‘The best tests depend on your symptoms. Within a week I had given them up completely. Scientists are increasingly learning how much the trillion or so bacteria that exist in our bodies play a part in our top to toe health, from immunity and mental health, to skin, digestion and weight. The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile. There’s clearly no stopping the unprecedented rise of the vegan diet. Who would have thought this one-time hippie’s diet would be so popular? ‘Lactobacillus deficiency makes it more difficult to break down fibre (and lactose) leading to potentially further fermentation by other bacteria and an increased risk of gas and bloating. Snacks: I would snack on fruit, small squares of chocolate, nut or protein bars occasionally or those delicious hummus crisps everyone loves. ‘A low yeast and low sugar diet would require you to minimise sources of sugar and, potentially, other carbohydrates, in favour of eating more protein and fat rich foods. Staying on the vegan path meant I would probably have to take this supplement long term. I’ve felt surprisingly well-fuelled after training and without any dip in energy and no hunger pangs until lunchtime, which is amazing, so I now recommend my new chia seed and protein powder bowl to everyone. So the finger was pointing at bacteria-feeding grains abundant in my diet which I’d always considered healthy. He requested I do a stool analysis – not an experience I’ll forget in a hurry – and to write a food diary for two weeks. For many vegans a blood nutrient test would be my first port of call as some nutritional deficiencies are particularly common among vegans, such as iron, vitamins B12, B2 and D and omega 3 fatty acids. Digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), are now thought to afflict around 10 to 20 per cent of the UK population. Occasional flatulence had escalated to extreme bloating so bad that at the end of every day my belly looked about four months pregnant. Oh the irony. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, make sure that screening was carried out to rule out coeliac disease. The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society. Most of us are NOT eating the Standard American Diet. If you’re concerned about your diet, it may be helpful to compare what you’re eating to our guidelines using our free resources, including the VNutrition app. Join our newsletter to receive monthly competitions, offers and information on all things vegan. Grains … A nutritious, gut-healing broth as a vegan alternative to bone broth. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, who can refer you to a dietitian if necessary. A fibre-rich diet is filling and it can help with digestion and preventing constipation. I would take them last thing at night before bed and by morning my stools were solid. I have healed myself, without the use of animal products (completely vegan). These will preferentially feed pathogenic and harmful bacteria and yeast in the gut, which then thrive causing issues such as bloating, bowel irregularities, potentially SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) or SIFO (small intestinal fungal overgrowth) as well as loss of beneficial bacteria that become overwhelmed by the ‘bad’ bacteria,’ clarifies Stephanie. It sounds so simple and it really is. I had a feeling the problem lurked deeper inside my gut. My eating plan also helps to nourish and populate healthy levels of good gut microbiome that controls how your body functions, including digestion, sleep, mind health and metabolism. It is not just the overall level of fibre in the diet that is important but also the relative amounts of the main types of fibre, lignin, pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose,’ explains Frankie Brogan, senior nutritionist at Pharma Nord. Step one, supplementation. It also allows for a yeast overgrowth, as lactobacillus is typically one of the more populous and beneficial bacteria which would push out yeast and prevent an increase in the number of yeasts. Although the studies are small and preliminary, data exist indicating and abundance of this bug with vegan diets. I’d always noticed some mild bloating after eating foods such as rice or pasta, but it’s never been extreme and always temporary so I had never minded so much. Supplement wise, the probiotics were also helping. I’d always considered my diet to be healthy and proudly plant-based, even when it was a fringe diet all those years ago, long before it became popular. To make up the calories and nutrition I replaced oats with chia seeds so my breakfast was still filling but also provided a good source of omega 3 fats, fibre and protein. The vegan diet is typically classified as being lower in protein, calcium, saturated fat and salt. Blood type does not influence the health benefits of vegan diets, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Plus, the last three years I’ve been doing Crossfit and weight training, which both require plenty of fuel. Hitting and exceeding your 5-a-day target, choosing wholegrain options and eating legumes (beans, peas and lentils) are healthy habits for everyone. Leeks, asparagus, onions, wheat, oats, beans, peas and lentils provide prebiotic fibre. The best skincare creams and treatments for a toned, smooth ... 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