Hard to Digest...

This is neat. MSN Health & Fitness list the ten foods toughest to digest. I thought these three were particularly relevant. Take a look:

Raw Onion
Onions and their cousins like garlic, leeks and shallots are filled with a variety of phytonutrient compounds—some of which seem to offer healthy, heart-protective benefits, and some of which cause stomach distress (or it could be the same compounds that do both). Cooking them seems to deactivate some of the problem-causing compounds. But on the chance that you’re also deactivating some of the good stuff, dietician Mary Ryan, suggests using mix of cooked and raw so that you can reap the benefits without suffering the consequences.

Broccoli and Raw Cabbage
These fiber- and nutrient-rich vegetables are incredibly healthy, but they are also well-known for causing gas buildup in the gut. Fortunately, the solution is simple. “Cooking them—or even just blanching them slightly—will deactivate the sulfur compounds that cause gas,” explains Ryan.

Beans have such a notorious reputation for causing gastric distress that they even spawned their own rhyme (come on, you all know it! “Beans, beans …”). And there is some truth to it. The enzyme needed to break down beans is found only in our stomach bacteria. And if you don’t routinely eat beans, you might not have enough of this enzyme to comfortably digest them. The result, of course, is gas and bloating. Cooking beans in soup can help—the extra fluid will help digest the large amounts of fiber beans contain, and the extra cooking time will start breaking the beans down even before you eat them. By adding beans to your diet gradually, you will help build up the enzyme necessary to digest them without issue.
I like that they don’t discourage people from eating these veggies. Instead, they suggest eating more of them! Now, here’s the other seven courtesy of HealthandMan:
Fried Chicken Nuggets: Battered and deep fried spell trouble for just about any food you throw down your gullet.

Spicy Foods: Can cause heartburn due to esophageal irritation.

Chocolate: Causes your esophageal sphincter to relax allowing stomach acids to creep back up (uh-h-h-h-h, He said Sphincter).

Citrus Juices: Extra acids in the stomach cause irritating stomach aches.

Mashed Potatoes: Can be a nuisance to lactate intolerable persons due to added milk.

Ice Cream: Goes down so good…but there is that whole lactose problem again.

Sugar Free Gum: Another culprit of gas…I never knew. That explains a lot.
You know this list of seven looks a lot like the typical standard American diet to me. No wonder why so many people are grumpy—they’re bloated!
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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
LLouise - February 25, 2008 12:49 PM

I have found that it simply took time to adjust to the loads of raw cabbage I eat! One of the best things to alleviate gas and sore stomachs from raw veggies is to chew to liquid! Dr. Fuhrman stresses this, but it's easily forgotten. My mom used to give me this advice as a child! How easy we forget ;)

Also, with raw veggies, chew with your mouth closed. This is obvious stuff we all know, but it's easy to forget when you have to chew more than twice as much with raw foods than with cooked. So there is a lot of air swallowing which leads to gas.

For onions, rinsing them helps! It takes away the harshness of some of those that are too harsh. I really like the sweet onions, but, they're expensive, and for the past year or so, been hard to find actually sweet. They taste like regular. White onions are a bit less harsh. Give the strong ones a dip in some water :)

For broccoli, again, lots of chewing! And they can be harsh-ish :). I like to grind it! If you ground it in a food processor or blender, it is MUCH easier to eat. I toss it in my salads :D

Beans: Another way to de-gas them is to soak for 24 hours, dump the soak water, cook with fresh water and a 1-2" piece of Konbu (seaweed available in most markets or Asian markets; Wakame also works). Great de-gasser :D! If you can find some fresh or dried epazote (an herb; found in the Latin section of markets), that also can be thrown in to the beans and it helps.
Also, the least gaseous beans are Anasazi beans--delicious too, high-protein, and my fave. Dr. F.'s fave (Ithink) are adukis which are also less gassy.

Also, not mentioned but good is sprouting the beans! You can sprout them and eat raw and they will be less gaseous; but also sprouting them and then cooking them renders them de-gassed :^)

Harbhajan - July 2, 2008 4:15 PM

Is milk harder to digest for asian people

Raj Sharma - December 13, 2010 5:56 PM

I found apple after a meal great in checking heart-burn. Sometimes when I neglected to eat apple I invariably suffered bouts of heart-burn and so often I got up at the middle of night to have an apple!

Can anyone enlighten as to what is good in apple that smothers heart-burn?

Rhea - June 24, 2012 4:39 PM

In my first week of eat to live and my stomach is staying bloated. I am having back pain too.
Any suggestions? I am soaking beans, drinking lots of water and trying to follow the other suggestions but I'm not seeing weight loss.

Helen - August 9, 2012 9:30 AM

@Rhea...I am seeing the same thing! My husband has lost about 9 lbs already. Me? Nadda! Zilch! Zero! And it's SOOOO frustrating! I know I'm doing this for health reasons...simply to eat better and be healthier but come on! A little movement on the scale would be nice too!

As for beans and other items listed, we have only been doing this for about 4 days now and I made my first pot of beans last night. The hard thing for me is I am a great cook. Not bragging...it's just something I know about myself. I can cook pretty much anything and make it amazing...except for this stuff. I never realized how heavily I depended on salt to flavor things and now that I have cut salt out of our diet, it's hard! I put a pot of beans in the crock pot this morning with a chopped sweet onion, some cumin, Mrs Dash and a couple tsp of Braggs Liquid Aminos. I am hoping this batch is better than the last ones. Also...I have found that if I take veggies, brush them with some fresh lemon juice, sprinkle them with Mrs. Dash and then char-grill them, they have a really good flavor. I personally like the char-grilled flavor so I will be making as many of our foods on the grill as I can.

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