Gas and Bloating From Vegan Diet

by Anonymous

Question:

I just started The Engine 2 Diet and the fresh veggies are killing me; I'm getting so much gas and bloating. I'm almost scared to leave the house - therefore, I'm scared to eat because it causes gas. Help! I really like the way I feel while eating this way as long as I don't feel so bloated and gassy. What can I do?

Answer:

Gas and bloating are sometimes the unfortunate side effects of quickly switching to a more plant-based diet. In many cases it's just a matter of suddenly adding more fiber into your diet than your body is used to handling. Extra fiber reaches the large intestine faster than what you normally eat, and that's where the fiber turns to gas.

Your body does need some time to adjust, but there are a few things you can do to combat the gas so you won't have to worry so much about leaving the house. The first step you can take is to cut back on the extra fiber until your stomach seems more at ease and then gradually work back up to more fruits and veggies.

There are a few fruits and vegetables that are more likely to cause gas and bloating:


  • broccoli
  • Brussel's sprouts
  • cabbage
  • asparagus
  • cauliflower
  • lentils, peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, and lima beans often cause gas
  • onions
  • artichokes
  • sometimes the fructose in fruits can cause gas pains: pears, apples, peaches
  • starchy vegetables cause gas for some people: corn, potatoes, squash, beets, and carrots are culprits
  • and of course non-vegan foods like dairy products, packaged foods, sodas, and fake sugars can cause gas


What I would recommend first is to try an elimination diet in which you remove these likely offenders and see how you feel. If your bloating and gassiness go away, you can assume that one or more of these foods are causing your problems. Very slowly you can try adding one of the items back into your diet for a week to see if you have any gas. If not, that food isn't the culprit. Once you locate the food that gives you gas, you know what you're dealing with.

From there, you can try a few tricks to better assimilate that food into your diet. Many people have success with a vegan alternative to Beano called Bean-zyme-- they just take it when eating their gas-causing food and have reduced bloating. You can try adding digestive foods like apple cider vinegar, coriander, fennel, peppermint, epazote, ginger, and chamomile tea.

We have a page on Vegan Nutritionista dedicated to natural gas remedies to learn more about any of these options for avoiding gas.

There are also a few things you can do to avoid gas and bloating that have nothing to do with a vegan diet:

  • Avoid drinking carbonated drinks because they add excess air to your digestive tract
  • Eat and drink slower
  • Chewing gum and sucking on candy adds air
  • When you smoke you ingest more air


As your body gets used to the new fiber-filled foods you are eating, hopefully the side effects will begin to be alleviated. Try not to be too hard on yourself, and give your body some time to adjust.

Note: Learn more about The Engine 2 Diet here.

Comments for Gas and Bloating From Vegan Diet

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Are you kidding me???
by: Anonymous

If I try the elimination diet, what in the world would I eat as I slowly add each food back? You have eliminated legumes and a lot of the veggies I eat on a daily basis. I'm not sure what I am going to do . I don't want to go back to eating animal products but I am really unhappy with the bloat and gas. I feel like I gained 10 lbs.

Croakin' Like Froggy
by: Frank

"Passing gas (farting)" is the least of my physical problems. I'm convinced that the Starch Diet has kept my weight down close to normal BMI and my vitals' numbers are close to ideal. Having 2/3 BMs a day is just fine with me. Being the only plant eating person at my house is a problem, but when the SAD takes effect on my kin, I'm sure that they'll become educated by the likes of Drs. McDougall, Esselsteyn etc. For exercise, I swim, vigorously breast-stroking my way. Perhaps this keeps my innards AOK.

Thankful
by: Anonymous

I was so glad to hear that all this gas is normal since going vegan. I went to my grandson's soccer game and thought I was going to blow up before the game was over. Sure hope this goes away. I will try some of your suggestions and hope they work. Thanks guys for sharing your experiences. It gives me some peace of mind while on the journey.

Fartmaster Flex
by: Norma-Jean

I have been vegan for about a year now, and I also don't eat processed or refined foods/sugars. I suffer from very intense gas. I eat plenty of nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies and whole grains. I am gassy all day long, but it is worst at night. I don't eat soy because I know that's a culprit for me but it's still bad.

Sensitive to soy?
by: Anonymous

I have been vegetarian for about 2 and a half years and decided to slowly eliminate dairy and eggs and become vegan. I had terrible gas and was in a lot of pain in the beginning! It turns out that I am quite sensitive to soy! I would do a workout, drink a soy protein shake, and then not be able to move for sometimes 2 days! I stopped eating/drinking any type of soy and I feel normal again. I am still vegan, but I make sure to eat enough to get the nutrients I need, and take a supplement if needed. I also started making sure I drink 2L of water a day. Anyone else have this issue with soy?

probiotic?
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your tip about the probiotic. I too have been dealing with bad had and bloating, but for a long time. I am not new at all to vegetarian diet. My diet is about 95% raw and vegan. I have been dealing w gas n bloating for ages and I'd like to try the probiotice idea but would love a suggestion on which one to get.

Bloating and gas with vegan diet
by: Anonymous

Don't know how to combat the issue. Looked at the list of food to cut out and gradually add back. Seems like will be cutting out on literally everything. Digestion feels better with vegan. No reflux. No bad Burps of indigestion. But tons of gas and a very bloated stomach. Take fiber liquid chlorophyll apple cider vinegar and pro biotic pills regularly. The only thing I don't do is bring myself to drink large amounts of water.
Any suggestions.

always bloated in vegan diet
by: Anonymous

I went on the vegan diet and I look 6 months pregnant. It was working out fine in the beginning but gradually my stool kept getting harder and harder and it eventually made me constpiated. Everytime I age something I felt so gassy and bad disgestive discomfort. I think im eating too much fibre and will cut down on the beans and whole grains. I'm thinking I will also go back to milk and eggs and see if my situation improves

A year later and I am still bloated...
by: Anonymous

I would have thought by now that my body would have been used to all the veggies/fiber/fruits/nuts/beans/tofu etc. etc. I started taking PB8 again, but so far it hasn't helped. I'm fine at breakfast but towards the afternoon and especially the evening it gets worse. HELP! I don't want to stop eating healthy as I need the various nutrients. Also I have noticed that my energy has been slipping... I felt great for the 1st 6 months and I have noticed that I have been feeling more tired. I do take a B-12 supplement, Vit D and calcium. I eat lots of greens for iron as well as 10min oats, grains, beans etc. By blood work showed that my hemoglobin was at almost base line, whereas a year before going vegan it was about 3 points above the base line. Any ideas? I cannot eat dairy vegan or not, and the thought of eating any sort of meat again makes feel sick to my stomach.

done with all plant based diet
by: Anonymous

It's been 2 years now eating a completely whole foods plant based diet, with no sugar, oil , dairy or refined foods; just some whole grains(no wheat although no allergies), beans , all kinds of veggies and fruits with small amount of nuts seeds and avocado in my salads. My teachers were Dr. Esselystyn, Dr. Mcdougall, Dr. Colin T Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Jeff Novick, Dr. Doug Lisle and so many more. I studies at Cornell University in plant based nutrition. I'm here to tell you these last 2 years have taken me to low levels in my life. Constant intestinal gas for hours, excessive bowel movements, always thinking about food since I was probably pooping so much. I have come to the conclusion that these extreme ways of eating are glorified food disorders. If you are having lots of gastro problems digesting the food, it is more of a poison for you than a health food no matter what the docs say. We all know to stay away from the trans fat and processed sugary food and dairy. There are no vegan societies in history. All have eaten some animal products. Find the healthy foods that work for you and that you can digest well. Take care of your emotional well being and exercise and don't get caught up with the diet of the week. Yes I know, I love animals . Feel strongly about them but....I'm not going to but their health over mine. Vegan and Vegetarian do not allow ME to thrive. Take care of your emotional anorexia and attend to the needs of your soul and the rest will follow. The mind body syndrome is so connected. Check to see if you have celiac or lactose issues or H-pylori .Our diets are being manipulated by whoever decides to write a book. Anyone can write a diet book and most make lots of money from it, at our expense. Bottom line, I'm going back to eating some fish, some eggs, some chicken and enough with these awful gassy beans and healthy cruciferous veggies that kill me. I've obsessed too long about food because both my parents had so many illnesses but I feel I've become ill over obsessing. Sorry to ramble on. I'm having a moment here and just need to vent. Heal your mind and soul and the body will follow! Watch Soulful Sundays with Oprah on Own channel. Meditate, connect with something bigger than you, volunteer, get out of your own head, read all the great books on Gary Zucav, Eckhart Tolle,Byron Katie,etc. Each day make someones day better. I'm tired of being so focused on me and my diet. It's like a real eating disorder, really. Enough said today. Wishing all of you good health in mind and body.

Me too.
by: Larry

I have evolved over the past year to entire plant based diet, and I am really concerned about the gas issue. I will try the elimination diet, that is a good tip. I was wondering how severe a gas issue some others have had, mine, is well, a LOT! it is embarrassing, and I fear sometimes in public, mistakes, I tried Beano, it don't seem to help that much.

Soy or Other Allergy?
by: Anonymous

Another possibility for excessive bloating, stomach pain, or gas is an allergy to soy or another fruit. Soy is actually an extremely common allergy, and as a vegetarian who is also lactose intolerant a difficult product to avoid. There are also several fruits I'm slightly allergic to in their raw form but are fine when cooked (cause a scratchy throat and gas). Even after being vegetarian for nearly a year and a half, and eliminating milk and soy - I still have gas problems, it's frustrating but likely due to the large amount of beans we end up eating and the fact that soy is hidden in nearly everything processed.

water
by: Anonymous

I was in a bad shape too,but I find miracle "cure". Just add to your diet a large amount of water. Drink lots of water. Cook a big kettle of water and drink it during day. First thing in the morning, slowly gulp down warm glass of the water. It worked for me.

Essential oils
by: Anonymous

It is helping me to put a few drops of doTERRA brand essential oil blend called digest-zen in water and drink it....
But I sure hope this goes away. Grateful for all the ideas. Will try some of them also.







Gas and bloating Q&A
by: Shelton

I just wanted to thank all of you for you comments. I thought I was the only one with the problem and was about to go talk to a GI doctor. I'm walking around like I'm 6 months pregnant with gas and bloating. Honestly I thought there was something seriously wrong. I did a rapid transition from vegaterian to organic Ova Vegan and the result was catastrophic. The probiotics are helping and so is the vinegar. I'm so elated, I didn't want to give up my diet. Thank You for all your help!!

the real reason why we might need diary?
by: Anonymous

I am raised as a vegetarian (have never eaten meat, ever!) and I tried to go vegan last year, just replacing the dairy products with soy or oat diary. Since I already was eating lots of fiber, veggies, fruits etc I did not need to make any adjustments to that food group. Yet I had to give up being a vegan after 3 months because my stomach was completely out of balance! Bloating (looked like I was 6 months pregnant), super low energy and it seemed like my body just felt like shutting down every normal function it had before. I think it has to do with the delicate balance of our digestive system and that somehow some diary (or perhaps the protein it provides) is an important part of that balance. I don't have scientific proof for this but I have the experience. Now I'm back on eco milk, eggs and cheese.. I eat a bit of cheese and some milk in my coffee every day and an egg probably every three days and it makes a HUGE difference.

still gassy after going back to vegetarian
by: Alissa

I am having problems with gassiness and have looked all over for answers. I first tried veganism for a month and had no problems but went back to eating small amounts of dairy and eggs. About two months ago, I gave veganism another go but immediately became VERY gassy... Like the worst ever.

My friend said it was because I was eating a lot of raw foods so I started eating less raw and beans and eating more bread and pasta. No luck. So I started eating small amounts of dairy again thinking my problem would go away with vegetarianism.

It's been a month and I am still so gassy. It's horrible because its really stinky. I have tried probiotics, soy yogurt, and herbal teas. I need help! My next option is lots of dairy yogurt, which it really don't want to do. I don't want to take enzyme supplements or bean-o because they seem impractical in the long term and I'd much rather eat my enzymes naturally. Also, I take a multi-vitamin with calcium and B-12.

Probiotic Was The Answer For Me
by: Anonymous

I'm adding a comment here because I too was searching online about what to do regarding vegan gas; every time I tried to switch from a vegetarian to a vegan diet I had HORRIBLE gas, so indescribably bad that I switched back to animal products twice. I am so relieved to have tried taking a probiotic, and now the gas is GONE! Its a miracle. And I only took one per day (instead of 2 as indicated) and then not every day (pretty sporadic, yet apparently it was enough for my body to establish equilibrium). You can also try eating probiotic foods such as non-dairy yogurts with active cultures, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, etc. Don't give up on your vegan diet... try a probiotic (or a few different kinds, until you find one that works best for you). Be sure to get a probiotic that contains guaranteed live active cultures (should be refrigerated). Good luck!

,,,
by: Anonymous

Beano is not vegan

I also get bad gas...
by: Anna

I've been eating Vegan for about 4 months and have had an excessive amount of gas. I've taken Beano, Gas X, and soda. They help stall it off for a while, but a few hrs. later I get it bad. Is there anything you know of that can help with this situation. I eat quite a few grains, fresh salads, veggies and fruits. I feel great except for the gas. If I eat dessert, it's 90% of the time a vegan one. I try to stick to fruit for dessert. I truly feel better and haven't had a cold in over a year.

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