Eat for Health: Switching to a Nutritarian Diet

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

As your body’s detoxification activities increase in the first week or two of this program, the symptoms of toxic hunger could increase. These feelings could include lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches, increased urination, sore throat, flatulence, and, very rarely, fever, body itching, and rashes. These uncomfortable sensations rarely last longer then one week and, even if they do, they will lessen with time.

Occasionally, people find it takes time for their digestive tract to adjust to all the additional raw fiber, and they experience an increase in gas or bloating or have looser stools. This is usually caused by the increased volume of raw vegetables and because you swallow more air when eating salads. It is remedied by chewing better so the air is out of the mouth before swallowing. Better chewing also breaks down the cells, making them easier to digest. For those with this problem, the amount of raw salad can be increased in a more gradual fashion. You can also eat less raw foods and more cooked vegetables, such as steamed zucchini, squash, brown rice, potato, and sweet potato. When the symptoms subside, gradually increase the amount of raw greens and cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Dried fruits, roasted nuts, and beans can also contribute to digestive problems at the beginning of transitioning to this way of eating. To combat these issues, use raw nuts, avoid dried fruit and other sweet substances, and soak beans in water overnight or eat them in smaller amounts until you adjust.

So, if you are troubled by digestive problems, try the following:

  • Chew food better, especially salads.
  • Eat beans in smaller amounts.
  • Soak beans and legumes overnight before cooking.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Eat less raw vegetables and increase the raw vegetables gradually.

Be patient and give your body a little time to adjust to a different eating-style. Remember, your digestive tract can make the adjustments if allowed to do it gradually.

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