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9 Steps to Avoiding Vegan Digestive Issues When You Switch to Plants

Written by Ali Brown
vegan digestive issues

Transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet is a health-conscious choice, but it may lead to some digestive changes at first. Beginners often ask, "How do I deal with vegan digestive issues? Are these permanent?" The good news is, these vegan digestion changes are temporary and with a few simple yet effective tips you can navigate these changes while avoiding vegan digestive issues.

9 steps to avoiding vegan digestive issues 

1. Start slowly

 If you're new to a whole food plant-based diet, it's essential to ease into it gradually. According to the American Heart Association, making slow and steady dietary changes can help your digestive system adapt. With this in mind, here are some practical tips for easing into a plant-based diet for beginners

2. Chew your food

Firstly, it's important to understand that chewing your food thoroughly is a simple yet crucial step to avoiding vegan digestive issues. As a matter of fact, chewing helps break down food into smaller, more digestible pieces, making it easier for your stomach to process

3. Stay hydrated

Similarly to chewing your food, staying well-hydrated is essential for smooth digestion. Chiefly, adequate water intake helps move fiber through your digestive system, promoting regularity

4. Fiber is good, but...

Despite the fact that fiber is a cornerstone of a whole food plant-based diet, it's important to note that excessive fiber intake, especially if increased suddenly, can lead to digestive discomfort. Gradually increase your fiber intake over time.

5. Balanced meals

Equally important, you should aim for balanced meals that include a mix of fiber-rich foods, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats. This balance can contribute to better digestion.


6. Cook your veggies

While raw veggies are nutritious, cooking certain vegetables can make them gentler on your digestive system. Methods like steaming or roasting can enhance digestibility. What's more, steamed vegetables don't have to be mushy. In fact, they shouldn't be at all nor will they be when you prepare them using these tips.

7. Getting legumes right

Beans and lentils are fantastic sources of plant-based protein, but they can cause gas and bloating. Soaking them before cooking can help reduce these digestive issues.

8. Probiotic foods

Avoiding vegan digestive issues is a whole lot easier when you incorporate plant-based probiotic-rich foods. For example, fermented vegan foods like sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, tempeh, or even some brands of plant-based yogurts with live cultures (double check to make sure these aren’t loaded with refined sugar though).

10. Listen to your body

Your body is your best guide when it comes to plant-based digestion. With this in mind, pay attention to how your body reacts to different whole foods and adjust your diet accordingly.

Vegan digestive issues be gone!

In conclusion, managing digestive changes on a whole food plant-based diet is entirely achievable. As has been noted, starting slowly, emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods, and being mindful of your food choices can help you avoid vegan digestive issues. Finally, remember this is all a journey towards better health, and your digestive system will adapt over time, we promise! 

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