Conquering Fiber

If you’ve been used to eating processed, refined low fiber food and you switch to a high fiber diet, you may experience cramping, bloating, diarrhea and gas. Ironically, even constipation can occur if you neglect to drink adequate amounts of water. The operative term here is “moderation.” Start slowly and gradually increase your intake of fiber. If you do this, your intestinal tract will adjust nicely and you’ll be less “gassy”.

When you eat fibrous foods, bacteria in the bowel attack and digest these complex carbohydrate molecules and in the process methane gas is released. This is the “bean” effect so many of us are familiar with.

Individual reaction to fiber will greatly vary from person to person. The intestinal bacteria responsible for those side effects will gradually adjust to the increased fiber load. Any unpleasant symptoms should decrease and eventually disappear.

Make sure to eat slowly and chew well. Digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates must be initially activated in the saliva. This can only happen if the food remains in the mouth long enough and is properly broken down by the teeth. Anyone who is used to “snarfing” their food will probably tell you that gas is a problem. Taking a digestive enzyme right before eating can cut down on the formation of gas.


  • Take Pura Cleanse or Pura Cleanse II in the evening, before bed or 30 minutes before dinner.
  • Grab a handful of oat cereal when you get the urge to snack.
  • Add bran, millet, barley etc., to your meatloaves, casseroles, pancakes, cake and cookie batters, stuffings, and compotes.
  • Use crunchy granola cereals or barley nuts as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, baked potatoes, fish, salads, etc. Always add fresh raw fruit to make yogurt more fiber acceptable.
  • Eat fresh, raw fruit and vegetables with their peelings whenever possible.
  • Reach for prunes, dates or figs when you need to appease a sweet tooth instead of cookies, candies or juice.
  • Look for fiber-rich foods offered in salad bars and add them liberally (broccoli, carrots, red beans, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, etc.)
  • Buy canned, pre-cooked beans of all kinds and add them to salads, soups, casseroles, and stews.
  • Keep a good supply of grains on hand that you can add to any recipe to make it more nutritious and “fibery”. Good grains are millet, barley, brown rice, and whole oats.