Lentil Stew, Beans on toast, bean soup, cauliflower with white sauce…all delicious and healthy food options! Unfortunately, some people, like myself, just cannot eat legumes and other fermentable foods. Read below to see why.
Legumes ( beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts) are nutritiously very healthy. They contain large amounts of protein and fiber, both beneficial to your health. They also contain various amounts of beneficial nutrients like zinc and phosphorus. They are widely available and also affordable, making them a staple in a lot of diets. They contain resistant starch and soluble fibers. Fiber helps you to feel full for longer which aids in weight loss. Legumes also help to balance insulin sensitivity and keep your blood sugar stable.
However, they also have some drawbacks…they contain what is known as antinutrients. They contain Phytic acid, an antioxidant found in edible plant seeds. Phytic acid hinders the absorption of many nutrients especially in one who follows a solely plant based diet as meat helps to increase the absorption and counter the effects of Phytic acid if meat and legumes are eaten together. Phytic acid can be reduced by pre soaking legumes, sprouting or fermentation methods. Legumes also contain Lectins which is a protein. Lectins can interfere with the digestion process. The fiber in legumes can cause gas and bloating for some people as they start to digest in the lower portion of the colon.
Cruciferous vegetables include:
- brussel sprouts
- bok choy
They are rich in important minerals and contain phytonutrients. Cruciferious vegetables are said to be anti-cancer containing glucosinolates.
Glucosinolates are a sulphur containing compond, and it is this that causes gas and bloating once it starts to break down in the colon. For some not only is this highly unpleasant, but can be extremely painful.
The Take away: Although cruciferious vegetables are very good for you overall, for some they prove almost impossible to eat due to effect it has on the digestive system. Some can get away with the ill effects by consuming small portions daily rather than large portions a few times a week.
other fermentable foods
The list of fermentable foods can contain:
- some fruit
- some vegetables
Fermentable foods for many cause gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation and have a negative impact on self confidence and general well being. Sometimes cutting out fermentable foods by going on a special diet such as the FODMAP diet can help to alleviate symptoms as it gives the digestive system a rest. It is not recommended, however to permanently eradicate all fermentable foods from your diet as they play a vital role in maintaining health. For more information on the FODMAP diet, you can read this post.
Note: I am not qualified in medicine or nutrition. I speak from personal experience only in the aim of helping others. As always, consult the relevant healthcare practitioner regarding any health related issues/supplements/treatment. Please read my disclaimer on my blog should you want more information