You may feel hungry more often
A growling stomach may mean that you’re overdoing the veggies and cutting out essential nutrients like protein in beans or whole grains. One cup of raw vegetables contains 25 calories, so a bulky, 300-calorie vegan meal might fill you up initially. But keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily mean your body is getting the adequate nutrition it needs to sustain your energy throughout the day. “It’s important to pay attention to the mix of foods in your diet,” Sheth says. “If you have a bowl of oatmeal, add some nuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, and blueberries. Right there you took that bowl of cereal and made it much more nutrient dense.” Here are other surprising reasons you might be hungry.
You might feel gassy or bloated
Yasu+Junko for Reader's Digest
When you increase your intake of beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, and other vegetables, you may get a bloated tummy or develop a stinky case of gas, especially if you’re eating loads of raw vegetables, which are difficult for your digestive system to break down at first. “Anytime you increase fiber, do so gradually,” says Michelle Dwyer, a health coach and nutrition consultant. “So you give your body time to catch up.” Dwyer suggests lightly steaming your vegetables, chewing food well, and eating blended soups or fermented foods like kim chi and sauerkraut to break down the food better and help your body absorb it easily. Check out these other 11 essential items to add to a vegan shopping list.
You’ll change the bacteria in your gut
Your gut microbiome is made up of different bacterial populations that live inside your digestive tract. Researchers are now researching how these unique gut bacteria can influence your health and risk of disease. Some studies show that your diet can give your intestines a microbiome makeover quite rapidly. A small study published in Nature compared plant-based diets and animal-based diets; researchers discovered an increase in B.wadsworthia, a bacterial microbe linked to inflammatory bowel disease, inside the stomachs of the people who ate animal foods. People who ate meat also had more fecal bile acid in their guts, which can cause gastrointestinal infections. “This shows that our microbiome is elastic and very responsive to stimuli,” says Carolyn Slupsky, PhD, a nutrition professor at the University of California, Davis. Here are other great, non-dairy options for boosting “good” gut bacteria.