There are many benefits associated with a high fiber diet. They can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), lose weight and prevent constipation. Fiber also facilitates the digestion of certain foods and maintains an adequate blood sugar level. All of them, regardless of the source, can cause gases. As the ability of bacteria to digest different types of fiber varies, each source can produce different amounts of gases. The body of each person reacts in a way, so be patient and try the different types of fiber to know which are the most beneficial and do not cause as much gas.
Method 1 of 2: Adapting the Food
Step 1. Learn the differences between soluble and insoluble fiber
It's important to know both types and what foods contain each.
- Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a kind of gel capable of reducing bad cholesterol and blood glucose levels. It also slows down digestion and is more likely to produce gas. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas and in some fruits and vegetables. Drink more water to aid absorption, which is also recommended for supplement users.
- Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water. They promote movement in the digestive tract, thus speeding up digestion. The result is less gas production. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, string beans and potatoes.
Step 2. Replace foods high in soluble fiber with ones high in insoluble fiber
It is important to balance the consumption of both fibers. This makes it easier to get the required amount and have better health. However, to reduce gas, replace some foods with others.
For example, oat bran contains mostly soluble fiber and wheat bran contains more insoluble fiber. Therefore, cereals or cakes with wheat bran cause less gas than those with oat bran
Step 3. Cook beans instead of canned
Beans are known to be a great source of gas, but if you make them at home, they can cause less gas after meals. Just soak it overnight to lessen the negative impact on the digestive system.
Step 4. Avoid eating cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage
These foods are great sources of fiber, but they can cause gas and bloating. If possible, limit their consumption to once a month or replace them with other vegetables that produce less gas.
- Vegetables like spinach, kale and lettuce contain insoluble fiber, so they are good sources of nutrients and don't cause as much flatulence.
- Avoid raw vegetables as they are more difficult to digest, which ends up forming more gas. Steam them or cook them to eat.
Step 5. Gradually introduce the fibers into the feed
Bacteria present in the stomach and small intestine need time to adapt to the fiber consumed. Eating too much at once can cause gas, cramps and diarrhea. Increase your fiber intake by 5 g per day for a week or two, letting your body get used to it.
- You may experience bloating and gas when you start eating fiber. However, over time the body will adapt and the symptoms should decrease.
- Remember to increase your water consumption too. With this, you avoid constipation.
Step 6. Eat approximately 25 to 40 g of fiber per day if you are an adult
The recommended daily intake for girls, teenagers and adult women is up to 25 g. On the other hand, boys, teenagers and adult men should not exceed 40 g per day.
Younger children cannot consume as many calories or fiber every day. However, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables must be incorporated into the children's diet so that their tolerance increases over time
Step 7. Drink water with meals
Water helps move fibers through the digestive system. Staying hydrated also prevents them from hardening and clogging your bowels. Dehydration and accumulation of fiber in the body can cause discomfort when using the bathroom.
You should also hydrate yourself whenever you drink coffee during the day. Caffeine is a diuretic that removes fluid from the body and increases urination, which can cause dehydration. For every cup of coffee, drink 2 cups of a decaffeinated liquid. Excessive caffeine consumption associated with a high fiber diet can cause gas and constipation
Method 2 of 2: Using Commercial Products
Step 1. Use a product with digestive enzymes
There are some over-the-counter medications that contain natural digestive enzymes, preventing bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort caused by fiber intake. They work by decreasing the amount of gas released after consuming fiber in meals.
In several studies, such natural enzymes have been proven effective in relieving bloating and gas production after a high-fiber meal
Step 2. Talk to a doctor before taking fiber supplements
Daily use of fiber-containing supplements can be a very effective way to maintain health. However, the best way to consume them is through food. You should see your doctor before using the supplement, especially if you are taking other medications that might interact with it.
- Start with small amounts a day so your body has time to adjust and doesn't produce too much gas and bloating. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Fiber supplements can impair the body's ability to absorb certain medications, such as aspirin, warfarin, and carbamazepine. They can also lower your blood sugar level. Your doctor may need to adjust your medications and insulin if you have diabetes and want to take the supplement.
Step 3. Go to the doctor if you have severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or bloody stools
Excessive bloating, belching, and gas often go away on their own or subside as the body adapts to fiber consumption. However, make an appointment if symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, unintended weight loss or chest pain occur.