Last week we talked about beans (legumes) and the fact that they cause you have gas and why. There are other vegetables that do this as well. Cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, to name a few. What causes gas in these vegetables are also oligosaccharides. The most prevalent one is known as trisaccharide raffinose.
Just like in beans, raffinose cannot be broken down in our small intestines so we must rely on the enzyme alpha-galactosidase to handle it for us. It goes through our stomach undigested then when it gets to the large intestines, they have a party fermenting it and making hydrogen and methane along with other gases.
Some people may need to use an enzyme to help with broccoli but throughly chewing broccoli can help break down the bacteria that produces gas. It also contains some raffinose but you can remember to chew slowly and thoroughly to help eliminate gas. Similarly asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts can cause gas. It is suggested that fennel seeds or peppermint or ginger tea can help with gas as well.
Cucumbers can cause burping in some people due to something called cucurbitacins. The more bitter the cucumber, the more of this compound is in them. Much of the compound is found in the skin, so peeling them should help somewhat. Corn is hard to digest and you have probably seen the whole kernels you have eaten when you eliminate. The kernels contain indigestible cellulose which can bloat you.
The Victor crew came across the word “flexitarian” and it piqued our curiosity. Here is what we found out about a flexitarian diet.
The flexitarian diet is mainly plant-based while allowing meat and other animal products to be eaten in moderation. It was developed by Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian looking to help people eat more vegetarian and still enjoy animal products.
Vegetarians eliminate meat and some other animal products while still eating some animal products such as butter, dairy, or eggs. Vegans will cut out all animal derived products. Pescatarians will eat only fish as an animal product.
The flexitarian has more flexible choices. You will still eat mainly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Also other proteins would include peanuts, peanut butter, seeds, and tofu. Meat and fish will be an occasionally in this plan and not a daily thing.
Eating less meat has many benefits. One concern is the environment as there is a push for people to eat less meat. Other benefits are for your own cardio-vascular health, weightloss, risk of diabetes, eating more plants will reduce cancer risk. You will need to make sure you get enough iron, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Calcium, and Omega 3 fatty acids.
How are you doing with your resolutions? Here are some more things to try for a healthier you:
Stop buying premade junk. That means cake mixes, cookies, canned soups, microwave meals. Make it yourself. Maybe you’ll need to spend time on the weekends preparing for the week. Or getting a pressure cooker to cook quicker or slow cooker to let it cook while you work. This way you know what you are putting in your body.
Eat and shop for local foods. Eat foods when they are in season. Try something new once a week.
Bring your own lunch to work instead of buying out.
Eat meatless meals once or twice a week. Eat more salads.
Make your breakfast ahead of time. Try some overnight oats.
Use Pinterest for recipe ideas.
Mix up your meals. Some people eat the same things day in and day out. Try something new and get out of that humdrum routine.
Keep your pantry stocked with healthy grains, spices, snacks.
Now that summer is almost here, the Victor crew thought it a good idea to revisit the Dirty Dozen guide for this year.
Topping the list this year is strawberries. This means they have more pesticides than any other produce and they should be purchased in organic form. In fact everything on the list should be purchased organic. In order the list is:
Sweet bell peppers
Strawberries are high on the list because of the dozens of pesticides used with some of them including chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive damage. Poisonous gases are also being used in the soil, including nerve gas. Spinach has moved to second place because of a pesticide banned in Europe.
The Clean 15 that you can eat without worrying about pesticides are as follows:
Sweet peas (frozen)
Some sweet corn, papayas, and summer squash are made from GMOs in the U.S.
Find out more from EWG.org (Environmental Working Group.)