Are you being told to “eat your vegetables,” but you can’t bring yourself to enjoy them? The problem may be that you are eating too many or that you are eating the wrong vegetables for your body. In this article, we’ll give you the 101 on how to enjoy vegetables and maximize their health benefits.
The large amounts of fiber in vegetables is one reason why they’re so good for us. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that keeps our guts running smoothly. It also acts as food for our beneficial gut bacteria. This gut bacteria works with your body to improve not only the health of your gut, but the health of your immune system, mental state, and more!
However, if your gut is already irritated and inflamed, you have a bacterial imbalance/infection, or if you’re predisposed to certain gut conditions, large amounts of these fibrous vegetables could actually be causing gut problems.
Studies show that fiber can bind to essential minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Soluble and insoluble fiber are the two different types of fibers that can benefit the gut, and contribute to gut symptoms in different ways. Consuming too much fiber at one time can reduce your body’s ability to absorb key vitamins and nutrients from food. You may need to cut back on your fiber intake, then, after a few months, slowly add it back to your diet. This means cutting back on the amount of vegetables you eat (just make sure you’re still eating some!). For instance, if you eat a lot of broccoli, you would take that out of your diet for a couple months to see how you feel.
As you test vegetables out, pay attention to how certain veggies make you feel. If you’re prone to constipation, you can focus on vegetables that contain insoluble fiber. Or, if you tend to have diarrhea, vegetables that contain higher quantities of soluble fiber will be your best bet.
How to Enjoy Vegetables (Without the Gut Issues)
- Slowly increase your vegetable intake
- Be mindful and pay attention to the symptoms you’re experiencing. This can help you adjust your vegetable intake to eliminate those that are causing issues.
- Thoroughly cooking your veggies can greatly decrease your gut symptoms that may be associated with the over-consumption of vegetables.
- The fermentation process actually “pre-digests” the vegetables and makes eating them easier on your gut. Fermented foods also contain large quantities of beneficial bacteria that can also aid in digestion.
- Make sure you’re getting enough water while moderating your vegetable intake. This should help prevent any digestive symptoms associated with dehydration.
- Try viewing your food as a vehicle to care for your body more.
- Eat fewer (or different) vegetables. Eating different veggies (and even the same kind, but different colors!) will help you get the widest range of beneficial nutrients.
If you are looking to get to the root of why your gut is not happy with you after eating veggies, please contact our office today for guidance.