healthy gut: 6 tips against bloating and stomach-ache
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
The belly rumbles and hurts. In the worst case, diarrhoea or flatulence may also occur. You struggle with all of this? Don’t be afraid. It doesn’t need to be a cause for concern. If you have only recently switched to a vegan diet you often struggle with these symptoms at the beginning. And yes, sometimes everything comes together. Let’s start with one thing: It even happens that flatulence occurs suddenly, although you’ve been living vegan for several years. But what helps? And where does it all come from?
To understand what our digestive system is struggling with, we can’t get around a bit of biology. Gases are produced when our gastric acid is neutralized or when certain indigestible food components of intestinal bacteria are fermented. I know that sounds super gross (and smells like it). Some foods even aggravate this bloating, while others are more digestible and can even help us to get our complaints under control. Anyone who now thinks that it is obvious that vegan nutrition is unhealthy is wrong. Because: flatulence does not necessarily indicate that a food is unhealthy. Especially easily digestible foods – for example white flour – are not particularly rich in fibre and nutrients and therefore not very healthy. Whereas food – especially all kinds of cabbage – can sometimes cause more flatulence. Although they’re really good for us. Of course, it should not be forgotten that even with intolerances and allergies, there can be severe problems in the digestive tract. This is the case with me, for example, with gluten.
Why you feel bloated
Well, let’s take a closer look at the causes of such an inflatable belly and how we can control it.
First of all, it is important to know that switching to a vegan diet in most cases also means switching to a healthier lifestyle. Suddenly we eat more vegetables, more fruits, more raw vegetables. That can be quite a challenge to the gut. It’s not used to working so much all of a sudden. I always like to compare this with sports. Imagine that you haven’t done any endurance sports all your life. And then suddenly you have to walk 15 kilometers at a time. What’s happening? Sure, you won’t be able to hold out much, and if you do, you’ll have a lot of trouble. Digestion is no different. But our gut can also be trained. On to process more fiber. On the way there, however, there will probably be a lot of flatulence, abdominal pain and/or diarrhoea.
6 QUESTIONS FOR A BETTER WELL-BEING
Now you’re probably wondering which foods make you feel bloated. Well, of course there are the usual suspects like chickpeas, lentils, cabbage, etc. But more importantly, this is different for every person. It is therefore necessary to find out which foodstuffs cause you the most problems. It can help you to ask yourself these questions and write them down:
- How are you today? Are you stressed?
- Where do you eat? Are you taking your time to eat?
- What do you eat and in what order?
- What time of day do you eat?
- How are you feeling right after the meal? And how do you feel a few hours later?
- Are you moving before or after dinner? Or did you work? Relaxed?
Maybe now you’re wondering how to solve your problems. But believe me: Writing all this down and dealing with it can be of great help. So you can – let’s say you do this for 7 days – see exactly what is good for you and what is not. And you will notice: It may also be that stress is responsible for the fact that you feel that you cannot tolerate certain foods.
I found out for myself that I can’t really eat raw in the evening, for example. At lunchtime, on the other hand, smoothies – especially those with lots of green vegetables – are really good for me. Also difficult for me: eating fruit or dried fruits in the evening. But I have to say that I don’t give up my dates for dessert anyway. In the worst case I just make myself a hot-water bottle!
MY 6 TIPS AGAINST bloating and stomach-ache!
Of course, I won’t leave you alone “only” with these questions. I have put together my 6 most important points to help me reduce intestinal problems and abdominal pain:
- Try to eat raw vegetables early in the day and not in the evening. The same for fruit.
- Difficult to digest are vegetables such as carrots, beetroot and cabbage. But on the other hand they are super healthy when you eat them raw. So that they don’t inflate us, it helps to process them into a smoothie or to rub them very small. Also important: Chew well!
- Eating slowly and consciously: Actually, we should chew each bite 30 times, did you know that? And: Even smoothies you shouldn’t just drink within seconds. Bite them too! It helps to eat them in a bowl with several toppings.
- The vegan diet often does not contain many fats. But that is exactly what we need, of course in a healthy form. So don’t be afraid to include good oils and nuts in your digestion. This promotes digestibility. Sometimes I even eat cashew butter straight from the jar, so good!
- As healthy as raw vegan food is, it helps to cook or even reduce legumes and cabbage in the evenings. Luke warm salads are a great option for example. Also try to add some fermented foods like fermented tofu. Works really well in buddha bowls f.e.
- Exercise before and after meals: Sport is known to be super digestive. Therefore it is advisable to go for a walk after a big meal. Even better: Start with sport in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. Then we excrete everything that is left in our gut from the day before. Plus: Having a stressful period of time after eating is poison and will cause problems again.
If all this does not help you, it is advisable to see a doctor. You may be suffering from an intolerance. For me, as mentioned above, this was the case with gluten-containing foods. This has been proven by a blood test in which more than 200 foods have been tested. Since then, I’ve been cutting it out whenever possible.
I hope that this blogpost was helpful for you. It is important to me that topics that are often still regarded as taboo topics are discussed more often. Because what could be more natural than our digestion? Let me know what you think about it and what usually helps you and what you have problems with. I look forward to reading your comments.
Best wishes and see you soon,