Got Digestive Problems? Take It Easy on the Veggies. | Chris Kresser
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Got Digestive Problems? Take It Easy on the Veggies.

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digestive problems veggies
If you have digestive problems, veggies high in insoluble fiber—like spinach—can make them worse. iStock/Edalin

Previously, I wrote an article called “FODMAPS: Could Common Foods Be Harming Your Digestive Health?” 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. I also have information on what would make up a diverticulitis diet menu if you’ve suffered from an attack.

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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.

Find out how following mainstream advice to eat six to eight servings of vegetables a day could hurt your gut.

Vegetables, Insoluble Fiber, and Soluble Fiber

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.

Vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber include:

  • Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress, etc.)
  • Whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods
  • Green beans
  • Kernel corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic
  • Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
The vegetables that are high in soluble fiber, but lower in insoluble fiber (and thus tend to be safer for those with gut issues) include:
  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Summer squash (especially peeled)
  • Starchy tubers (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes)
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Plantains
  • Taro
  • Yuca
Another helpful tip is to reduce the variety of vegetables you eat at any given meal. Instead of stir-fries with six different veggies, have a single steamed or roasted vegetable as a side dish. This works better for most people with gut issues.

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:

  1. Never eat insoluble fiber foods on an empty stomach. Always eat them with other foods that contain soluble fiber.
  2. Remove the stems and peels (i.e. from broccoli, cauliflower, and winter greens) from veggies (and fruits) high in insoluble fiber.
  3. Dice, mash, chop, grate or blend high-insoluble fiber foods to make them easier to break down.
  4. 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 and 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:

chart comparing nutrient content of liver, beef, kale & blueberries

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 six to eight 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:

  1. Make them yourself. Check out this page for a great primer. It’s really quite easy, and cheap.
  2. 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.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to health, and no two people should follow the exact same diet. Someone who’s experiencing more mild digestive issues might see a big difference after reducing the amount of vegetables they eat, while someone else with IBS, SIBO, and/or significant bloating might benefit from following a more restrictive approach, like a short-term, low-FODMAP diet.

But what’s the best way to determine which approach is right and support someone who’s trying to make major dietary changes and improve their health? I believe that a health coach, working together with a Functional Medicine practitioner, can offer the support needed to help clients alleviate their digestive discomfort and heal.

Health coaches are armed with knowledge. They understand how human motivation works, and they’re experts in the science behind behavior change. They are skilled at offering their clients the support they need to make changes—like adopting a low-FODMAP diet or implementing other treatment protocols from their doctor.

At the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program, we teach you how to offer the kind of support that helps clients reach their wellness goals. We also offer a solid background in Functional and ancestral health, so you understand the mechanisms behind a number of chronic illnesses and health conditions.

Learn more about what health coaches do from the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.

546 Comments

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  1. what is the best veg, fruits, meat and fish to eat and not if you have body inflammation and acid reflux.

  2. When I decide to eat “healthy” I’ll eat anywhere between 6-8 veggies a sail, easily. Within two days I am constipated and can literally smell the vegetables rotting inside me. I keep finding new fruits and veggies that give me severe pain and bloating within minutes to hours of eating them. This was good advice, I appreciate it.

    • I have a Colostomy and have had to figure out WHAT is wrong. I think I’ve had some blockages and always severe constipation. So, found out, by research, and this page, to lay off the veggies (which I was eating a ton of). Now, so far, I’m getting better. Wow! I’m just amazed at how the FDA preaches veggies and yet they’re harmful, or at least of no real benefit. ha!

      • Be sure to get your supplements if you cut out vegies. I am just reintroducing vegies to my diet slowly after 20 years of a low-residue diet. I have an ostomy on the other side as a result of having all my colon removed and I found it necessary to cut out vegies to maintain employment. I am now on disability and don’t have to worry about how many times I have to empty my appliance so I am eating more vegies now and I love it. One benefit is that I don’t have to spend as much on supplements. It is amazing how more effective the natural sources for nutrients are for healing and good skin. Remember to be careful about your vitamin K. It is tricky to get the right amount from supplements so consult your doctor.

        • You’re better off eating organ meat. Veggies don’t have the best forms of the nutrients you are “missing” without them.

  3. I have a question and cannot find the answer on the internet.
    What enzyme is in pea protein that causes digestive issues,and what enzyme neutralizes it? I want to get digestive enzymes but want to make sure this enzyme is available in the capsule before i buy it. there are many foods such as the Macro Bar that uses pea protein in their ingredients (for vegans) and i just can’t eat them. Thanks 🙂

    • I can’t answer your pea protein question but I have been told by my gastro to take beano twice for every meal and its a digestive enzyme. I was told to do this for a month and if it helps then that means Im eating too much insoluble veggies. Ive only done it for 2 days so I still need a while till I can tell you if it works or not but it might be worth a shot. (I went to the gastro with issues of bloating, gas, and very soft stool.)

  4. That is crazy to tell people that it is not that important to eat so many vegetables. Meat does NOT have the phytonutrients we need to combat diseases like cancer, and meat is way too acidic without adequate vegetables to maintain balance. Vegetables and greens should be the main food on everyones plate. If you cant handle the fiber simply heal and seal the gut if you have digestive issues and add additional fiber a little at a time. I eat at least 15 servings a day with an additional 20 servings from green and red powders and look at least 10 years younger than my age. Too much meat, especially by itself is extremely hard to digest, especially red meat, and takes a considerable amount of effort for the body to digest it, aging you faster. There are plenty of studies on the phytonutrient benefits as well as vegetable fiber in preventing disease.

    • The Mongolian people have a meat only diet and they thrive.
      Besides,if certain foods or a group of foods cause digestive issues,it is a hinderance to eat them because they cause digestive issues on other foods that are present in the gut. Not to mention the obvious issues i.e. gas and diarrhea..
      There is also the Macro-diet. My friend does it and has achieved incredible health after a lifetime of allergies and digestive issues..

    • I used to eat heaps of vegetables being paleo, however they cause me huge digestional distress since getting diagnosed with gallstones, I am stuck to the toilet and in pain and also cause reflux, so am I to just ignore the pain and bowel issues and eat more? Meat has stabilised my weight loss and keeping my symptoms stable along with a very small amount now of limited cooked veg and other non dairy foods and some berries.

    • I have a “rock” in my stomach when I eat too many veggies… especially raw. He never said not to eat veggies but gave examples on what to eat that is good/bad for digestion. He also didn’t say to only eat meat! I just came back from a raw food diet yoga retreat with tons of veggies and I was so sick and bloated and constipated and felt at all times I had a rock in my belly.

      Each to their own! You are lucky you can digest well.

    • Good for you. You are able to digest lots of veggies. However, many of us cannot. Perhaps you should consider reading the article and readers comments better….

      • Not eating too many veggies (and thus fibre) does NOT imply eating more meat – think straight and read whats written. I have also found that if I centrifuge veggies – ie have the juice and its goodness without the fibre I can tolerate more of them. I do however leave the fibre in with the fruit. Each persons body is somewhat different and we each have to find out own way – I was just sharing my experience in case it was of help to some others.

    • I have zero problem eating all meat if I feel like doing so. It does NOT make you acidic. In fact, meat contains an amino acid called glutamine which buffers ammonia in your kidneys. And the greatest contributors to cancer are high blood sugar, high insulin, inflammation, and environmental pollutants. Your vegetables solve NONE of those problems by themselves. (You *could* eat nothing but leafy veg for the rest of your life and not have high blood sugar or insulin… but then you would die of malnutrition.)

      • @Dana There is an exception to the mean not making you acidic.

        If you are taking in too much fructose and alcohol it will impair your purine metabolism. If you take in purine rich foods while your purine metabolism is impaired (i.e. red meat) then your serum uric acid levels will go up (which can lead to gout, etc).

        So yes, red meat CAN make you acidic… But its not the cause, just a trigger. The cause is fructose and/or alcohol.

  5. Why do I feel sick when I eat raw veggies or fruit but if they are cooked I can eat them all ? I miss a cold orange or apple Iv’e checked out the web but it’s all mumbo jumbo

    • It’s not crazy. What good is it to try to obtain nutrients from food poorly absorbed? Vegetables increase intestinal motility and can cause diarrhea. They are good for you if you are constipated. Get phytonutrients from fruit. Fruit is not so problematic, except bananas. Phytonutrients are helpful, but they are not essential to a healthy diet. Vegetables are super foods, packed with vitamins and minerals and low in calories. But the nutrients in vegetables are poorly absorbed. We don’t have the enzymes to break down the cell walls.

    • when I eat kale I end up with some upset, acts as laxative. Small amounts are ok, I have since switched to spinach to mix in romaine lettuce salads. We try to eat at least 6-7 servings of produce (like 3 fruits and 3 veg or more veg. Bok choy and the cabbage family is another problem, except I can eat collards, which is only veg. in that class I really like anyway. I try to eat fruit in season. Not everyone can eat every type fr. or veg. in existence, with no side effects.

  6. I have three main food intolerances: all dairy and including soya and rice and almond milk (appears to be the fats?);
    all gluten in all grains; salicylates. That is pretty much all food except for meat. i only drink water.
    I cannot digest any food at all unless I am taking a lot of digestive supplements (that is pancreatin as well as zymactive) and i get terrible chest pains if i don’t take those supplements all day long.
    I eat lettuce with olive oil and sea salt during the day and a small piece of meat or eggs at night. i never eat vegetables with meat. i have tried a couple of carrots here and there with my meal but the results are very bad with indigestion and gas and bloat and cramps.
    However, recently i was unable to cook so just stuck to lettuce and eggs for a few days. When i went back to meat again i found i could not digest it either.
    I am starting to wonder if i am going to end up not being able to digest anything at all soon.

    • Hello eva,

      I’ve had the same symptoms you have for more than a year now and i’m starting to feel much better by following a certain regimen.

      What you need is to boost your stomach acid so it’s able to digest the food that you eat. Our body is smart and knows that if we have an ulcer in our digestive track, it should inhibit the production of stomach acid so that the acid doesn’t irritate the ulcer further. The problem with that is we find ourselves unable to digest the food that we eat and we develop intolerance to many things.

      So the trick is, after your body heals the ulcer, you need to turn the digestive fire back on. The following line will explain how to do that:

      First, you wanna make sure you go on a conscious restrictive diet to give time for your body to heal from the ulcer. This involves engaging in a plant-base diet or more precisely, an alkaline diet. This involves stopping the consumption of acid forming foods like animal product (egg, meat, milk, fish etc). You can go to a doctor to check regularly if your ulcer is healed (if you had any, that is). Once you are clear, now we more to step two.

      Secondly, you don’t want to be dehydrated. You want to drink 3 liters of water daily. This water will help protect the lining of your stomach so that the stomach acids can’t burn through and give you an ulcer.

      Step number three. Your liver produces bile, which due to our bad eating habits, can get sticky and clog your liver making it work sluggishly. A good bile flow is necessary for the emptying of food mixed with stomach acids into the small intestine. If you don’t produce enough bile, your stomach won’t empty it’s content into the small intestine because it wouldn’t be able to withstand the acid in it. So bile actually neutralizes the acid so the small intestine can accept the food. If the small intestine doesn’t receive the stomach content, the food is forced back out to the mouth, that’s why you get the chest pain which is actually caused by the acid moving back up through your esophagus (Acid Re-flux).

      Now the question is, “How do you increase your bile flow ?”. Simply by consuming 1 whole beet daily for 3 months every morning.

      Following this regimen will help your body produce enough stomach acid required to digest the food that you eat. It’s restore your digestive strength to when you were able to digest anything.

      SUMMARY:

      – Heal your ulcer if you have any by putting your body in a healing mode, by sticking to an alkalizing diet
      – Hydrate your body by drinking 3 liters of water daily
      – Boost your bile flow by eating 1 raw beet daily.

      Tip:

      . Try to limit your fruits and vegetables to your morning meals
      . Eat a small piece of ginger roots before every meal to stimulate stomach acid production
      . Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one lemon in a cup of water and drink 20 mins after a meal
      . Don’t drink after soon after a meal, or directly before a meal. Keep a 30 minutes interval before and after meals

      If you have more questions, you can contact me through email [email protected] or send me a message on facebook (adiang ma’at jacques). And yeah, i’m a black dude just so you know 🙂

      I hope you get well soon. 🙂

    • I think celery juice, as talked about extensively in the Medical Medium book by Anthony William, would help you. I can eat so many things now that I couldn’t before starting a program based on his book.

      • Yes,
        I have had everything checked out. I have multiple problems collagenous colitis, hiatal hernia, stomach ulcer and diverticulitis.

  7. I’ve heard that veg can be bad for those with delicate stomach issues, IBS, etc, particularly greens and raw veg, but this article explains further exactly what hearsay I’ve heard. I’ve just been sick, vomiting pale acidy sick, stomach pain, bloating and indigestion after eating baby sprouts, and have felt ghastly and gone to bed.

    I have avoided them for years, just something about them gives me the colly wobbles, and now I know why. Peas are fine, potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, avocado, spinach, broccoli and cabbage a bit windy, but nothing like this. They were well cooked as well, and fresh from Waitrose. Oddly enough I can eat lots of any fruit (apart from dried fruit) and I’m fine. Is it the sulphur in dried fruit and brassicas that’s to blame?

    I’ll certainly be avoiding them in future!

  8. A few things I might add. Good probiotics is always a GREAT start for correcting digestive issues…this is critical due to our heavy intake of antibiotics throughout our food system and medical system. This will help restore your gut. Also, many people are low in certain digestive issues. That being said, you may need to add a good digestive enzyme when you consume certain foods. Eating more RAW veggies can help as well. Finally, many people have food sensitivies…always good to isolate these types of foods from the diet. Using a Food Elimination Diet will help you locate YOUR culprit. If you find out you have a difficult time staying away from the food culprit, you can then seek out a NAET practitioner who will REMOVE the sensitivity. ALWAYS good to CORRECT the CAUSE of why you have digestive issues. 🙂

    • Please explain how NAET heals digestive issues. We do NAET for my son who apparantly has digestive issues with sugar, soy and combining grains and potatoes. I haven’t addressed anything digestive through NAET and don’t understand if it will work for that. Thank you so much in advance if you reply!

    • Raw vegetables are a no no for my IBS. I can tolerate a small amount of raw carrot. I have to avoid a lot of cooked veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.

    • Says diet band wagon. They don’t call them special diets for no reason. Without the food pyramid you will develop deficiencies. Which could easy lead to ailments. I don’t think the portions are realistic, some to forever strive for, not. Any new diet that comes out is looking for something that already exists. It could benefit some people. I would say more than most will excel with the food pyramid, family safe to. We all are unique and some may require a specialized diet. But remember that’s what it is and it will have negative consequences. Rather curtail your specific food to their grouping and agreeability.

  9. How do you classified insoluble fiber abundant vegetables and soluble fiber abundant vegetables? For example, how do you know that cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, etc.) are high in insoluble fibers?
    I did some search on the information, but I couldn’t find any scientific background.

    • Food scientists performed experiments to see how soluble certain vegetables are, and how insoluble other vegetables are, I assume by immersing them in something akin to stomach acids and seeing which ones dissolved and which ones didn’t. Pretty much basic science.

      • That type of experiment in no way would work in and of itself given that most fiber from veggies or fruit are digested in the large bowel by bacteria not stomach acids. It’s more than likely a bacterial imbalance that leads to a lack of ability to digest soluble fiber for sure. Insoluble fiber is just that. No amount of acid is going to dissolve that. Or gut bacteria. Cooking the fiber well might make it more tolerable though and less abrasive on gut.

  10. I think Fodmaps is great and helps people pinpoint what may be problematic for them. But some Westerners are just not accustomed, nor have yet built up digestive good bacteria to break down plants that they need for optimal health, which can develop with gradually increasing intake of plant fibers.

    Sticking to high amounts of vegetables that work for them is likely best. And though there are great health benefits of raw vegetables, the best bang for nutrition buck is cooked greens, like lucinato kale.

    One cup serving at breakfast and one at dinner/supper would provide a ton of nutrition and cooking the kale with a bit of water for 5-6 minutes, would likely not lead to any digestion problems for those with IBS. You get the rainbow of nutrients AND easier digestion with cooked, rather than raw dark leafy greens.

    • To my digestive system, kale is an absolute nominated it’s just too rough. Even when I’ve cooked it down, it still hurts me. Spinach is much more tolerable.

    • That Rainbow of nutrients that disappears with cooking. There isn’t much point eating food that’s over cooked. Better to juice and remove the fiber if you want the nutrition. For that matter if there’s foods are THAT vital for health, and the average Westerner can’t digest them, ate they really that vital? Half of the plants out there put our anti nutrients like phytates or salicylate or oxylates that bind calcium and other minerals in the gut. It’s not just the average green fly they’re trying to deter or kill then is it?

  11. Having a history of hiatal hernia for over 20 years and having surgical intervention I’ve been selective about vegetable intake. Last night had lightly steamed broccoli and also ate some stems. Woke up with moderate cramps & some bloating. Proceeded to read some articles to find that broccoli was not a veggie of choice for my condition. I’ll be more careful and selective in the future with regard to vegetable intake!

  12. I have found vegetables along with fruit can heighten pain in many IBS suffers. But keeping a balanced diet is essential. The key is working out across all food groups which ones are your biggest triggers and then trying to avoid them

  13. Where do you base your distinction between insoluble and soluble fiber vegetables on? Charts online show conflicting information, most vegetable have similar amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber for example. Also why focus only on vegetables and not fruits, grains and nuts? What’s the scientific basis for the ‘you don’t need that much vegetables’ claim? To be honest, I think there’s a massive amount of research showing the opposite, recommendations are quite conservative.

        • Yeah just makes it harder to live because you try to go on a vegetable diet and then they say you don’t eat that stuff

      • Did the meat industry pay u to post this. Listen here, your digestion problems are from meats! We as a society need to get away from the meat dominated society it is so bad for us but people and blind and in denial of the truth.

        • What a load of rubbish
          kels, people have eaten meat to survive since time began and were not vegetarians until recently. It’s clear that everyone’s digestion is different so what works for you may be different to what works for me. I am over the moon to read this article as it may really help my situation. Nothing more frustrating than being the only one in our household who cannot stomach a vegetable risotto or a Dahl when they are so “healthy” and yummy.

        • Kels, your ignorance and total lack of empathy is very sad. You cooments are spoken like someone who has no idea what IBS is like to live with. It’s ok to be ignorant because you haven’t experienced something yourself but it’s another thing to make judgemental and accusational comments towards people who do live with IBS everyday and are just trying to share information that may be used to help them improve their quality of life. Please keep your mouth closed if you don’t have anything encouraging or helpful to say.

  14. If I juice my green leaf and other veggies will that also harm my gut and cause problems with my digestion?
    How about if I blend the veggies in a powerful blender to make a nice creamy veggie smoothie? I make my smoothies only from the leafy part. I always remove the thickened stem from within the leaves. Am I doing harm to my system?????

    • Hi Gabi,
      As mentioned by Chris, it is always good to maintain a limit on consumption of insoluble as well as soluble fiber.
      Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress) are high in insoluble fiber.
      So, even if you think of making a juice, have it with some soluble food and avoid to consume on empty stomach.
      I think this won’t harm your system.
      @Chris, Green Lemon Tea has proved a natural cure for all my digestive problems. What you say? How would you recommend it to others?

    • For all digestive problems drink some apple cider vinegar the one with the mother,that will help.I use to have digestive problems, but not anymore ,since I found out about heart burn& things like that.The reason why some people like myself got those issues is that we have low acid in our stomach & that is the reason why we get hearth burn,acid reflux & stomach problem.Do some research watch video & YouTube, just don’t take my word for it.

      • I drink chia seeds and flax seeds every morning and now I also drink it before I go to bed. But lately, I experience a feeling of sour stomach in the middle of the night. I am not sure if that is the cause of it. It might be, now that I have read some articles that too much fiber can cause stomach problems. Or am I low on acid in my stomach? I am writing this at 3:45am in the morning. I will try not to take chia seeds and flax seeds before bed or none at all the next day to see if I still have a feeling of sour stomach during day and at night. I will let you know. Thanks.

    • Even if you removed fiber from Juice you are still left with oxylates and salycilates in case of veggies or fruits that contain such and the dangers of over consumption in that case leads to a deficiency in some nutrients. Oxylates and phytates bind with calcium and other minerals in the gut. Some are sensitive to nightshade plants like potatoes.

      The key in this article was BALANCED diet. Rotate your foods. Eat everything in moderation with lots of variety. When you get into eating the same thing day in and day out or eating too much of one food group or removing a few whole food groups, you are messing with your health in untold ways. It could also be said that eating local seasonal produce is the wiser option. Many of us would not have eaten bananas in the past. I myself have had intolerance tests and the main culprits were wheat, lactose, banana, potato, tomato, and glycophosphates came up high in my tests. Lots of mineral and vitamin deficiencies cropped up. KEY: a lack of sunshine or vitamin D reduces bacteria levels in the gut of ALL bacteria that assist us with digestion! This is why we gain weight in winter and lose it in summer. Get out and get some sun exposure. Take vitamin D and Also take B vitamins until your D levels are such that bacteria levels in gut are optimal again. The bacteria manufacture B vitamins in the gut. No sun, low D, therefore results in B deficiencies.

      In choosing what veggies to eat, it is far better to eat locally grown veggies only when they’re in season than to eat them all year round as your body gets a welcome break if there IS anything causing an issue in those veggies. Your far more able to see patterns re intolerance seasonally.

      This is common sense stuff. Ditto fruit, meat or anything you consume. Also take a look at what is being sprayed onto your veggies. At the very least but the dirty dozen fruits and veggies from organic suppliers. There are so many people posting here with issues and I don’t even think most people think about lack of sunlight affecting digestion but it does. Get away from the screen and get outside.

  15. I too have tried many diets, including paleo, and have come to the conclusion, through many trials, that meat consumption is the biggest culprit behind my indigestion. Beef, pork, and game meats, no matter how organic, free range, or pastured, always, always, always give me problems. I just cannot digest meat. I find that chicken and fish are more easily tolerated, along with (gasp!) certain grains like oatmeal and basmati rice, which I eat in moderation. I continue to steer clear of nightshades, and even fermented veggies contribute to my never-ending heartburn. I love salads but usually have problems with them too. I have been looking into ayurvedic cuisine and have found the diet, mostly vegetarian and relatively high carb, very easy on my system. I like the idea behind low carb and agree with the science, but it just doesn’t work for me. And yes, I’ve tried HCL supplementation. HCL doesn’t work either. I guess I am a special case.

    • Sounds like you’ve had some serious, chronic indigestion. Might want to diagnose/resolve underlying conditions (such as Crohn’s/UC/Hirschsprung’s/allergies) before drawing any general lifestyle/dietary conclusions.

    • I don’t think you are any special. Lots of people have the same problems, but instead of realizing them they walk around with big bellies and loads of old food in their guts. And you know it is you if you go to the bathroom and it smells really bad… old meat and other animal products decomposing don’t smell good.

    • Have you taken the type test on Mercola.com? I think about 1/3 of people should be more vegetarian. I also think things change as we wax and wane in our health. I grew up eating beef and love it, but I’ve noticed sometimes it gives me trouble.

    • Where is your quarter? Because if you are not from the center for sure you are eating pork meat or sh..t meat. Those porks serve only a purpose against the freedom of the big men to eat the meat of animals, cousins of workers and small people. But a pork cant be eaten and this is the reason of their job integrated meat fibres in the meat industry or the max-food.

    • To Mark. You just hit the nail on the head – same issues here. I physically want to throw up after eating meat. Fish I can stand. Chicken is okay depending on how it’s cooked. Even lamb if it is very tender I can stomach. Red meat not a chance. It has however been difficult moving to a plant based diet when all some veggies seem to want to do is try to kill me via reflux. LOL

  16. I have tried so many different eating plans and can’t seem to land on one that works. I contracted giardia decades ago trekking in Nepal, and have had gut problems ever since. There is very little that I can eat when my tummy is upset. I have just eaten a bowl of FODMAP friendly veggies and my stomach is growling, rumbling, gassy and painful. And it didn’t include those in the list above. I’ve tried paleo eating but struggle eating so much meat and fat and had so much indigestion and chest pain, and as I get older I’m worried about cholesterol and heart health. I want to eat a plant-based diet, but that’s proving impossible. I’m gluten and dairy free due to the giardia and impaired gut health. I’m not sure what else is left!

    • Never been trekking in Nepal but i have similar issues, can’t consume dairy, gluten, wheat, most veggies and fruit. Did you properly eradicate the parasite? Perhaps do some research on this and get retested. I survive on chicken, fish, beef, corn(cornflakes, corn chips) rice, rice crispies, some seeds and nuts and occasionally eggs. I would suggest low fat meats for you, if you do eat veggies, eat less of them. Avoid at all costs added ingredients like mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids, anything derived from polyols, pectin is another one_apple fiber) they use different names but polyols are undigestible and for people like us=hassle…flatulance, bloating, excessive toilet trips. This site may be useful: http://www.ukfoodguide.net/enumeric.htm I’m assuming that you won’t be exposed to these much if you have a clean diet but it’s always best to be aware. My only other suggestion is try enzymes, probiotics and as i said, make sure the parasite isn’t still kicking about. I wish i could help more but i’m in the same situation, trying to be healthy without consuming fruit/veg. Fodmaps is the way to go but just take it easy, slow introduction, perhaps try to find alternative foods that contain the same vitamins, chew well, eat small amounts often. Good luck!

    • Nicola, try a glass of montmorillonite clay water a day (1/2 tsp. in 6-8 ounces of room temperature water) morning or night. Read the Clay Cure by Ran Knishinsky. The clay is very soothing to the whole digestive system and it will heal inflammation as well as safely kill parasites. It will not take long clay is amazing.

    • Try hemp seeds hemp hearts full of omegas 3 and 6 perfect 1:3 ratio and it’s the only plant that is close to a complete protein very close. I say because I had stomach problem and the doc had me on chemical fiber psyllium and it screwed my stomach up. But I switched to hemp seeds instead and I’m 100 percent better I hope it can help you.

    • In 2006, I believe I got food poisoning / giardia as well. I was on the pot with diarrhea the next day and I was literally on there heaving and pooping everything out almost ALL DAY (I’m not exaggerating). Ever since then, I’ve been dairy and gluten intolerant. The gluten intolerant may be celiac disease since my mom tested positive for it and I’m of Northern European / Viking descent (Norwegian) but live here in America, which I’ve heard has the worst cases of Celiac and gluten intolerance. But the dairy was definitely new (I’m 33 now, so that was when I was around 23 years old). Every time I drink straight cow’s milk (even tried RAW cow’s milk with the same result), I end up with these horrid sulfur burps that taste and smell like ROTTEN EGGS.

      So through self-diagnosis, I think I may have Celiac Disease and Dairy Sensitivities. I can understand the getting away from corn as well, which is virtually GMO across the board anymore. Grains are a no-go and same with oats. What about rice and beans? I have no clue what the hell to eat anymore. My mom tested positive for Celiac Disease, I most likely have it too. As a kid I had eczema and would also spit up the baby formula a lot.

      Lately, I’ve been having asthmatic symptoms where I can barely catch my breath walking up some stairs (mind you, I’m in very good shape, lift weights, try to eat right, etc..). It’s October 2016 right now, but up to July 2016, I was lifting weights 2 times a week and doing intense cardio 2 to 3 days a week. That all came to a screeching halt in August when I couldn’t catch my breath in between sets. I also have acid reflux and I get canker sores on the inside of my mouth at times too. I was also waking up with hypnopompic and hypnagogic hallucinations when acid reflux and anxiety were high (accompanied by chills). Insomnia was another one. I am getting jittery and feeling like I’m about to die at times. I also had flaky dry skin especially some redness and flaky skin (seborrheic dermatitis) where my mustache comes in. I’m trying to figure out what to eat to stop all this madness! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

      • It looks like you would benefit from the specific carbohydrate diet (scd). Elaine Gotschall wrote the book “Breaking the vicious cycle” after her daughter, who exhibited many of the symptoms you described, including hallucinations, was healed with this diet. Pecanbread.com is very helpful as well in using this diet.

      • I had some although not all of those symptoms. I was eventually (through my insistence on specific tests I researched) diagnosed with environmental toxin poisoning. My system is not good at detoxifying so I had to get rid of every possible chemical in my life … beauty and personal products, cleaning products, medications, etc. I already ate very cleanly and little to no processed foods but was vegetarian. Now I am a flexitarian and am doing so well. I credit the elimination of chemicals in my life and house. Read up on ‘reducing body burden’. Diet is only part, albiet a large part, of the answer.

    • I wondered how you are doing because your post parallels my condition. ..I am allergic to dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, and corn. Plus I can’t eat meat or poultry I never could they both make me sick within minutes. I can’t eat vegetables or fruits at all…am totally fructose intolerant now (never was before)…so soluble or insoluble fiber doesn’t matter because they all have fructose. I can’t eat quinoa because it’s 64% insoluble fiber and fresh rice makes me very sick. All I eat now are rice krispies, chocolate, and plain peanut butter all organic with no additives. What do you eat? Please respond

  17. Is there any useful enzyme one can take, a la beano, that makes digesting raw veggies easier? I love lettuce,etc. and it is, in other ways, an important part of my diet. Thanks.

  18. I cannot eat raw fruits or raw vegetables. I am wondering if blending raw fruits and vegetables into a smoothie will work or is it that cooking them changes the chemistry so I can digest them? I am scared to try this for fear of getting sick, but if blending them will do the same thing as cooking them, I want to give it a try. Thanks for your help.

    • Cooking them destroys some of the fiber. Try low FODMAP diet and your vegies and fruits on an empty stomach (especially fruit). They are easier to digest if raw by the way so that means if you’re having issues it’s either the combination with other heavier foods that keeps them longer in your stomach, overeating, poor chewing, fodmap intollerance.

  19. I’ve heard cabbage juice helps a myriad of digestive problems. They say juice one cabbage a day and drink it 4x throughout the day and eat the diet you can handle and you should start feeling better and hopefully start to slowly introduce more foods after the gut heals. Has anyone else heard about this or tried it? I’ve watched a number of success stories on youtube about it. I’m going to try it cause I haven’t been able to eat raw fruit and veggies for 2 years without symptoms unless they are cooked. I’m pretty sure I have an ulcer in my mid abdomen cause tomatoe and citrus bother me but I’m paying off lots of medical bills or I would get another expensive test done that may or may not give me more answers. I really believe the body can heal itself if given the right nutrients so before going back to the Dr. I’m going to give the cabbage juice/ low fiber/non acidic diet a chance for the next couple months. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I have some improvements. Good luck to all of you!

  20. I have an issue when eating carrots and sweet potatoes. So far, pretty much anything orange. Bloating, Constipation, then lead to Diarrhea and Stomach Pains.

    My doctor has diagnosed me with a lack of fiber issue in the past. I chew fiber gummies in the even and try to add fiber to my diet with fruits & veggies. She has no clue as to why I would be having the bad reactions to carrots or sweet potatoes. Raw, fried, boiled, steamed, doesn’t matter the form.

    Any ideas?

    • I have Colitis and the Fodmap elemination diet helped me to find what I can and can’t eat. Everyone’s food alergies are different. Ask a dietitian to provide you with the list and how to perform the test.
      If the carrots are one of those items you’re alergic to the only solution is to stop eating them.
      Adding fiber to a diet of a person with inflammatory bowels is the worst thing to do. Juice (not blend) anything that gives you trouble and see if that helps.

    • genetic conditons like inability to methylate, other genetics that cause problems with sugars, carbs etc and for some reason doctors never look at a person’s genetics. Once you know where your UNDERLYING issue is, you MIGHT be able to treat it accordingly. Sometimes it’s a matter of adding certain supplements or foods to the diet, other times it’s environment, stress etc.

    • These are actually low fodmap so that isn’t an issue.
      Don’t eat them with meats or concentrated protein/fats as they’re starchy.

      You need a balance between insoluble and soluble fibers. Look more into this!

      Have you been on a low fodmap diet for too long? (should only be 4-6 weeks).

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