How Eating Raw Benefits Those with IBS - dummies

How Eating Raw Benefits Those with IBS

By Carolyn Dean, L. Christine Wheeler

The Raw food movement is the new vegetarianism with a big enzyme kick. Every food has its own digestive enzymes that help it decompose. When you eat food that still contains living enzymes, you use fewer of your own digestive enzymes to break down food into digestible bits. This shift means fewer digestive upsets, better absorption of food, and fewer undigested food bits leftover to feed yeast and bacteria.

If you take antacids, don’t eat enough protein, and drink a lot of fluids with your meal, you suppress your own ability to digest foods, and no amount of Raw eating is going to make up for that. Antacids neutralize stomach acid, lack of protein makes that acid difficult to produce, and fluids dilute the acid.

Heat destroys the food’s enzymes, so you kill them when you cook food above the magic temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw foodists also contend that applying high-temperature heat to food damages vitamins and changes protein and fats into forms that are more difficult to digest.

You can find many forms of raw cuisine, including eating raw meat and of course sushi. IBS sufferers should not eat raw fish because sushi presents its own digestive and parasitic challenges.

Raw is an important culinary style to explore because it relies on unprocessed food straight from the farm. Most Raw food chefs recommend organic ingredients, which you should use whenever you can. Raw food retains the rich and exotic tastes that your body craves and doesn’t require heavy spices and sweeteners that can upset the digestive system or irritate the intestines.

Eating Raw also allows you to focus on foods high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, and deep leafy green vegetables. Plus, you may be surprised how quickly you can prepare a raw meal and how little cleanup it requires.

Some people think they can’t eat Raw because raw foods trigger IBS. Nothing could be further from the truth. Raw gets a bad rap because folks with sensitive guts can also have issues with their digestive enzymes, with not chewing food properly, and with drinking too much liquid with meals.

Nuts and seeds also have something of a bad reputation in the IBS literature because their tiny shards can irritate the gut if you don’t chew them completely. Underchewing nuts and seeds causes them to miss an essential stage of digestion, which is why you may see those shards in the toilet when you have a bowel movement.

Soaking nuts and seeds (as well as lentils and legumes) helps improve your ability to absorb their minerals.

Don’t let the nuts and seeds stop you from trying Raw recipes. Offending ingredients are blended to a creamy consistency that is as soothing as it is delicious and healthy.