4 Raw Food Mistakes That are Giving You Indigestion
A healthy raw food diet does not cause gas, bloating, constipation or any other form of indigestion.
In fact, discomfort and smell-free digestion is one of the major benefits of eating raw!
But of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go raw. Here are 4 common raw food mistakes that are likely giving you indigestion:
#1: Improper Food Combining
You know all those gourmet raw food recipes that taste so good? You know, the mock meat loafs, cheesy cheese-less soups, and raw brownies?
Well, it’s time to stop eating them because they’re giving you gas!
You see, most raw food recipes like the ones I mentioned are comprised of two main ingredients: sugar and fat.
The sugar can come from whole sources like fresh fruit or from refined foods like dried fruits and agave nectar. The fat can come from several sources as well, typically avocados, nuts, seeds, oils, and coconut meat.
So what’s the big deal?
Simple carbohydrates like bananas take much less time to digest than high-fat foods such as nuts. A large fruit meal takes under an hour to fully digest while a fatty meal takes several hours.
So when you eat both sugar and fat together in moderate to high amounts, the fat inevitably slows down the digestion of the sugar. Rather than emptying the stomach quickly, the sugary food remains in your digestive tract for too long.
This is what leads to the fermentation that is causing your gas and bloating.
In addition, many poorly combined raw food recipes are too complex and contain too many dried ingredients.
It’s more difficult for your body to digest a dish of several ingredients, even if they are raw. And eating too many dried foods like dried fruits and nuts (or a recipe that has been dehydrated in its entirety) requires more water from your body to digest and can lead to constipation.
#2: Eating Too Much Fat
So you now know that fat takes longer to digest than sugar. But did you also know that fat stays in the bloodstream several hours longer than sugar does?
Here’s an example.
Let’s say that last night you ate a raw burger recipe followed by some raw chocolate cake, both of which were full of avocados, nuts, and seeds. This morning, you ate a simple fruit smoothie of mangoes and blueberries and soon after experienced tummy troubles.
Is the fruit to blame here? Nope, it’s the fatty meal you had the night before.
As Dr. Douglas Graham says in his book The 80/10/10 Diet, if you eat a diet high in fat:
…the bloodstream always contains an excessive quantity of fat, and more is coming in at almost every meal. Essentially, even when you eat a fruit meal alone and wait hours before eating fat, those sugars are likely to mix in your bloodstream with the fats you ate the day before. (pg. 35)
This means that even if you are combining your raw meals properly, you may still be experiencing digestive upset simply from including too many fatty foods in your diet!
#3: Snacking Between Meals
Properly combining your foods AND limiting your fat intake yet still suffer from gas and discomfort? It’s possibly because you’re snacking between meals.
Even a small snack of a few apples shortly after a large fruit lunch of mangoes can affect the digestion of the mango meal. Rather than passing into the intestines and eventually reaching your cells, some of the mangoes may remain in your stomach, leading to fermentation and gas.
Can’t stop snacking? You need to eat bigger meals. Try adding just one extra piece of fruit to your meals each day until you no longer feel the urge to snack between meals.
#4: Eating Too Fast
Do you burp/hiccup a lot after your meals? It’s likely because you are eating too quickly.
When you eat too fast, you swallow more air. Burping and hiccuping are ways to expel this air. So stop wolfing down your meals and you won’t be so gassy!
I’m really speaking to myself on this one because I eat way too darn fast. But fruit is just so delicious that I can’t help myself!
Your Raw Food Experience?
As I said, optimal digestion is one of the main benefits of eating a low fat, high fruit raw food diet. Vastly improved digestion has definitely been one aspect that has kept me so enamored with this way of eating!
What about you? What fantabulous results have kept you coming back to raw foods again and again?
Leave your comment below!
Go raw and be fit,
P.S. Looking for properly combined, nutritious raw food recipes to help you go raw the right way? Check out my 100% raw recipe e-book…
“Low Fat, Fruit Filled, High Fun Raw Recipes”
Delicious and Healthy Raw Vegan Favorites for Every Meal