Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Slow digestion?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Bristol RI
    Posts
    2

    Default Slow digestion?

    So i became a vegetarian about 6 months ago and i have somewhat of an issue with digestion. I feel as if my body may still be transitioning to a more plant based diet still and thats why i have not had as regular of a tract as i had in the past. (Although i believe i sometimes still had digestive issues when i did eat meat).

    I do all that i can to preserve healthy digestion, i eat mostly a variety of raw uncooked veggies, eat fruit and drink soup. I also take pro biotics from time to time as well as enzymes before the meal.

    I guess i am more or less just wondering if people had gone through similar issues with there own transitioning because i always hear about how people have a much better digestive system once they transition. I have a notion that body is maybe still getting used to not having so much oil and fats from all of the meat and fish that i've eaten in the past and thats why even after 6 months my digestive system has cleansed a lot of those oils and now its still transforming into this plant based diet.

    Any stories of similar experiences would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Do you get enough fiber? Have you lost weight these past 6 months? Maybe you simply don't eat enough? If you switched from calorie dense foods to more raw uncooked veggies you would have to eat more in volume than you used to do.

    And seeing you are a vegetarian and not a vegan maybe try a vegan diet to see if your digestion speeds up? My vegan poo just goes woosh

  3. #3
    not a chef yet
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Nottingham/Leicester
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    How are your activity levels and water consumption? These can have a big effect on digestive function. If you think you're not eating enough fat, maybe try eating some avocado or nuts every day. You said you take a probiotic from time to time - it would probably be more helpful to take one every day at the same time, in the morning or evening. Also, do you eat meals and snacks at roughly the same time every day? This can have quite a big impact too. Lastly, you said you're eating a lot of raw vegetables and fruit. If you're not chewing these well enough it's going to take longer to digest them.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St Leonards on Sea
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Maybe if you told us what you eat on a typical day we could help with ideas of foods that would help.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Bristol RI
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    So heres the deal.

    I started college recently and i honestly have been having mainly a vegan diet. I sort of have been changing a lot of the regularities of my diet everyday but right now i am trying to stick to having one course a day which is dinner.

    I will eat some fruit like prunes and a banana prior to (wait 20 mins at least) before i have dinner. When i go to the dining hall i will have lettuce or dark leaf greens covering my plate. Then i will grab some cucumbers, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, black olives, tofu, onions, and put some balsamic vinagrette on top. I will also get some hot soup which is different everyday, the other day it was lentil soup.

    I can kind of see where one guy said my body may not be used to getting less calories yet because of how heavy i was eating up until i became a vegetarian. I mean i was eating lots of meat and fish along with cooked vegetables everyday as well as having 3 meals a day. So i do wonder how much of a change that is on my body


    I try to get 8 cups of water a day. I guess it varies because you get water from fruit, veggies and soups so i will probably get around 2 bottles of water a day and then see what happens? I'm still unsure as to how much water i am getting from the foods i eat.

    I've been taking my probiotic for about 2 and a half weeks now as well as my enzymes. The probiotics were daily but then i used it like less and now im sort of back on it daily.

    I am also walking around a lot because i have to go to class and stuff so yeah, but im not doing any sort of rigorous exercise haha.

  6. #6
    Jekyll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    What do you have for breakfast? I have wholegrain, all bran type cereal and then some prunes mid morning and you could set your watch by my digestion!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St Leonards on Sea
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Hi, when you say one course a day do you mean one meal or one course per meal?

    Sounds like you aren't eating enough to me. You need to add some rice, pasta, bulgar wheat, wholemeal bread. Add some olive oil to your food. Add avocados, nuts, seeds and beans.

    Are you trying not to eat carbs?

  8. #8
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Barcelona
    Posts
    2,042

    Default

    Heya Tom, what I got from your post is that you eat one meal a day, and I'm guessing from the context that you have your meals provided for you by your university.

    Firstly, you can't just live on one meal a day, its not sustainable. Secondly, you need to add carbs and fats to your diet. Ask the canteen to make you plain rice/pasta/whatever grain and bring some tinned beans and nuts to add substance to your meals. The best thing for your digestion is to snack throughout the day. Thirdly, if you're only eating one meal a day because of limited options provided by your university, talk to the caterers and see if they can provide more options for you.
    Houmous atá ann!

  9. #9
    Aurore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paris
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Hi ! I confirm, one meal a day is not enough. 3 is really ideal, and you can add a snack in the middle of the afternoon as well. Try to add some carbs, they are your energy, preferably whole cereals as they are slow sugars, they will keep you full with the fibers and not make you crave for more. You can also put in your bag a small ziploc of hazelnuts or almonds, just a few are enough to calm down your hunger. If i remember correctly 3 nuts or hazelnuts, or 2 almonds are enough to provide your daily need of omega 3.
    Eating raw is also consuming more energy to be digested, and you digest more slowly as well. Chewing is important as saliva predigest things, i'm guilty of eating too fast, and what can also happen is feeling bloated. You do need a bit of fat, so don't hesitate to add some oil on your salad for example. Steam cooked vegetable are also good, so unless you chose to eat raw, don't hesitate to take them. I don't really know what food you have access to, so these are just suggestions.
    Probiotics are fantastic, but you do need to take them daily, preferably outside of meal, to avoid being destroyed by the digestive acid, my doctor suggested me either in the morning before breakfast, or just before going to bed.
    If you still have digestive issues, bubbly water can help (or make you bloated, it varies from person to person), or you can take charcoal under the form of supplement. It regulates your digestion, i've been taking it for a few months now, and it does help me.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    I would not suggest to add any processed fats (e.g. pressed oil) to your diet (unless you are seriously underweight that is), as that has virtually no nutrients compared to the energy content. Rather eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, or, if you want fatty food, rather eat the whole vegetables like avocado or olives. If you have abundant calories, fat gets stored in your body as fat, that is the easiest way for your body to deal with it.

    Seriously, I do not know any long-term vegan (meaning person vegan for a year of more) who has digestion problems. Quite the opposite - a vegan diet can help many to get rid of laxatives.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  11. #11

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    I have only had improved digestion since becoming vegan a year and a half ago. I had terrible digestive problems as an omnivore, and dairy was the worst as I was lactose intolerant. I could never tolerate fatty meat.

    What helps me most to maintain an active metabolism and digestive tract is to eat five small meals a day instead of three large ones. I get on average 7 or 8 servings of fruits and veggies a day, and I include several servings of whole raw types of fats like avocado, certain nuts or seeds, coconut, olives, or high quality flax oil (just a little bit in raw cold food like salads). I am slightly underweight and very active so I do need a little fat in my diet. I tried severely restricting my fat intake a few times over long periods and I felt terrible, lost a lot of hair, and had no energy. That doesnt work for me. I absolutely need a little fat in my diet, not a lot, but enough. I also eat more grains than others seem to (five or six servings a day), but keep them whole and less flour, such as buckwheat groats, wild or brown rice, millet, quinoa, etc. I do eat lots of beans/legumes and rely on the nuts and seeds for protein and sustainable energy as I can not tolerate soy due to thyroid issues made worse with it. I am very regular with my diet, but if my thyroid is off I tend to go more than usual. I am very rarely if ever consitpated at all since being vegan. I honestly can't remember the last time I was constipated.

    I think eating only once a day is bad for the metabolism, and I would think restricting to only soup and fruits and vegetables would be hard to function on long term.

  12. #12
    Aurore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paris
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Everyone needs fats in their diet, you know, the omegas we cannot synthesize. I am overweight and on a diet for that, and i still get my 2 tablespoons a day, which is every fat included, and it's actually a general recommendation. I don't reach that dosage every day, but i can use a bit of olive oil in my pan when needed, and add some nut oil on my salad.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Quote Aurore View Post
    Everyone needs fats in their diet, you know, the omegas we cannot synthesize. I am overweight and on a diet for that, and i still get my 2 tablespoons a day, which is every fat included, and it's actually a general recommendation. I don't reach that dosage every day, but i can use a bit of olive oil in my pan when needed, and add some nut oil on my salad.
    I agree with you totally! There seems to be a lot of anti fats sentiment among vegans, and I know famous vegan doctors like Dr. Esselstyn are vehemently against more than a bare minimum of fat in the diet. I can see not drowning everything in oil or processed vegan margarine, but honestly I think some nuts and seeds and high quality oils like flax oil provide essential nutrients that we need that we can't get much of from other plants. Sure people can go overboard on nuts but is it a reason to avoid them? I used to be terrified of eating anything with fat in it, now I get defensive when I am told in some indirect or direct way that the fat I am eating is bad for me and I am going to end up with a heart attack or high cholesterol. My total cholesterol last Spring after over a year vegan was 125 (HDL 56 and LDL 62), hardly anything to be concerned about. And I still enjoyed my almonds and tahini.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Yes, but go for the nuts, almonds and olives instead of the pressed oil!

    I eat a bunch of walnuts every day as snack after dinner to get my ALA (the stuff containing the omega 3 and 6), but otherwise try to do without adding oils and fats. Granted, I (like many others in Western civilizations) am slightly overweight, so I try to get as many nutrients in the calories I daily consume and work out. 20 years ago, I was also very slim, but I found out that a sedentiary lifestyle will have you pay attention to your weight rather sooner than later.

    To me, the basic idea of Joel Fuhrman of Nutrient density seems to make a lot of sense: http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article17.aspx

    So I try to eat as many unprocessed fruits and vegetables as possible, instead of the products made from them by refining, juicing and pressing.

    Best regards,
    Andy

    p.S. robin, please keep in mind that Dr. esselstyn's main line of work is to save people who are at the verge of or past a cardiovascular condition, which is unfortunately still the killer # 1 in Western countries. There are no half measures at that point IMO.

  15. #15
    Lentils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Leeds, UK
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Not all fats are equal! For example, 70% of the fat in walnuts is polyunsaturated (20% omega3, 80% omega6) so it takes a very small serving of walnuts to get all your essential fatty acids. You could eat 20x more fat from other sources and still not get as much of the EFAs as you'd get from walnuts, take olive oil for example, it's only 10% polyunsaturated fat (10% omega3, 90% omega6).

    The only essential dietary fats are polyunsaturated fats.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: Slow digestion?

    Also, not all fatty acids are equal - take a look at the importance of the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids: http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/apjc...1sup2/S163.pdf

    In short, Omega-3 (ALA) is often missing, while too much Omega-6 is used, so the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is too high.

    Best regards,
    Andy

Similar Threads

  1. Crock pot / slow cooker recipes
    By Peas'nHominy in forum VEGAN FOOD
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: Mar 25th, 2008, 06:49 PM
  2. The Human "Hybrid" Digestion System
    By Zero in forum Raw vegan?
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Mar 18th, 2008, 02:31 AM
  3. The Simple little Vegan Slow Cooker
    By SandraD in forum Cookbooks
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Mar 12th, 2007, 01:00 AM
  4. The Slow Food Revolution
    By eve in forum VEGAN FOOD
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jul 25th, 2004, 05:14 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •