Do Nuts And Seeds In My Green Smoothie Give Me Stomach Pain?
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Do Nuts And Seeds In My Green Smoothie Give Me Stomach Pain?

by Tishalicious
(Australia)

Tish's Question: I've been a raw green smoothie nut for about two months now - but the past few weeks I've ended up in a hospital, taking days off work, chewing down heavy meds, etc... because of severe stomach/upper intestinal pain.


I've let go of the citrus, changed my greens around (collards, carrot tops, spinach, powdered), tried different fruits (apple, pear, mango, pawpaw, etc), and now I'm wondering if its not the seeds and nuts (usually chia, pepitas, coconut, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and psyllium) I've been adding into my smoothies.

Medical doctor says "IBS" and doesn't help. I've had to wind back my food to partial raw vegan (adding in some grains and some
cooking) to try and alleviate the pain just so I can actually get to work.

Any clues or things I should look out for?

Andrew's Answer:

Hi Tish.

I don't really know enough about exactly what you do eat on a regular basis, and how you eat it, for me to really make any concrete analysis of your situation. I don't even know if you're eating a healthy raw food diet.

However, speaking in generalities: simplify, simplify, simplify.

The key to figuring out what's at the root of digestive disturbances is to cut your diet down to just one easy-to-digest-fruit (banana is a common choice, as it will allow you to get in enough calories). Eat only this for a few days. Is your problem still present?

If not, then add in your next singular food. If no problems crop up, add in a third, etc. This is a good practice, as it lets you build up a "sure list," of foods that won't bother you.

When you reintegrate a food, make sure you eat a lot of it over the course of a few days during which you're eating nothing but it and the foods you've previously ascertained won't bother you.

Eventually you might figure out that it's one food in particular causing your problems, or you may not run into any issues until you start combining your food.

Food Combining:

Foods always digest best by themselves in monomeals. This is not to say you can never have a green smoothie or a more complex mix of vegetables in a salad, but just that these combinations are never as ideal as one food by itself.

Some combinations work well, but there are combinations that will very frequently lead to gas and abdominal discomfort. Lean how to avoid these by reading this article on food combining.

Nuts And Seeds:

Nuts and seeds, while healthy, are hard to digest, and they often cause problems for people when combined with other foods. I personally only eat them a handful of times per year when I can get them fresh and raw, and I only eat them by themselves.

I would certainly suggest you don't add them to any smoothies, or at least not until you've first assured yourself that the other elements of the smoothie combine well together. If you like, you can then add the nuts and seeds back in and see if it brings back the abdominal/digestive pain.

Other Important Steps To Take:

1) Make sure you're eating a healthy raw food diet.

2) Don't eat foods that are harmful.

3) If you're going to combine foods, learn to do it well. Here are some examples of healthy, well-combined salad dressings.

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