-containing gases, which are responsible for odor, according to Dr. Fernando Azpiroz, who researches disorders of the digestive system. Some of the gases trapped in your large intestine get absorbed into your blood stream while others need to escape, often causing noise and odor to be released. Try gradually increasing your fiber intake to prevent excess gas.

Bloating and Cramps

Dietary fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and swells inside your digestive tract to form a sort of gel. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to food inside your digestive system because it is indigestible. This volume of food and swelling can cause feelings of bloating. You may also experience bloating and cramps due to the build up of gas in your intestines. These side effects can be uncomfortable. Drinking plenty of water during the day may help ease bloating and cramps.


According to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, eating more than 50 grams of fiber per day may cause malabsorption of certain minerals. Zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium all have a harder time being absorbed if you eat a lot of fiber. Because fiber can increase the speed that food moves through your digestive tract, your body may not absorb other nutrients properly as well. Gas, bloating and diarrhea caused by fiber can also inhibit your body's ability to absorb nutrients.


If you eat a high-fiber diet and don't drink enough fluid, you may experience constipation. Fiber helps soften bowel movements and increases the speed of movement through your digestive tract when water is present in your intestines. However, without enough water, the fiber becomes hard and compacted, slowing movement through your intestines and leading to constipation. notes that in addition to drinking plenty of water and non-calorie beverages throughout the day, you should limit caffeine intake as it may cause dehydration and worsen constipation.