Digestive disorder cases have become quite common in the U.S. over the past few years. Another aspect that has grown along with this is the number of ways in which to alleviate the symptoms, whether it’s with medication or natural alternatives.
One natural alternative that people have turned to is to switch to a healthier diet; some have even gone to the extremes of an all-or-nothing diet. In other words, many individuals have turned to the vegetarian (no meat or fish), vegan (no meat, fish, animal products or byproducts) or semi-vegetarian (no red meat, but some fish or poultry) lifestyle.
According to Sheah L. Rarback, the director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, digestive health can be simply be improved with a “well-planed” vegetarian diet.
How a Vegetarian Diet Assists with Digestion
There are many benefits to switching over to a vegetarian diet, such as the fact that you consumer more fiber-rich foods and receiving more nutrients. Other benefits include feeling full, regular bowel movements and disease prevention.
How to Adjust to a Vegetarian Diet
Typically the American diet consists of meat and starches that don’t deliver nearly as much fiber as you should consume. Fiber is easily attained from a vegetarian diet by starting to gradually eat more fruits and vegetables. Other ways to adjust your body to a vegetarian diet include:
1. Staying hydrated: Water helps fiber move through your digestive system. Keep in mind that the more fiber you consume, the more water you need to drink.
2. Avoid foods that promote gas: All individual digestive systems are different in the way that food is processed. Specific foods, such as broccoli and beans, are notorious for causing bloating and gas. Milk also can have that affect for those that are completely lactose intolerant. It’s recommended that you eliminate these types of foods and beverages from your diet to start, and slowly add them back into your diet one at a time.
3. Add healthy fat into your diet: You may want to pursue a low-fat diet, however it’s important that you consume small amounts of healthy fat, such as omega-3 fatty acids, to lubricate your digestive system and support regularity.
4. Try new recipes: Adjusting to a vegetarian diet takes time, so enjoy the journey of trying different foods and combining them into meals with fruits and vegetables you already like.
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