We all know how important it is to make sure we’re getting enough fiber on a regular basis. The nutrient is essential for our digestion and gut health. But you really can get too much of a good thing — including fiber.
According to the Mayo Clinic, women aged 50 and younger should be aiming for 25 grams of fiber each day while those over 50 can lower that a bit to 21 grams. Some research suggests getting up to 35 grams can aid the anti-aging benefits, but going over that can end in painful symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, and cramping.
Too much fiber can also cause temporary weight gain, which is usually the opposite of what you wanted when you added more of it to your diet to begin with. And although fiber can help balance blood sugar, an abundance of it can knock everything back out of whack. Basically, all of the ways fiber can benefit our bodies can quickly get turned around and make things a lot worse if we overdo it.
If you’re already experiencing those nasty side effects of accidentally getting too much fiber in your system, Healthline claims you can find some relief by drinking plenty of water, which the fiber can absorb and pass through your system. You should also stop taking any supplements and avoid fiber-heavy foods until the symptoms calm down — and re-introduce them to your diet slowly.
As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding a fiber supplement to your diet — especially if you’re prone to gastrointestinal issues or other chronic illnesses that it can adversely effect. Getting your fiber from multiple sources is important, but there are a ton of food-based options (like these delicious snacks) to focus on before grabbing a supplement.