I FEEL EXTREMELY BLOATED ALL DAY
Q I am a vegetarian but feel extremely bloated all through the day. What could be the reason? A Being a vegetarian does not mean the chances of being bloated are less. The reason is that a lot of vegetarians tend to load up on beans and legumes because they want to increase the amount of protein in their diet.
Legumes and beans contain a type of carbohydrate called galacto-oligosaccharides. It is a soluble fibre found in legumes, asparagus and broccoli that can cause unpleasant digestive problems for some people, especially those who already have a sensitive gut, with irritable bowel syndrome or similar digestive problems.
They also contain lectins – a protein found in almost all kinds of foods. What is interesting is that not all lectins are an issue and can cause problems with your digestive tract. Your gut and metabolism is unique so you will respond very differently to lectins compared to someone else. One easy way of managing lectins in legumes is by overcooking the legumes. This tends to work better for those who have a sensitive gut.
Other foods that have toxic lectins are grains and dairy. Sneaky forms of legumes like soy and peanuts could also be contributing to this. Even excessive consumption of nuts may lead to that bloated feeling.
If your condition is very bad and you feel uncomfortable, you must consider an elimination process and a gut cleanse for two weeks. Ignoring your gut health and thinking that gas and bloating is normal can lead to a host of other issues.
You need to start making connections with what you eat and how your body feels. The fact that your gut health is not okay is a clear sign that your body needs a check up and cleansing. Heed the warning and start to eat foods that suit your body’s constitution.
You need to consult a doctor or a nutritionist who can suggest a meal plan that suits your constitution.
RASHI CHOWDHARY is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop