How To Live in Harmony with High-Fiber Foods


Hi Sweet Friends,

Sometimes when folks add more veggies and fiber-filled foods to their plate, their digestive system doesn’t cooperate very well and uncomfortable physical issues crop up. These not-so-awesome bathroom trips and embarrassing gassy moments have given fiber a bad name. But fiber really is your friend — you just have to get to know it a little better and learn a few simple fiber guidelines. Today, I hope to mend any grudges you have against fiber and show you how to live in harmony with it. C’mon, give fiber a chance!

What is fiber?

Quite simply, fiber is plant roughage — the part of veggies, fruits, beans, grains, nuts and seeds that resists digestion. So why would you go out of your way to eat things that just come out anyway? For precisely that reason. Fiber helps clean out your digestive system and get rid of things (namely extra hormones, cholesterol, toxins and waste) that shouldn’t be there.

Fiber also provides a plethora of other health benefits, including  proper colon health and intestinal bacterial balance. In addition, fiber-rich foods are essential for a strong immune system, faster metabolism and weight control, diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention, beautiful skin and better overall health. Are you beginning to see why I’m so passionate about fiber?

What’s the difference between soluble & insoluble fiber?

Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect and is found in fruit and vegetable skins, wheat, wheat bran, rye and rice. It doesn’t readily dissolve in water so it adds to fecal bulk (poop mass). It’s crucial for hearty, healthy bowel movements, which should be excreted at least once or twice a day.

Soluble fiber absorbs liquid, swells and is readily digested by intestinal bacteria. It ferments and produces gases in the digestive tract. I know this doesn’t sound so sexy, but it’s very important for colon health. Soluble fiber creates a feeling of fullness and is the kind of fiber responsible for lowering LDL “lousy” cholesterol.  You have to look a little harder for soluble fiber in the diet, but champions include chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, oat bran, barley, beans, lentils, psyllium and most fruits — especially berries.

How much fiber do you need to eat?

There’s a big difference between how much fiber the average person is eating and how much they should be eating for optimal health. The recommended intake  for disease prevention is 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories consumed, which averages to at least 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. Many health authorities, however, recommend eating even more fiber to better your chances of overall health and wellness. However, the average American fiber intake  is about half of what’s recommended — 16-18 grams of a day for men and 12-14 grams per day for women.

And let’s not leave out the kiddos! Kids eat less food and should naturally have less fiber in their diet. But, fiber is still important for their overall health, and it’s important for them to have a mix of insoluble fiber-rich veggies, wheat bran, and rice as well as soluble fiber-rich beans, seeds and berries.  Loose stools are often the first sign that a child may be getting too much fiber, or an improper balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Why does fiber cause gas and indigestion?

Too much added fiber, too fast

An increase in total fiber, especially a jump too quickly can cause gas and bloating. But, it’s really the fermentation of soluble fiber in the colon that produces these issues. Soluble fiber hits the colon undigested, and when the gut bacteria works to break it down, gas results. A-ha! This is why the childhood song pokes fun at beans as the “musical fruit” and not lettuce — beans have a great deal of soluble fiber, lettuce has mostly insoluble fiber. Keep in mind that beans or no beans, it is actually normal to pass gas 13-21 times a day. Yes, I said it’s normal. Fart-tastic!

Digestive disorders

Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders affect how much gas moves through the intestinal tract and can increase intestinal gassiness as well as bloating and painful discomfort. Like anyone new to a high-fiber diet, folks with sensitive or otherwise challenged digestive systems should increase fiber intake slowly and ensure a mix of both insoluble and soluble fiber-rich foods.

Soluble fiber like the kind found in chia seeds and flax seeds helps to soften stools and make happy bowel movements with minimal discomfort. Raw vegetables and cruciferous vegetables may provide special challenges for those with digestive disorders. If this is the case, eating smaller quantities or cooking veggies thoroughly may give some relief.

You’re not drinking enough water

To avoid constipation (which often goes along with extra gas and bloating), be sure to increase fluid intake as you increase fiber intake. If you’re dehydrated, your body pulls water from your food waste, making your poop more difficult to pass. Women need (on average) at least 2 liters of water a day and men need at least 3 liters a day. You can also calculate this by dividing your body weight in half and drinking that quantity of water in ounces (a person who weighs 200 pounds  needs to drink 100 ounces water daily).

The rest of the culprits

Eating too fast, smoking, chewing gum, not chewing your food thoroughly, drinking carbonated beverages, eating lactose found in dairy products, even chowing on too much fructose (fruit sugar), and loading up on too many raffinose-heavy foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can increase gas production. In case you’re curious, raffinose is a hard-to-digest sugar. Kombu (a seaweed) helps break it down, therefore making it easier to digest. (I share my tip for using kombu while cooking below.)

A diet too high in fatty foods can also increase bloating and digestive discomfort. Fatty foods (even of the healthier fat variety) slow down stomach emptying and lower the transit time of foods through the digestive system.  This gives the body extra time to get gassy and uncomfortable.

Do the root causes we just covered sound familiar? If so, read on and learn how to live a thriving and comfortable high-fiber life.

How to calm digestion and prevent gas while eating fibrous foods

Here are some easy ways you can increase healthy, fibrous foods while avoiding pesky digestive issues:

  • Ease into eating more fiber slowly. Add 5 grams of fiber (the amount in 1 large serving of vegetables, 1/3 cup of cooked beans or lentils, or 1 ½ servings of fruit) no sooner than every 3 days. Trampolining into too much fiber too fast is a guarantee that you’ll get gassy, bloated, and perhaps have too many bathroom trips. And chances are, you’ll blame the fiber and go back to your old low-fiber ways. Once your system is used to the added 5 grams of fiber, add another 5 grams. The minute you feel discomfort, scale back slightly and try again in 3 more days. Keep going until you’re fiber-strong! It often takes a month or more to fully transition to a superpower high-fiber diet. And don’t forget to increase water intake as your fiber intake increases — at least 2 liters for women and 3 liters for men daily.
  • Balance soluble and insoluble fiber. If gas persists, replace some of the soluble-fiber rich foods (beans, lentils, split-peas, berries, chia seeds, oats, flax) with foods rich in insoluble fiber (veggies, fruit, wheat, wheat bran, and brown rice). Soluble fiber is often to blame for gassiness and insoluble fiber helps move things out more quickly allowing for less gassy time potential.
  • Cook beans with kombu. After soaking dried beans overnight (or at least a few hours) and before boiling them, drain the soaking water (it contains some gas-causing compounds), add new filtered water and a strip of dried kombu seaweed (found at any health food store). The kombu contains enzymes (unlike our digestive tracts) that breakdown the gas-causing raffinose simple sugars in beans and cruciferous veggies.
  • Eliminate high-fat and fried foods. Fat slows stomach emptying and can increase gas and bloating. Reduce even healthy fats like nuts, avocados, seeds and healthy oils to see if fat may be the culprit.
  • Chew slowly and avoid carbonated beverages and gum. The less gas you consume, the less gas that has to get out. Simple!
  • Add fresh ginger to meals. Ginger is a big-time gas reliever, digestion easer and nausea and motion sickness remedy. Add ginger to stir-fries, green juice and bean dishes. Enjoy hot ginger tea before and after meals or a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger before meals.
  • Take a probiotics supplement and eat probiotic foods. Probiotics help restore good bacteria and ease digestion. Foods that are naturally high in probiotics include pineapple, organic tempeh, kimchi, organic natto, sauerkraut and organic miso. Or supplement with a high-quality probiotic like Dr. Ohirra’s, Primal Defense, Healthforce Nutritionals (Friendly Force) and MegaFood’s Megaflora.
  • Exercise. Any cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your abdominal muscles (walking, running, bicycling) also helps strengthen your digestive muscles. This eases digestion. Plus, getting your heart rate up also increases your intestinal speed. Less time in the tract can often help alleviate gas. Certain yoga poses that increase blood flow to the digestive tract like the seated spinal twist can also help soothe indigestion.
  • Wheel out trapped gas. Lay on the floor, legs up in the air and move them in a bicycle motion. Wheee! Trapped gas can be really painful, and this exercise will help you get some relief.

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of fiber and how to overcome the common issues associated with eating fiber-rich foods, do you think you can try to make things work with this amazing and essential part of your diet?

Let me know in the comments if this post resonated with you and if you have any questions or tips I haven’t already covered!

Peace & roughage,

Kris Carr

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100 responses to How To Live in Harmony with High-Fiber Foods
  1. I love this Kris, so incredibly informative – I just love how you give us the scoop on things in such a way that it empowers us to incorporate and apply the knowledge into our days… I so love that!! Thanks so much.

    Catherine xox

  2. I love this article! You make it so doable. I am going to try adding in more water, and cooking beans with kombu this week. I would love to hear sometime if you have any thoughts on food combining, and whether that effects gas?


    • Food combining definitely makes a huge difference for me! I think that’s why I still have problems with “beans”; they’re both starch and protein…. Following the Body Ecology Diet principles has helped me tremendously;)

  3. U rock. Always

  4. Nicely put, succinct and funny!

    The most difficult thing in taking care of myself and my family is being consistent and compliant.
    One grocery trip will create amazing tasty and healthy meals, snacks and juices… then the next one done in haste creates crap-tastic meals or the craziness of our weekly schedule results in rotted and wasted produce adding guilt to the mix.
    In a dream scenario, we would have a person dedicated to buying our groceries, making our meals and directing us in fun physical activity daily. That would take the stress of planning off my plate and allow me to work and play with my 4 kiddos and my hottie husband.
    I need to own it though… it needs to be a priority in my life.
    Your inspiration helps.
    Thank you

  5. I will definintely try the kombu with beans. Thanks.

  6. It feels like you’ve been hearing me complain! I started a vegan diet (too much too soon) and had so many “issues” that after four months returned to bad habits! I’ve been searching for an answer. I truly appreciate you tackling a sensitive topic w great advice (pace yourself and the kombu are happening immediately) in a frank and informative manner! Yay!

  7. Thanks for the article and for your research. It’s super helpful to have it spelled out so clearly. :) and love your hoomer!
    After reading about the gaps diet I have increased my times with soaking beans, rice, grains, nuts etc before eating them…..because it really also helps with digestion….? Do you soak everything also chia, etc?

  8. Thank you so much Kris for the tips.All your articles are simple to understand,so insightful and make healthy eating easy to follow.God bless.

  9. I LOVE Crazy Sexy Kitchen! Does the tip for beans and kombu apply to Edens canned beans or just dried beans??

  10. I love this information I have been working on eating and living healthier this past year. the information really helps. Keep up the good info. Thank You so much Pam

  11. Thank you Kris for this incredibly helpful article. You are right there for me when I need you the most. I’ve been suffering with chest pains for over a year now. They come and last about three days and then go. This January I did your 21 day cleanse but I knew my system was just not working right and I was constipated quite often. I just had a heart cauterization done and a stent was placed by my cardiologist. I thought my chest pains would be over but not so–even worse. I added fiber to my diet and have had some success with eliminating constipation but now the chest pains are worse. I sleep on a wedge pillow at night (if you can call it sleep) and am just beginning to feel better after I cut the fiber intake in down. Your article encourages me to stay with it and give my body time to adjust. Thanks!!!
    Hugs, Hope

  12. Great article! I checked an online list of foods and fiber grams and I am getting enough, so that is good! I did not know that pineapple was probiotic. Also, I had never heard of “kombu”, and that adding it to beans when cooking would alleviate gassiness. Great tips! I learned a lot. Thank you so much!!

  13. Kris,
    Your article covers the subject of fiber better than any I’ve ever read. The simple, yet, thorough way you explain everything makes it a cinch to understand. Helping us remember certain medical terms using familiar terms like “lousy” for LDL helps me tremendously!
    I’ve “ear” witnessed a yoga pose (during a group class) that helps with gas and its name is so appropriate, wind breaking pose, pulling your knees into your chest.
    My new mantra will be “Eat more beans”!

  14. a big thank u for all of ur valuable info

  15. Thanks so much Kris! This information is really helpful. With my IBS, and dairy, gluten sensitivity, raw veggies of any kind are on me. Do you know if steaming, or microwaving broccoli or other veggies sucks the nutrient value out of them? What about baking kale for kale chips? I wonder sometimes if there are any nutrients left in the veggies after all that. Also.. what about essential enzymes? I was told by a local nutritionist that taking them before eating would help with gas with raw fruits and veggies.
    Thanks for all you do. Love your show in Hay house radio!

  16. Such a timely post, Kris! I’ve been adding more raw foods to my diet lately and have noticed a steady increase in gassiness. I will definitely try out some of your tips to see what works and what doesn’t. Thank you! I had no idea about soluble and insoluble fibers or that fats cause gas. I will absolutely keep these things in mind going forward.

  17. Kris I love you! A few of us are still anxiously awaiting a response about your famous vegan reuben recipe you mentioned last week. Please please whenever you have a chance. My mouth is watering already!
    xo Amber

  18. Using essential oil of Peppermint ,in two ways.One by licking a drop or two and chase it with a glass of warm to hot water or out 2-3 drops on the belly button in circular fashion ,and if the gas is really bad put a wash cloth that was soaked in hot water over the belly button after the oil application . The heat will disperse the aroma within the digestive tract quickly. Either one works instantly .

  19. Your articles are the best, Kris! Humor with great content is just what I needed this morning. I’m sharing this article (fully attributed, of course :-) with the women in my ‘Body Wise: women, weight & wisdom’ group today. And telling them to get in gear and sign up for your blog. Thanks g’zillions! ~Thea

  20. Great information. My husband and I both struggle with getting enough fiber in our diet. I had a hunch that my husband needs more fiber than I do and as I have read, it is true!

  21. More than a year ago I found out that the reason I had been sick most of my short life (25 years) was that I’m hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). Naturally I was addicted to sugar big time- but it was causing my problems. So I went on the low GI diet not eating anything sugar or that would turn into sugar quickly in my stomach. After about a year (emotional as heck) I didn’t crave sugar anymore and I was feeling much better.
    I started thinking about getting my PH levels into the green and that’s when I found Crazy Sexy Diet! I was only planning on reading the section about PH, but I had casually started to read your intro and got hooked reading from cover to cover. So to make my life more interesting I went from gluten, sugar, alcohol, and starch free to adding less dairy and meat products. I’m also making green smoothies, not every day but usually at least a few times a week so far.
    In the past couple of weeks I have cut out dairy entirely to see if it’s causing my numerous black head bumps on my forehead. Now I can’t remember the last time my stools weren’t loose. I’m eating mostly Quinoa, steel cut oats, bulgar, beans, lots of salads and fresh veg, apples & grapefruit, seeds & nuts along with a little bit of flesh as you would put it 😉 So my question is: how do I get my stools to firm up a bit? From reading the artical Tips to Live in Harmony with High Fiber Foods I’m guessing I might need to eat more insoluble fiber?
    Thank you for all the great info and awareness you put out there!

    • Bridget, try adding vegetable stews cooked with oil. Chewing thoroughly until food is luquified is very important also. Try these and observe how you feel. I bet you will see some drastic improvement.

      • Bridget, it sounds like you get plenty of fibre. There is never one magic bullet answer that works the same way for everyone. It sounds like you have made many positive changes in your life & made a serious commitment to your health. Try not to get frustrated, patience is a must, it took 25 years to get here! If you are already eating a healthy, mostly plant balanced diet which includes plenty of fibre and still having some health issues then it may be a good idea to seek professional advice from a qualified natural health care practitioner, like a Naturopathic Dr. or Holistic Nutritionist etc. that can narrow down the focus on where you may be experiencing underlying imbalances. In the mean time, you may want to start taking a good quality probiotic if you are not already doing so, and add cabbage juice and un-pasteurized sauerkraut to your daily menu. Cabbage is very healing for the gut and the sauerkraut with also be loaded with enzymes & good bacteria. Keep discovering what works for your body and your life. Good luck! :)

  22. I love that fresh ginger helps! I’m so glad I read your post!

  23. Hi Kris,
    I am Jenny Lynn Suckling Spencer’s Mom (OR). I have a small business that is all about nutrition and love reading your emails. Do you mind if I put some of your articles in my news letter with credit to you?
    Love your work and all you have done!!
    Mary Lou

  24. Hey Kris,
    Thank you so much for this post. This was a focus of the colonics that I recently had. One thing you didn’t mention was soy, which seems to be the culprit of gas for many people. I eat tofu, edamame, have soy milk with chai etc. and would love to know more about the effects of this. I also recently did a juice cleanse which I am coming off of today. I’m wondering wether I should avoid soy completely, and if it’s healthy. I’m vegan and GF, it would seem increasingly difficult to add soy free on to that. Also trying to think of a clever way to not call them “food restrictions” :) would love your feedback on this. Thank you!!

  25. Thanks so much for this information. I’m definitely going to stock up on ginger in, like, a few minutes when I go to the store, and will be doing the yoga pose and bicycle exercise you suggested. I’m just getting over yet another UC flare after catching a stomach bug and gas is making it impossible for me to get a good night’s sleep. Gas + inflammation = PAIN enough to wake me out of a sound sleep. Not to mention my poor, loving husband, but that’s another story…

  26. Quick question: Do you boil the kombu with the beans? Thanks!

  27. Hey Kris, thanks for the info, I really loved it. I was always wondering about fiber and had some struggle myself a long the way the majority of my clients struggle one way or the other with these issues! Cool, love the recommendations I get give now!! I just received your book CSK the other day! So thrilled, can’t wait to cook through it!! Much love from Paris, xx Elke

  28. Love this! Such a great resource for all of those people who feel discomfort when they are trying to eat healthy!

  29. Hello All: hooray for fiber! I started on Kris’ CSD last year & have been 99% vegan for 14 months. I just had a lipid panel done & I compared it to the same lab tests that were done 2 yrs ago…cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides are all improved. I directly attribute this to all the fiber I’m now eating.
    Thanks so much Kris! Ann

  30. You’re amazing, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us!
    Smiles from Vancouver :)

  31. do you eat the kombu afterward or discard it??????

    • Either way! If you like the way it tastes, feel free to eat it. Kombu is packed with healthy minerals. Otherwise, just toss it.

      Corinne Bowen
      Creative Director @ KrisCarr.com

  32. a great article. I have found that taking aloe vera cuts down the on too much gas, from eating a high fibre/green diet!

  33. Hey Kris, I am a big fan of yours way up here in Manitoba, Canada! I just love how you communicate with people and get your message across in a fun and direct way. You have a gift. I appreciate this article because I’ve always had issue with my bowels and now my digest tract. Things are getting better with veggy smoothies (1 part berries and 3 part veggies) and the addition of more fiber in general. Thank you.


  34. It sure did resonate with a big POOT!! I love my beans and they love me.
    You are a Gem.

  35. This helped alot. I have been having these problems for a long time. I just bought your book and look forward to trying your recipes. thank you!

  36. Great, I’ll try Kombu!

    Grating a little nutmeg over brocoli and other foods is working well to ease digestion too.

  37. Great article Kris.

    I find it also helps to bear in mind that some foods digest more rapidly than others and you don’t want a fast digesting food stuck behind a slow digesting food as that will cause more fermentation to occur. For example, fruits digest quickly so I would eat fruit as a first course rather than a dessert.

    Much love


  38. A few questions…. What about lemon juice w/ warm water? Peppermint Tea? Raw Apple Cider w/ the “mother”?

  39. I’ve increased my fiber intake over the past few months and am getting about 45 grams/day. Occasionally I hit 60+…do I need to be concerned about getting too much fiber? How much is too much??

  40. Oops Tanya… did not mean that as a reply. Twas suppose to be a comment on it’s own.

  41. Thanks! I am a colon cancer survivor and I try to eat a high fiber diet but the gas kills me. I am going to try kombu and ginger.

  42. This article came just in time! I have just started making green drinks with fresh veggies for breakfast and within a few days, noticed the “problem” and was wondering what was going on! Thanks for your suggestions and sage advice. I will scale back to every two days on the drinks. Also, I never had a problem with beans before, but now it seems everything is a problem!

    Here’s to your good health!

  43. What about Quinoa? would that fall under insoluble or soluble? if you get too gassy eating any type of food should you scale back?

    • Hi Nicky,

      After doing a little research, it looks like quinoa contains both insoluble AND soluble fiber. And according to the blog, if a particular food is giving you a lot of gas, it’s a good idea to scale back and slowly increase the quantity you’re eating over time.


  44. MB said on April 23, 2013

    OK…so one unanswered ? Why do some people have such awful stinking gas?
    Kris you rock, My husband is enjoying the meals from the cookbook & commented that “in all the years we’ve been together(42yrs.) I’ve never seen you so enthused to be in the kitchen” I am having a blast & everything turns out amazing!

  45. Thank you for all the information,about gas and many other related tópics you always help us.I’myour big fan from Mexico city .I follow you all the time and really appreciate the great person you are.God bless you everywhere you are this world needs people like you.

  46. Thanks for these tips – I didn’t know that ginger could help with gas – I love fresh ginger tea! I also didn’t know that cooking beans with Kombu would make it easier to digest. I have some Kombu in my cupboard, actually. But my favorite tip of all was the last one ….the fact I found it so funny doesn’t say much about my maturity level! oh well 😉

  47. After going through my food journal this all makes A LOT of sense! I think I just found the solution to my digestive hiccups…thank you Kris!

  48. Best article on fiber I’ve ever read!

  49. Hi Kris. Love you! Listen to your show and have just started green juicing. I use your Mojito recipe and altered a bit for me. This will be my third day juicing. So I revisited your website today to see when is the best time to green juice and why you feel it is so important. But I really didn’t find much on your website. Am I missing something? :) Can you guide me to where you have this valuable information? OR, might you add some of this information under your Mojito Recipe?

    Thanks Kris and thanks for changing my life (and hopefully my husband’s — I plan to have him give juicing a try!)

    Peace out, Amy

  50. I have increase my fiber intake for the last month and seen an increase of 80 grams/day? I am not sure how much i need to take per day? Am I overdoing it? Do I need to cut down? Please advise.

    Should I go slowly by 5 grams a day and slowly adding another 5 grams/day if I’ll feel comfortable?

    Please reply my question here?

  51. Great info…your blog rocks, I am a newcomer and I am hooked. Thanks Kris:D

  52. Hey there Kris. I love all of your info, it’s always clear and to the point. (my first language being french… that is a major plus for me). I am just still a bit confused on the daily fiber recommended intake. I am eating a plant based diet, for sure (!) and whenever I calculate my intake of fiber it is WAY above any recommendations. Is it ok? Is there an upper limit on fiber intake? I am feeling great,drinking tons of water, and everything is moving regularely!Merci beaucoup!

    • Hey Anna,

      I checked with a trusted RD and she said as long as your stools are not loose, you’re fine. Your body will tell you when it is too much:)

      Creative Director @ KrisCarr.com

  53. Now you’re talking to me 😉

  54. Thank you so much for always being so informative and giving me a giggle!!
    Can you please tell me how many billions of probiotics should be taken in a daily capsule?

  55. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process.Aerobic exercise and fitness can be contrasted with anaerobic exercise, of which strength training and short-distance running are the most salient examples. The two types of exercise differ by the duration and intensity of muscular contractions involved, as well as by how energy is generated within the muscle.’

    My own website

  56. That’s so funny – I still have to cycle my three year old’s legs when he eats too many beans, but also had to do it to myself after too many chia seeds and raw almonds!

    Will try ginger tea after breakfast chia porridge – thanks.

  57. It’s so great to see some useful tips on how to introduce fiber into you diet and the intricacies of it. Most of the time I just hear “Increase your fiber!” and the advice given to counteract gas is “Take beano”.

  58. Enjoyed this post a lot! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge. Many hugs!

  59. after being up all night with gas and horrible tummy pain from eating bad foods, this is exactly what i needed! thank you.

  60. Hing! Also known as asofetida – a resin used in Indian cooking – relieves gas and helps in digestion of beans. Just use a pinch when cooing your beans, or in your vagar (oil/spice mix) and add to beans, grains or greens!

  61. Karen said on May 7, 2013

    Great information! I plan on trying the kombu with beans.

  62. Shouldn’t you also be informing people about “prebiotics”?

  63. Thank you for this article. I inherited collagenous colitis after having my daughter seven years ago, and this causes food to move very quickly through the intestines. Adding to much fiber can cause gas and pain. I have been reading so much about the Paleo diet, but I am not a big meat eater. The suggestion of soaking beans with kombu could be huge help! I recently tried soaking (sprouting) nuts before eating, and that has made a difference in digestion.

  64. Kris!
    Thank you for a wonderfully informative article on fibre…you really went into detail and went where not so many of us are willing to go.
    Much love from Stockholm, Sweden

  65. Hi Kris,

    I am trying to stay on the fiber track so to speak, but my belly keeps blowing like à balloon.
    Any tips?

    Much love,


  66. Well said and I appreciate the tip on Kombu. My concern is that I am allergic to all seafood any other suggestions?
    Also..Thank God for you.. before I heard about you I would attempt to go through extensive research on how to prevent any chronic disease. I am critical about how far I’ve gotten, but some education is better than none. You are the first person that I see as a genuine friend “in my mind” who has done all the work. When I bought Crazy, Sexy, Cancer and watched your show I was in heaven. I appreciated your bold honesty. I watched your journey and you getting married. I have been enlightened by you for 5 years now and I am soo happy for you!! I am trying hard to stay healthy and set the example for my girls Gigi, 4 and Mya 7 months and my husband Mike. Also, I have a very good friend that has stage 4 colon cancer and we were surprised when he was diagnosed because he attempts to eat right and exercise. He is going through chemo and his spirits are good.
    Thank you for being so selfless and you are always in my prayers for the cancer to be gone.
    Sincerely and with Love Kim

  67. Hi Kris, I find that a good digestive enzyme can be helpful for some folks as well. Just curious if you recommend them to help digest especially if soaking of grains and legumes is not possible ie restaurant meals etc. Thanks, loved the article.

  68. II have diverticulitis and I really don’t want to stop eating all of these things that are good for me, like nuts, seeds, and beans. Is there any other way to consume them? Especially seeds such as sunflower and chia seeds? I also really love raw vegetables. This is the hardest part of this for me is having to give up these foods. Please help if you have any suggestions. Thank you, Tammy.

  69. This is such a helpful article….pretty funny too….thanks so much.

  70. Very helpful. Thank you!

  71. My father made the switch to vegetarian diet after being a full blown meat eater his whole life. He’s been having stomach cramps and making lots of trips to the commode. His bm’s have slowly gotten more firm but still soft. (Sorry if this is TMI!) I don’t want him getting discouraged so any tips help! He’s using beans, lots of stir-fry veggies, potatoes, etc. for meals. Thanks Kris!

  72. Spot on advice – with a healthy dose of humour!

    Quick question. You say that “Many health authorities, however, recommend eating even more fiber to better your chances of overall health and wellness”. How much more do these health authorities say? 5g more? 10? 20? There are some wildly differing numbers out there!

    I’d love an idea, or even if you could point me in the direction of some great books.

  73. This was so helpful! I def ramped up fiber intake as part of being healthier for the new year, this addresses a lot, thanks for sharing the information.

  74. Nice to see a post by someone pro-veggie but not anti-bean for a change.

  75. This has so helped me. Everytime i try to be healthy i end up very constipated and gas problem s particularly when i juice, thanks for the great help!!!!!!

  76. Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Kris! I just read your Crazy Sexy Diet book and have been on a green smoothie ride for over a week now. I realize that I am getting a TON of fiber with the smoothies in the a.m. and then more and more veggies in the p.m. Is it possible to get an unhealthy (dangerous) amount of fiber? Thank you!

  77. Thank you Kris. I know things I need to change in my eating.this will help so much. Writing down your many suggestions and going to the health store. Never heard of kombu before.

  78. Does the Kombu have a taste? Is it bitter? I love using beans in soup, but boy does everyone know I’ve had it!! I will try to use the kombu next time!

  79. With all the usefulness of food fiber, it is very important to remember that overdoing with the amount of this useful element will not do much good. The point is that insoluble fiber that can be found in raw fruits and vegetables in the biggest quantities is quite rough, so if you have sensitive bowels, you can experience irritation, excessive bloating, intensive development of bowel gases and so on. Besides that, overloading your intestines with rough fiber can even cause a kind of inflammation. Soluble fiber that is found in beans, potatoes, is more gentle when works in your intestines, however, it should be consumed in calculated amounts to avoid unpleasant side effects.

  80. Thanks so much for your wonderfully informative piece. Newly vegetarian with longterm IBS, managed happily for yrs through dietary control, couldnt understand why suddenly I am struggling with gas and loose stools.
    Your piece has helped me understand and I will be implementing all of your strategies in turn to try and effect a comfortable recovery. Thank You so much xxCathiexx

  81. Thanks for sharing this article. It was extremely insightful and I am looking forward to apply these tips to my current eating habits. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate fiber into my diet.

  82. Awesome article! A lot of people underestimate the importance of fiber. I live abroad where people are obsessed with white breads and pastas and fiber is definitely MISSING here! Thanks for all the tips on bloating/gas relief as well! Sharing :)

  83. Excellent

  84. Really helpful post. I found that cutting out wheat and dairy made my digestion so much better. Digestion is such a fascinating topic I could read about it all day!

  85. It is very informative & helpful. I like to know more about IBS & about exercise & yoga for relief from IBS,(irritated bowl syndrome).

  86. Great info!