Why Eating Clean Can Make You Bloated & Give You Stomach Pains
We've all been there. A new health kick where we start eating clean & healthy. But after a few days, maybe even weeks, we start to have some stomach pains, maybe some more gas than usual, or crazy amounts of bloating. Why?
Turns out some "healthy foods" cause uncomfortable side effects only in the beginning. But, don't worry. Your body will adjust to it & eventually you'll crave healthy food. In most cases, it takes a minimum of 21 days for people to "adjust". Also, research suggests that most of the time, it takes significantly longer than that minimum. Not to mention, you have to account for how unhealthy or healthy your diet has been up to this point. There will be different adjustment periods for different food groups & people, so keep this in mind as well. Knowing what foods you're sensitive to will help you adjust faster. Here are 4 types of foods that often affect most people in the beginning.
1. Leafy Greens
When starting t eat healthy it's so easy to overload every meal with veggies, but trust me you'll want to take it slow. Since vegetables contain lots of fiber that isn't broken down until it reaches your large intestine. When the bacteria in your gut starts working to break down the veggies, it ends up producing gas! This is why so many people see bloating & feel gassy when they start eating more greens. Your body will get used to it, and if it doesn't, you may need to eat 1 veggie at a time to see if your body gets irritated. If it stays irritated, stay away from that vegetable.
In order to ease your discomfort, make sure you're cooking your greens. Because eating raw vegetables will increase your chances of gas & bloating. Also, don't go too hard too quick. What i mean by that is, introduce veggies slowly, don't go ham.
Personally, I don't eat dairy. I know my body well enough that when I eat it I see skin irritation & also a lot of indigestion. However, if your body acts perfectly normal to dairy that'd great! Milk, cheese, and other dairy products can be great sources of calcium & other vitamins. If you've previously stopped having dairy & you want to get back into it, you'll want to take things slow. When you’re lactose intolerant or you haven't had dairy in a while, your small intestine doesn’t make enough lactase (the enzyme that breaks down the milk sugar lactose to digest dairy). As a result of eating dairy, you could experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pains right after eating it, or a few hours later.
In order to ease your discomfort, introduce dairy back into your diet very slowly. Also, keep your portion sizes small. If your body never adjusts, you may have an allergy or an intolerance.
I love fruit, because I'm such a big sweets fan! But, this one was the hardest for me to figure out. After eating certain berries my stomach would get really irritated & I would get so much bloating! Certain fruits such as, red apples, watermelon, and green grapes are all high in fructose, which is a form of sugar. Often times, people can have a fructose/sugar intolerance or be sensitive to it, meaning your body has a hard time digesting these sugars. (which is weird cause this doesn't happen when I eat donuts lol)
There really is no way to ease your discomfort here, you may just have to eat other types of fruits with lower or high acidic properties. For me, I had to take a break from grapes, raspberries, and watermelon. Now I eat, blackberries, blueberries, and oranges, sometimes an apple.
4. Lentils & Beans
Beans are so good, especially black beans. I love them so much. Lentils & beans are some of the most heart-friendly foods you can eat. This food group is high in fiber, and helps keep you feeling full longer. However, it may also lead to some uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects, like gas or bloating. Most beans & lentils will give you gas due to a resistant starch that passes through your system undigested until it hits the large intestine.
Ease the discomfort by slowly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. Maybe start by eating a bean or lentil twice a week. Choose days spread apart, such as Monday and Thursday.
There are also a few vitamins that can help you with your overall gut health that I use daily. Head over to my blog, "What vitamins I use for gut health" to check those out.