Question: Hi Monique, I have only started to eat a "vegan" diet for the last 4 days, but since then I have experienced a lot of gas. My husband and I are juicing in the morning, that consists of carrots, broccoli, apples, oranges, spinach, a little snip of ginger and a clove of garlic. For lunch we have fiber and protein, just no meat, and for dinner, we have had pastas, tofu and soy made dinners. I usually have experienced gas with some vegetables before we started this. Is there anything natural I can do since we will be eating so much more vegetables? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question! Kelly
Answer: Yes, there are several natural remedies for relieving gas and flatulence that you can use. You can help your body better assimilate vegetables, beans and legumes by giving it certain enzymes and teas that aid in the digestive process. Papaya enzymes, usually sold in tablet form, can greatly help you digest these foods. These tablets can be chewed (they have a sweet fruity flavor) or swallowed whole. Take them before, during or after meals. Papaya enzyme tables are available at health food stores and some drug stores and supermarkets.
Another naturally derived product is "Beano" (may contain animal-derived gelatin), which is sold in liquid form or tablet form. A few drops of the liquid, or 1-2 tablets, can be taken before or during a meal to help reduce gas and aid digestion. "Beano" is available at health food stores and most supermarkets and drug stores.
Over time your body will develop the enzymes needed to better digest these gas producing foods. You may want to continue taking these natural products until your body gets used to these foods. You may also want to try drinking peppermint tea or ginger tea (made with sliced, crushed or minced fresh ginger), either hot or iced. These teas can also help relieve your symptoms as well. While they can be drunk at anytime, they are especially helpful at night.
For more information about flatulence, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatulence
Also, read my Q&A "New vegan diet causing flatulence"
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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.