When people switch to a healthy plant-based diet, they’re likely to tout the many benefits that make them feel amazing: weight loss, better sleep, improved skin texture, more energy and better digestion. And while better sleep and more energy are certainly important components to health, improved digestion is the benefit that most people rave about. Anyone who has had digestive problems knows that they can rule your life with an iron fist. But when people choose a whole-food, plant-based diet, they take a huge leap towards a healthy and happy life with better digestion. Here’s how a plant-based diet helps improve digestion:
Eliminates Many Processed Foods
When you choose a healthy, plant-based diet, you’re not only cutting out meat and dairy, but you also avoid other digestion-issue-causing foods including processed foods. That means most of the packaged foods that you’d find in the middle of the grocery store are eliminated and with them, so are the ingredients you can’t pronounce. Instead, you’ll choose whole, healthy foods that nourish the body. Plant-based diet tip: Even if a product is “vegan” there are other common ingredients that can cause digestive issues, including xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, and erythritol. This is why we recommend a whole-foods, plant-based diet that avoids processed foods.
Increase Fiber and Improve Elimination
What you put in your body certainly affects the absorbing part of digesting, that is to say, when you eat healthy foods, your body is absorbing all of the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your body going. But what many people don’t think about is how your body eliminates these foods as well. Plant-based diets are higher in fiber than diets that include meat or dairy, so your body can process what you eat more efficiently. This keeps your digestive system healthy and reduces your risk of certain cancers and intestinal diseases. Additionally, this increased fiber will help you feel fuller and maintain blood sugar levels, so you don’t go reaching for unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
Help Yourself by Identifying Problem Foods
No diet is foolproof when it comes to smooth digestion, plant-based diets included. Typically, it’s only when someone first starts a plant-based diet that there are digestive issues like belly bloating and gas. When a body is not used to the large amounts of fiber, it can take a week or so to adjust. It’s helpful to eat smaller quantities of some of the trigger foods until your body adjusts. These foods include:
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables
- Beans and legumes (soaking helps)
- Raw veggies in excess
- Excessive sugars (natural and added)
Plant-based diet tip: To help your body adjust to large amounts of fiber, be sure to drink sufficient water. This not only hydrates your body, but it also helps move things along J
Encourages Healthy Habits
Plant-based diets typically encourage us to embrace other healthy habits as well, such as exercise, reducing the intake of caffeine and alcohol, and drinking more water. All of these changes will help your body improve digestion, as well as making you a fitter person overall. Just remember that, like any change to your lifestyle, it can take a few weeks for your body to adjust and for you to start enjoying the associated benefits.
Give It 22 Days
Ready to improve your digestion? Take the 22 Days Vegan Challenge and see how amazing you can feel with a healthy, plant-based diet. With our Vegan Meal Delivery, we deliver freshly prepared plant-based dishes to your doorstep – no prep and no cooking! Sign up for 22 Days of meals today.