Jul 26, 2019
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Swinton, Greater Manchester
  1. Vegan newbie
I have recently started eating a vegan diet and I have been eating legumes (black and kidney beans) and nuts (almonds and brazil nuts) to help me reach my calorie goals and for the protein. However whenever I eat any of these I get stomach pain and cramps for a while afterwards and it can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Has anybody else had this issue and is there anything that can be done to help it?

First thing is to call your doctor and ask him. It might just be a sensitivity to these things and that can be tested for very simply with an allergy test. Tree nut allergies are not rare and that is worth checking out.

A lot of new vegans have issues with bloating. Sometimes switching from a low fiber diet to a high fiber diet can cause bloating and can be more than uncomfortable. the legumes can be the cause of that and you might be able to just back off the fiber for a few days or weeks and let your body slowly adjust to the high fiber that a vegan diet can entail.

Also if you are not using canned beans, you should try soaking the beans overnight and then rinsing them. this removes some of the insoluble fiber which causes bloating.
welcome to the forum @JoeCharled

Congrats on your decision to eat a plant based diet. I would encourage you to also remember to include lots of simpler starches in your diet. There are varying opinions on the rations but fat 10-15% / protein 15-20% / carbohydrates 65-70% is what we try to average. As @Lou mentioned the increase in fibre can take a bit of time to adapt to but eating lots of potatoes, rice, whole grain breads/pastas etc will help you to offset the nuts and beans and to reach your calorie goals.

Emma JC
Instead of the black and kidney beans, you could try lentils for now. There is a lot of variety: red lentils, green/brown lentils, puy lentils, ...

Note that if you're cooking dried beans, you need to cook them long enough that they become properly digestible. I think if they are somewhat old, they will require longer cooking time. And I definitely recommend soaking them overnight, as Lou suggested, before cooking them.

I think nuts can also be soaked, which will make them easier to digest.
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