Last week we were asked by someone how to calm their indigestion. A side-effect she wasn’t anticipating when switching to the plant-based lifestyle. Today I did some research.
I’d like to preface my findings by reminding you all that each of our bodies are different. That means what might bother one of us, will not necessarily bother others. It ALSO means that what might be a solution for one, may not be a solution for another.
How many of us assume indigestion is only an issue when you overeat meat & dairy? I know I did. As it turns out, indigestion in a Plant-based, Vegan and even Vegetarian diet is fairly common! High fiber (as most of these diets are) tends to be a BIG culprit in terms of indigestion. Your body needs time to learn to digest those legumes and leafy greens. Over time, the gas and indigestion may correct itself.
NOTE: There may be some foods, no matter HOW good they are for you, that your body will never be able to handle.
A few tips to aid your new eating habits if indigestion, gas and/or bloating have been an issue.
- Limit your caffeine ~ Tea, coffee, chocolate…
- Avoid using straws & gum ~ They allow in more air
- Limit spicy foods ~ Yes, many of us LOVE our hot sauce. Be aware of usage.
- Slow down and smaller portions ~ While we 100% advocate the Hugh Jass Salad, take your time building up to the full portion if you are having issues.
- Avoid processed foods ~ Even with this lifestyle, processed foods are available. Ingredients like xanthan gum, guar gum, inulin, carrageenan, and erithrytol could be causing you issues.
- Soak your beans overnight before cooking ~ This can help with certain grains too. Remind yourself: The longer the soak, the less the bloat!
- Trigger foods ~ Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, onions, artichokes, corn, potatoes, squash, beets, carrots, lentils, peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, lima beans, pears, apples, peaches.
This food list probably seems crazy. What is left to eat, right?! Don’t over think it. Instead, limit these items temporarily and slowly add them back in. Allow yourself to get comfortable with one before adding in the next. During the process, you might find the ONE food that has been bothering you all along!
You will still be able to get your healthy foods in. After all, some of the healthiest greens are also the easiest ones to digest! Spinach, romaine, arugula, baby swiss chard, and baby kale are amazing! If you prefer collard greens, large chard and large kale; cook them first. They will be easier on your system in cooked form.
I wish you all luck! If you have some tips & tricks you’ve learned during your journey, please share them with the Whitney’s Kitchen community.
Odds are, if YOU are dealing with something… Someone else is/has too!!