Transitioning to a plant-based diet is a healthy choice to make, as they are known to play a protective role when it comes to various diseases. If you weren’t someone who ate plant foods much, switching to a vegan diet is never going to be that easy for you. You will have a tough time at the start struggling to handle your cravings for animal foods that you ate regularly earlier.
Your body takes some time to adjust with a diet swap and it is very much true when it comes to an animal-based to plant-based diet transition. In this article, we discuss some tips that will help you ensure that your gut is in good health when you have switched to a plant-based diet.
Eat More Whole Foods
A vegan/vegetarian diet is not synonymous with a healthy diet every time because you can be vegan and entirely depend on processed vegan foods. It is not doing you any good because overly processed foods can have an adverse impact on your overall health.
Vegan ice creams, chocolates, and similar foods make it less hard for new vegans to adjust to their new diet style but these options aren’t that gut-friendly. Foods that are made after a high level of processing often come loaded with preservatives, and artificial flavors.
Eating highly processed foods regularly increases the chances of developing irritable bowel syndrome. Eating more whole foods is an effective way to ensure your gut health.
Make A Slow Transition
Although making a transition to a vegan diet from an animal-based diet does not have any serious consequences, experts recommend taking it slower. An abrupt conversion to a vegan diet from an animal-based diet could lead to issues like bloating and digestive discomfort as your gut microbiome and digestive processes takes some time before they adjust to your new diet style.
Fiber is crucial in gut health. Many animal-based diets have their fiber contents less than the recommended daily dose, 30 g. Fiber-rich foods prevent digestive issues like constipation and bloating, and they also play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
A whole food plant-based diet will provide about 50 grams of fiber every day. Within the first week after the diet swap, you can notice the positive changes it makes to your gut health.
The time that should be taken to make the transition from an animal-based to a plant-based diet varies for different individuals. Some might need to take at least six weeks to fully transition to a plant-based diet leaving behind the animal-based diet they followed previously.
Make Your Plant-Based Diet Diverse
Our stomach has different varieties of microbes that play a key role in digestion, limiting inflammation, and maintaining the gut lining. Unless the gut microbiome has a suitable environment to thrive, digestion processes are going to be affected adversely.
A study published by the American Gut project suggests that including diverse plant foods in your diet ensures the health of the gut microbiome. Add different varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, greens, and seeds to your diet regularly. You should ensure that you do not lack any nutrients because of discontinuing animal food consumption. Ensuring diversity in your plant-based diet is detrimental to avoiding nutrient deficiency.
Realize The Importance Of Supplements
If you have taken the diversity of your plant-based diet seriously, then it would contain all important nutrients in adequate levels. From what is known from multiple scientific studies, animal-based diets may increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Specific nutrients that are found in animal foods may be present in minimal amounts in plant foods. In some cases, certain nutrients cannot be obtained at all from plant foods. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, calcium, and iodine are some nutrients most plant foods lack. The plant foods that provide these nutrients often contain them in small amounts that are not adequate to meet our daily requirements. In that case, plant-based dieters should take supplements so that they do not become deficient in any important nutrients.
Limit The Consumption Of FODMAPs
Fermentable oligosaccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols abbreviated as FODMAPs are short carbohydrates that are found plenty in plant foods. They act as prebiotics that work for better gut health.
However, excessive consumption of FODMAPs could cause excessive fermentation resulting in digestive issues like bloating and gas. Plant foods like beans, cauliflower, garlic, avocado, and onions contain FODMAPs in high amounts and hence limiting their consumption is important for better gut health while you are on a plant-based diet. If needed, get the help of a registered dietician to plan your diet with perfection.
In addition to offering several health benefits, a plant-based diet is also helpful in making a significant contribution to animal welfare.