Eating plant foods benefit your health in several ways. However, you might also experience some minor digestive issues like bloating when you go plant-based.
What could be causing bloating when you eat plant foods? How to prevent the issues? Read on for the answers.
What Are The Causes Of Bloating?
Bloating is caused by excessive gas production in the stomach or disturbed movement of the muscles of the digestive system. The muscles could turn tense when you are stressed while eating or sit in a hunched position while eating.
Foods that are rich in sugar, fiber, and complex carbohydrates could cause bloating.
The lack of diversity in the gut bacteria could be another reason for bloating.
Plant Foods That Worsen Bloating
Certain plant foods are associated with a higher risk of bloating especially when you are not used to eating them.
Some of them include:
- Cruciferous vegetables(kale, cabbage, broccoli etc)
- Soy foods
- Wheat, rye, and barley
How To Avoid Bloating?
Here are some of the tips to avoid bloating when you are new to a plant-based diet.
Choose Light-Colored Lentils
Lentils are rich in several nutrients but they could cause bloating as their fiber-content is quite high. Lighter-colored lentil varieties are lower in fiber than dark-colored ones. We recommend choosing red lentils over green or brown lentils.
Soak Nuts Overnight
Legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts contain phytates. The compounds bind to dietary minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, and zinc inhibiting their absorption. This could result in bloating. Soaking the nuts overnight helps reduce their phytate content and improves the digestion process. The nutrients in the nuts will be made more available when you soak them.
Find Alternatives To Onion And Garlic
If eating onion and garlic makes you bloated but you love the flavors a lot, you will have to look for suitable alternatives. You may go for garlic oil or onion seeds, and also add more herbs and spices to your foods.
Prefer Dried Mushrooms To Fresh Ones
Fresh mushrooms consist of polyols, a type of carbohydrate that could cause bloating. Dried mushroom varieties are a better alternative.
Choose Pseudo-Grains Instead Of Grains
In some people, grains like barley could cause bloating. In that case, they may switch to pseudo-grains like buckwheat and quinoa that could help with bloating.
When you are new to a plant-based diet, be careful with the foods you choose so that the initial side effects do not discourage you from continuing with the diet.