If there's one piece of nutrition wisdom that's practically law, it's this: Eat. Your. Vegetables. There may be controversies around coconut oil or carbs, but the fact that you should eat plenty of veggies is disputed by exactly no one.
"The truth is that most Americans aren't getting nearly enough fiber. The recommended intake for women is 25 grams a day," says Marina Chaparro, RDN, a clinical dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A cup of broccoli has only 4 grams of fiber per serving, so you need a lot of veggies (as well as some whole grains or beans) to add up to that big number.
But for some people, there's a downside to getting five-plus servings. "Adding a lot of high-fiber vegetables can cause bloating at first," says Chaparro. That goes double if you're switching from a low-fiber, mostly processed diet to a veg-heavy program overnight. (Here's how you can tell if your body wants you to eat more fiber.)
To minimize stomach discomfort, Chaparro suggests slowly adding extra veggies to your diet, increasing the volume of plant matter as you feel comfortable. "Over time, eating vegetables and more fiber will actually help cut down on bloating" by keeping your regular, Chaparro says.
If you have a very sensitive tummy, it's also a good idea to cook some of the vegetables you eat instead of simply snacking on them raw, says Deanna Segrave-Daly, RDN, registered dietitian and blogger at TeaspoonofSpice.com. "The heat will help break down the fiber, shrink the amount of food mass, and aid with digestion," she explains. "I recommend roasting for extra flavor."
Another smart move: being selective about your specific produce picks. The following vegetables taste great and deliver on nutrition, yet they're among the least likely to leave you feeling bloated.
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