11 Unexpected Fruits and Vegetables That Are Bad For Your Gut Health
You may have heard the mantra that "five a day keeps the doctor away." The truth is, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal. You should indeed increase your intake of whole and fresh foods. However, there are some fruits and vegetables that you should consume in moderation, or they could be the worst foods for gut health.
Otherwise, you could actually be harming your gut health! Ready to learn what fruits and vegetables are bad for your gut?
You don't have to toss your Caprese salad or favorite marinara sauce out just yet. But, tomatoes are one of those vegetables you can and should enjoy in moderation. Many types of tomatoes, along with other citrus-based foods like oranges, are highly acidic.
This means tomatoes contain low pH levels than other types of fruits. High acidity foods can imbalance the pH levels in your stomach, which could increase your vulnerability to conditions like acid reflux or heartburn.
Whenever you eat tomatoes, cook them if possible rather than eating them raw. When cooked, tomatoes have more available lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can help improve heart health, strengthen your skin against UV rays, and lower risk for certain types of cancer.
Sweet like candy, dates are a tasty dried fruit that packs a punch of B vitamins, fiber, and other essential minerals. However, if you have sensitive digestion, the high fiber content in dates could irritate your bowels if you eat too much of this fruit.
Besides this, dried fruits commonly contain sulfites. Signs of sulfite sensitivity could include bloating, diarrhea, gas, skin rashes, nausea, and asthma. When you eat dates, try to stick with just two per serving to keep your sugar, caloric, and fiber intake at a more manageable level.
Soy is a plant-based protein source that is a food stable for anyone who wants to avoid meat or reduce meat consumption in their diet.
If you have a soy allergy or sensitivity, you could experience symptoms of gut inflammation and irritation within minutes of eating a soy or tofu product. Symptoms of an allergy include:
- Abdominal pain
- Tingling in your lips
If you notice any of these signs after consuming soy, speak with your doctor to see if there could be an allergy present.
Don't get us wrong; broccoli has many health benefits, ranging from cancer prevention to cholesterol reduction to boosting eye and heart health. However, if you have sensitive or poor digestion or a preexisting condition like IBS, too much of a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli could wreak havoc on your gut.
Individuals with gut issues could experience gas, bloating, and stomach pain when they eat broccoli in too large a quantity. Mainly, this is due to the high fiber content this vegetable contains. Try eating your broccoli steamed rather than raw. Also, eat it in smaller portions, as raw broccoli is far more likely to cause bowel irritation and gas.
Onions lend some great flavors and aromatic compounds to your food while boosting your immunity. However, they can also be tough for your gut to break down, which leads to gas. Regarding what vegetables are bad for your gut, when you pair onions with garlic, your symptoms could be even worse.
Raw onions, in particular, can cause painful cramping and gas, but even cooked onions could trigger symptoms. If you have sensitive digestion or notice these symptoms after consuming onions, consider reducing or eliminating onions from your diet, at least for a while, to see if you notice improvement.
Kale has become the latest craze in recent years for health enthusiasts everywhere. From smoothies to juices to healthy "chips" you'd be hard-pressed not to find a kale product to cater to everyone's taste. Like broccoli, kale is a cruciferous vegetable, containing an indigestible sugar called raffinose.
While it's not the worst vegetable for your gut, your digestive system can't process these indigestible sugars. As such, this is the reason for the potential discomfort you could experience when you eat kale or another vegetable of the cruciferous family. If you already have a condition like IBS, the symptoms could be heightened, causing everything from constipation to diarrhea episodes.
If you're wondering what vegetable is bad for your gut, you should know that Brussels sprouts contain high levels of fructans. Your gut bacteria can ferment fructans after consumption.
Often, this could result in severe abdominal discomfort. Many people opt to eliminate Brussels sprouts. However, if you enjoy eating them, try cutting Brussels sprouts out and reintroducing them in smaller portions after a few weeks.
The luxurious taste of artichokes is a favorite with foodies everywhere. From pizza toppings to salads or just eaten on their own, artichokes have a rich, full-bodied flavor profile. The trouble is, artichokes also contain high levels of fructans and fructose, both of which can severely irritate your stomach.
So, if you want to beat the bloat and trying to figure out which vegetable is bad for your gut, you may want to lay off of artichokes, at least for a while.
If you're wondering what vegetable is bad for your gut, you might not have expected peas to make it to the list. However, peas contain both mannitol and fructose. These are short-chain fermentable carbohydrates can be highly problematic for the sensitive gut.
Similar to artichokes, asparagus has a higher fructose content than other types of vegetables. Asparagus also contains considerable quantities of gut-irritating fructans, which means it could be one of the worst vegetable for gut. If you have IBS or another pre existing gut condition, both fructose and fructans could cause your symptoms to skyrocket.
Try cutting out asparagus for a few weeks to see if you notice improvement, and your colon will thank you.
Mushrooms contain high levels of mannitol, Mannitol is a kind of sugar alcohol that could cause considerable gut irritation. Once you've improved your gut health, detoxed from mannitol, and feel better again, try reintroducing smaller quantities of mushrooms.
Substitute These Bad Gut Foods for Probiotics and Prebiotics
While these may be a few of the most common but unexpected fruits and vegetables that can be bad for your gut in large quantities, there are lots of natural probiotics and prebiotics out there that can help you look and feel better from the inside out.
Explore some of our favorite recipes and blog posts to see which foods contribute to great gut health.
Teami Blends - Co-Founder + CEO
Certified Nutrition Health Coach
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