why do raw vegetables hurt my stomach
A couple weeks ago I wrote an article called? I described how certain classes of foods, known as FODMAPs, are poorly digested in certain people and can lead to gas, bloating, pain and changes in stool frequency and consistency. Studies have shown that conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are associated with FODMAP intolerance, and that a low-FODMAP diet offers relief in a substantial percentage of people with IBS. Today I ve got another tip for those of you with digestive issues, including IBS, constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux: eat fewer vegetables. Yep, that s right. Fewer vegetables. Vegetables (as well as some fruits) are often high in insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed is a little bit like rubbing a wire brush against an open wound. Ouch. Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress, etc. ) Whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts But won t I become deficient in nutrients if I don t eat tons of veggies? First of all, I m not suggesting that you don t eat these foods at all if you have digestive problems. I m simply suggesting that you limit them. There are also steps you can take to make these foods more digestible and less likely to cause problems. They include: Never eat insoluble fiber foods on an empty stomach. Always eat them with other foods that contain soluble fiber. Remove the stems and peels (i. e. from broccoli, cauliflower and winter greens) from veggies (and fruits) high in insoluble fiber. Dice, mash, chop, grate or blend high-insoluble fiber foods to make them easier to break down. Insoluble fiber foods are best eaten well-cooked: steamed thoroughly, boiled in soup, braised, etc; avoid consuming them in stir-fries and if you do eat them raw, prepare them as described in #3 above. Second, although fruits veggies are high in certain nutrients, animal products like meat, organ meat, fish, eggs and dairy are as high and sometimes higher in those nutrients. For example, the chart below compares the micronutrient profile of beef liver and beef with blueberries and kale, two plant-foods often referred to as being particularly nutrient-dense: It s also worth pointing out that most traditional cultures only ate a few vegetables and fruits that were available seasonally.
They couldn t walk into Whole Foods and buy every vegetable on the planet at every time of year. I have nothing against vegetables. In fact, I like them quite a bit and I do think they re beneficial. But the advice to eat 6-8 servings a day is not based on solid scientific evidence, and may cause unnecessary distress in people with gut problems. Fermented vegetables: a better alternative? Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kim chi, sauerruben and cortido are excellent alternatives for people with gut issues. First, the fermentation process pre-digests the vegetables and makes them easier to absorb. Second, fermented veggies contain probiotic microorganisms that help heal the gut. Although sauerkraut and kim chi contain cabbage, which is high in insoluble fiber (and a FODMAP to boot), I ve found that many patients with gut problems can tolerate it quite well. FODMAPs are sugars and sugar alcohols, and fermentation breaks down sugars. This is probably why fermented FODMAPs are better tolerated than non-fermented FODMAPs. If you re new to fermented vegetables, you have two options: Make them yourself. Check out for a great primer. It s really quite easy, and cheap. You can buy them at a health food store. Make sure that it says raw on the jar, and they re in the refrigerated section. The sauerkraut you can buy in the condiments section has been pasteurized and won t have the same beneficial effect. Now I d like to hear from you: have you tried reducing your intake of vegetables high in insoluble fiber? Did that help your digestion? Let us know in the comments. P. S. Next week I ll be presenting at theб б in Boston, and thus may not be able to post an article to the blog. I look forward to meeting those of you that will be there. Posted on December 30, 2016 by in, Can eating healthy vegetables really cause stomach pain? Yes. in fact one of my good friends called me the other day to tell me that every time she eats raw cauliflower or broccoli she experiences sharp pains in her abdomen. Did you know that one in five are affected with IBS ( irritable bowel syndrome) causing stomach pain, inconsistent or excessive bowel movements?
If you ve experienced IBS you know that the pain can be severe and very uncomfortable. So why do healthy foods cause pain in your tummy? What are FODMAP s? FODMAP s ( Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols). These short- chain carbohydrates often are not completely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can easily sit and start to ferment causing gas and pain. Even healthy foods can cause stomach irritation, especially those that are high in FODMAP s. Lactose from dairy, fructose in certain fruits, coconut products and fibrous vegetables ( cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms, onion, asparagus) can be difficult for people with functional gut disorders to digest, and can even cause severe pain and bloating. Do you have FODMAP intolerance? While most people with IBS are FODMAP intolerant, consuming FODMAP foods does not actually cause IBS, it only exacerbates symptoms. Each person is different and some will be able to eat more FODMAP foods than others without experiencing symptoms. If you are sensitive to certain foods you probably have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth otherwise known as SIBO. When bacteria invades and takes over the small intestine, it can lead to poor nutrient absorption, IBS symptoms, weight gain and may even lead to damage of the stomach lining. This is what contributes to IBS symptoms and FODMAP intolerance. SIBO is caused by an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in your gut which is due to eating the Standard American Diet, (SAD), sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy and other inflammatory foods. Antibiotics which deplete your good bacteria also cause disruption in your healthy gut bacteria and can lead to IBS and SIBO. Risk Factors for SIBO Common Symptoms of SIBO So how do you treat your tummy issues? Fist, addressing that you have intestinal bacterial overgrowth is key; even if you don t have IBS, unhealthy gut bacteria can lead to poor digestive function. Some practitioners recommend a low FODMAP diet, but you also need to address the state of your gut bacteria which may involve cutting out dairy, gluten and sugar from your diet so that your gut can heal.
Often times people continue to eat the very foods that are wreaking havoc on their intestines. Taking lactose free pills, or drinking lactose free milk may not be the answer if dairy is causing issues to your gut, it s simply a bandaid and not really addressing the root of the problem. In my that I hosted this past year and on my monthly live webinars I have often talked about the health of our microbiome and interviewed top medical experts on the subject. PAll illness begins and ends in the gut and we are just now learning that the type and quality of our gut bacteria dictates how we feel, Phow and what we eat, whether we have difficulty in losing weight, and whether or not we will get cancer, heart disease, auto immune disease or other illnesses. Links are now being made between the health of our gut and anxiety, depression, cravings, addictions and chronic illness. So perhaps those cravings you are experiencing are actually being ruled by the health of your gut! It is estimated that somewhere between 10-15% of healthy individuals suffer from SIBO without any symptoms, whereas 80% of those with irritable bowel syndrome have SIBO. My girlfriend asked me why she could eat kim chi and sauerkraut, but not eat raw cabbage? This is an excellent question. The reason is that the fermentation process pre-digests the vegetables and makes them easier to absorb. Fermented vegetables also contain probiotic microorganisms that help to heal the gut. Sauerkraut and kim chi do contain cabbage which is high in insoluble fibre and a FODMAP food, but most people who have intolerances to FODMAP foods can eat fermented foods with no ill effect. What to do? Finding a good functional medical doctor, naturopath and having a gut bacteria test done is imperative. This can help you address unhealthy gut bacteria and SIBO so that it doesn t lead to further health problems in the future. Checking into foods and knowing which one`s may be affecting your health is also a great idea. I truly believe that our bodies are always talking to us, we just need to listen. So have you experienced stomach pain or IBS symptoms after eating healthy foods or any foods in general? If so what have you done to alleviate the pain?
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why do raw vegetables hurt my stomach