If you're not vegan this blog-post might not be for you. In fact "bloating" might not even be something you deal with. But! If you're vegan then you know "bloating" is on a whole other level post-vegan-switch. It took me about 1 1/2 month before my body and stomach got settled with the vegan diet. I still struggle with bloating on/off and I know a lot of my vegan friends do too. My family tried going vegan and just within a couple of days they noticed the.... stomach-discomfort.
There's nothing to worry about though! It's completely healthy and whatever you're experiencing in the gut area, is due to the extra amount of fiber and you're bodies adaption to a more nutrient dense diet.
It's not very comfortable being bloated and gassy though, so here's my tips on how to minimize bloating (but please don't worry if you experience bloating in the beginning of your vegan-journey. All bodies are different and it may take time - but your body will adjust)
Here's the tips:
1. Drink 1-2 liters of water a day. But! drink it slowly throughout the day and make sure not to drink at least 30 min. before you eat. In fact, you shouldn't drink while you're eating because it disturbs the digestive system. So drink water but be aware of when!
2. Avoid processed foods. Eating "clean" is the new black but theres actually something about it. Processed foods contains so many weird additives and an excess amout if sugar, sodium (salt) and oil. These are all difficult for your digestive system to digestest, so try to minimize your intake of processed food. My rule of thumb: "If I can't pronounce it, it's probably not good for me" Go for vegan whole-foods instead!
3. Move! Exercise is so important for your body and when you move, your food moves! Sitting still can cause bloating because your body is cramped together in the same position all day. Taking the stairs or just dancing around a bit will help your gut move things around!
4. Mono-meal or juice! If your bloating is extreme and you feel a lot of discomfort then trying out a mono-meal, might be the thing for you! A mono-meal is when you only eat 1 kind of fruit/vegetable for an entire meal. Like mangoes e.g. you'd eat 4-5 mangoes at a meal to reach your caloric needs. The benefit of this is that your digestive system only needs to focus on 1 thing in your stomach which makes the job a lot easier. You could also replace a meal with a big juice (made of 100% juice, no extra sugar). The benefit of juicing is that it's super easy to digest because a large amount of the fiber has been taken out.
5. Eat dinner early! I try to eat at least 3-4 hours before i go to bed. This allows my body the proper time to digestive a meal before shutting down for the night!
6. Chew and concentrate on your food! Eating your dinner slowly and chewing all pieces well, is basically helping out your digestive system by doing it's job! The more time you spend chewing, is less time your system needs to spend on breaking the food down. Try to not watch tv or sit with your phone while eating because these things distract you and could make you eat a lot faster than you normally would.
7. Self massage! Try gently to massage your stomach in a clock-wise direction. This can literally help move things along ;)
8. Prober food-combining! Food-combining is a large topic to cover but basically: try to avoid eating raw foods after you've eaten cooked foods. So raw fruits as a dessert might not be a good idea after a cooked dinner, if you're sensitive to bloating. If you're very sensitive to bloating then maybe try to avoid beans and other legumes in the beginning of your vegan journey (these can cause excess gas).
Hope these tips will help you and your tummy!