Your gut is pretty smart and communicates with us all the time. So it’s a good idea to listen to the signals it’s sending us. Most of us who transfer to a whole food plant based diet (or raw vegan diet), or switch back and forth to it experience more farting and bloating. No worries! When you start eating more plant based foods and less animal based foods and processed foods, you will fart…. like a lot. What also can happen if you start eating more plant fibers, is more bloating. No one ever enjoyed bloating unless you are at home (in your comfy no zipper pants) on the sofa with zero intentions to socialize. But how to stop farting? Or at least fart less?
But why the farting?
Eating a whole food plant-based diet (the correct healthy way) is the best thing you can do for your body. It heals the gut, it gives you tons of energy and it strengthens the immune system. It also makes you poop more often (which is a good thing!).
All great, but why the farting? The reason is: fiber. When your body isn’t used to fiber, it will let you know. When you switch from an animal based food diet (low in fibers) to a plant based diet (high in fibers) you are doing a great job!
✔️ Fibers are crucial for a healthy body
✔️ Fibers keep us from being constipated
✔️ It reduces inflammation in the body
✔️ Plant based fibers act as a prebiotic (feeding the good gut bacteria)
✔️ Fibers keep us full and satiated for long periods of time
“All Disease Begins In The Gut” -Hippocrates
Let’s all drop this ”vegan protein question”, and start asking about the amount of fibers we are eating daily. Because you know what? It’s nearly impossible not to get enough protein (even if you eat plant based), but a diet low in fibers seems to be the norm nowadays.
Less than 3% of people living in the U.S are deficient in protein, whereas 98% of the American population are lacking in fiber.
The ONLY problem is when you just started eating a plant based diet, that you don’t have a lot of fibers in your gut. The response is…farting.
However, the more fibers you eat, the more you’ll grow your ”fiber eating gut bacteria”. Give it some weeks and you will notice the difference. On average we fart 15 times per day, so keep that in mind as well. Farting is normal to a certain degree.
How to stop farting
Start slow. If you are entirely new to a plant based diet, take it easy with the salads in the beginning. Start with one salad a day and then add beans or whole grains the week after that.
Add fermented foods into your diet. Fermented foods like unpasteurized sauerkraut and miso are full with probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that will help to bring your gut in balance.
Go slow on the raw veggies or avoid them by lightly steaming them. This will make them easier for the body to break down.
Pineapple and papaya contain powerful digestive enzymes (which you can also get as a supplement) that will help your digestion a lot. The dried versions of these fruits don’t have the same benefits though, because the beneficial enzymes are destroyed when heated.
Avoid carbonated drinks and chewing gum. They both cause air in your belly, and that needs to go somewhere…
Try to cut out gluten (for at least a week) to see a difference. If you have a gluten sensitivity you’ll have a hard time digesting gluten. Or you might be intolerant or allergic to a specific food that is not breaking down in your gut. Remember that it can take up to 4 to 5 days to show any allergic reaction.
Think about your prebiotics. Even if you take the best probiotic in the world (either from food or a super probiotic supplement), these will do nothing if there are no prebiotics in your belly. Without prebiotics (found in plant fibers) the probiotics will not multiply and grow and they will pass right through your body in the toilet.
Ginger is very soothing and healing for your digestive system. You can make ginger tea by cutting up some ginger root and gently simmering it in water for about 30 minutes. You can also add raw ginger to your green smoothies for a quick ginger kick. Or what about a ginger shot? Other good suggestions to add more off are cumin, turmeric and cinnamon.
Herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile and fennel are all great for digestion. Sip on them an hour after you eat.
Take it easy with fats since they are hard to digest. Avoid oil and all other processed fats. Nuts, nut butters, seeds and avocado’s are easier to digest and we need healthy fats in our daily diet. However, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy to eat a jar of almond butter a day.
This one is very difficult, but even when you’re hungry and your food is really yummy you should never eat too fast and chew your food very well. Digestion starts the moment your food enters the mouth. The more we chew our food, the less work is left for your body to break down the food. Your belly doesn’t have teeth, remember that.
Do not drink anything right before, after or with your meals. Our digestive system has digestive enzymes to help break down food so that we can absorb all nutrients. If we drink anything (even water) it will dilute the enzymes and the body will have a hard time breaking down our food. Drinking water 30 minutes before we eat and an hour after we eat is recommended.
Drink a glass of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar 30 minutes before you eat to bloat and fart less.
Don’t eat too much in once. Again, this is a huge load on the digestive system.
‘’Beans, beans are good for the heart, but make you fart!’’ But it doesn’t have to be like that. If you soak your grains and beans overnight before cooking them, it will make them easier to digest and will make you fart less. Also, it’s better not to go for the canned beans so you can cook them yourself with kombu (a type of seaweed). You can also puree your beans and legumes until you adjust to all the fibers. This will make them also easier to digest.
Don’t make complicated food combinations. Simplicity is best. It’s especially not a good plan to combine protein and starch together or protein and fruit (or any other type of sugar).
Be patient. Your body needs to adjust. And try to avoid going back and forth on a plant based diet. You will totally confuse your body if you’re vegan one week and a heavy meat eater the next, and then a raw vegan foodie the month after.
If you try all of these tips and it has been more than a month without less farting, it might be possible that you have a gastrointestinal issue. In that case, it is best to contact a health practitioner.
dr. M. Greger – How Not To Die (book)
S. Yesudian – Sport en Yoga (Dutch book)
– Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ (book)
Blog Clean Food Dirty Girl