If you live with IBS and/or IBD, a common thought is, “Is fiber helping or hurting me?”

Eat more fiber for better digestion.

Ever heard that? Of course, you have.

Ugh. Why am I so bloated an miserable? I’m only eating broccoli, salads and beans.

Ever thought that? Of course, you have.

So let’s chat a quick minute today about fiber.

I’m not a doctor, a scientist or a magician. (But Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is and HERE is what she said about fiber.)

But I have studied food to the nth degree, and I am the face of digestive disease and managing it completely with food and lifestyle vs. drugs and medication.

Now that we’re clear, here are 2 points surrounding fiber to consider whether or not it’s hurting your gut/gut healing.

Is Fiber Helping or Hurting Me? 

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Is Fiber Helping or Hurting Me agutsygirl.com #leakygut #fiber #ibs #guthealth

Fact: fiber helps to slow digestion.

This fact is the reason “weight loss” gurus recommend that people eat more fiber – so that they stay fuller for longer.

Think about it, then. If you have IBD/IBS-C, why would you consume a lot of “fibrous” foods?

Fact: certain ingredients in our foods cannot be digested by a human gut at all without the help of beneficial bacteria.

(That fact is taken from the book, “Gut and Psychology Syndrome.”)

Fiber is phenomenal for those without gut imbalances. In fact, for those who are not consuming large amounts of fiber and have normal digestive system function, I’d urge you to get moving with your fiber immediately.

But for those with compromised guts, who are still on our gut healing journey, we must be aware that fiber is one of the natural habitats for bacteria in the gut. In fact, they feed on it. Thus, the fiber we are getting can ultimately provide a good habitat for the bad bacteria, aggravating the inflammation in the gut wall.

And what happens next with inflammation? You got it. All of the unpleasant problems that continue to drain you daily.

Do I need the nutrients that are in fibrous foods?

Yes, you do! But you don’t need those foods to get them. 

The way I ensure my body is packed with nutrients is by juicing. I have done it like this for a long time. Why? Because juicing (not smoothie making, even though I love a great smoothie) removes the fiber, “which impairs absorption of many nutrients in fruit and vegetables and aggravates the condition in the already sensitive digestive system. The digestive system has virtually no work to do in digesting juices, they get absorbed in 20-25 minutes, providing the body with a concentrated amount of nutrients” (GAPS book, page 205).

Beyond juicing, you can also try consuming foods that are high-fiber and low in FODMAPs to see if that works.

And with that, I’ll leave you with some juice recipes.

  1. Juice on the “purple” theme.
  2. Something with kiwi.
  3. Melon-y

And one more….

Cucumber Juice Recipe 

Cucumber and Apple Mint Juice
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
  • cucumber
  • apple
  • mint
  • kale
  • pineapple
  • spinach, optional
  1. Toss all ingredients through your juicer to juice.
  2. Serve and enjoy


Full disclosure:do work with the NutriPro brand, but I am never paid or told to mention the brand in anything I do. I simply choose to because it’s a wonderful juicer that has truly made a difference in my life – in my gut – and for my health. All opinions are my own.

ingredients for cucumber & apple mint juice recipe via agutsygirl.com
Is My Fiber Helping or Hurting Me? The Gut Healing Process & Still Getting Nutrients with a #juice recipe via agutsygirl.com
Is My Fiber Helping or Hurting Me? The Gut Healing Process & Still Getting Nutrients with a Cucumber & Mint Apple #Juice recipe via agutsygirl.com

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy;

  1. Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber
  2. A Gutsy Girl’s Master Resource
  3. How to Achieve Optimal Microbiome Diversity


Is Fiber Helping or Hurting Me www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthyliving #fiber #ibs
Is Fiber Helping or Hurting Me www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthyliving #fiber #ibs #plantbased

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  1. Love the flavor combination in that juice. I have yet to try mint in mine and I think that will have to be next on my list to try!

  2. when i first went to a GI doctor back in 2008 for my gut, they told me to eat more fiber. And I told them that was the WRONG thing for me to eat at the time. I cut back on fiber for a long time till my gut healed. Juicing was a god send, and the nutri pro. Carrot Grapefruit ginger is still a favorite of mine.

  3. I love juices and your recipes sound great. I love to juice and blend foods to make them more digestion friendly. I’ve found that there are 2 types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre foods seem to help my IBS – C things like mangos, bananas, beets, squash and carrots are good, kale, broccoli, beans are insoluble and unless in juice or blended form are digestion stoppers if u know what I mean! Anyone else found the same?

    1. Yes, Jess…that’s 100% accurate. There are different types of fibers. I lump them into one category here for the simple reason that many people will react to “soluble” ones as well, so I like to work with my clients 1-on-1 to figure it all out. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Great post. My body feels this way after eating so many veggies. I think, I’m so healthy but why do I have a balloon of a belly?
    Thanks to you I bought a NutriPro a while back and started to love juicing.
    Now this is really urging me to make some after I buy some produce at the farmer’s market.

    Some questions! Do you believe in green smoothies at all? I am guessing they are not so great for the gut just to throw in some raw kale and greens in there.
    Also, do you just throw away the juice pulp (is that where all the fiber lies)?
    And as always, thanks for spreading your wisdom.

    1. Hey Alejandra!
      1. Green smoothies totally rock, BUT NOT UNTIL your gut is done flaring so much. You can make green juices all the same:)
      2. Yes, the pulp is where the fiber lies. It’s all the leftover “roughage.” Here’s what I sometimes do with it…make a “dessert!” You can use it in muffins or just raw -> like I’ll add in honey, coconut oil and other things like that. BUT, the last time I did that it made my stomach grumpy. If you try it, just try a couple tsp a day. At the end of the day, that’s still where the fiber lies.

        1. If it worked for you then that’s AWESOME! If, after a few hours up to 48 hours (delayed reactions) you felt crummy, then scale back:) ps. those look awesome!

          1. I will follow this advice! Thanks again 🙂
            And thank you! I wanna try your paleo bread you mentioned in your vanilla almond milk video (which btw I made the other day, so delicious)

  5. I love this post! Juicing is absolutely so great for your gut! It’s easy to digest and packs a powerful nutrient punch. It’s fantastic! I drink a green juice a day and I love it. I’ve never juiced with pineapple before but I’d like to because it’s so sweet and makes any juice super tasty.

    1. Hey Maggie! You MUST try pineapple. Pineapple also has natural digestive enzymes in it, so it makes for a great am juice. Last night I used a little pineapple, nectarine and greens. Oh good Lord it was awesome….husband approved:)

  6. This is so interesting and totally make sense! I actually bought a jucier for a similar reason, I LOVE veggies but too many makes me so bloated and gross-feeling. Now if I have extra kale on hand, I juice it, instead of consuming a GIANT salad, haha

    1. I totally get it! Also, sometimes if I really slow cook and/or sauté I can process certain thing – ie spinach:)

  7. Finally, someone talking how fibre may be bad for those of us with IBS! Thank you for writing this post!

  8. This is interesting, but I get so confused by all this. Many health folks say juicing is bad b/c it removes the fiber which has a lot of the nutrients (I may not have that exactly right, but something like that, lol) and I can personally say that when I try to drink smoothies, my stomach rebells. I think I need to chew my food – and I also have read that chewing your food stimulates the digestive process, and tells your body to start digesting?

    I struggle with GERD, gastritis, IBS, and constipation, and I’m managing it all with diet (or trying to).

    I think I do best with foods that have all their whole parts, but they are cooked down (raw foods are rough for me) but I struggle to find time to cook everything I need to have a well balanced diet.

    Back to fiber, I’ve started taking psyllum husk to get more fiber so I am not constipated, and it seems to help. Anyway, I am just trying to figure this all out. I look forward to poking around your site a bit more and hope to get some insight!

    1. Poke away! It’s all truly unique to your body, but yes, the “fiber” thing is a myth. By the way, if you start feeling blah while taking the Psyllium know that that could very likely be an offender. Let me know if you have any questions..

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