Juicing and Digestive Upsets

Sometimes when people start juicing in addition to their normal diet or on a Reboot, they can experience many different digestive upsets or changes. This comes from making any type of dietary change such as including more fruits and vegetables in the diet, different fiber content, foods that may be stimulating the liver and gallbladder, new foods that may irritate an already irritated stomach or intestinal lining, new flavors and textures and detoxification symptoms.

These changes or upsets are almost always temporary. As your body adjusts to any type of new plan or dietary change the irritation or symptoms will stop. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, reflux, bad breath, increased odor to bowel motions and urine, mucus in the stool, constipation, diarrhea and worsening IBS symptoms. All these symptoms will depend and vary person to person. Often a person’s weak point will be aggravated during a Reboot and in many cases it can be the digestive system.

Here is a list of suggestions to help with any upsets that may be occurring:
1. It is very important for any symptoms experienced to make sure you are including plenty of additional water as well as your juices. This can lessen the detoxification symptoms experienced.

2. If any juices are too strong and potent and you feel are upsetting you then I would suggest trying them diluted as you get use to them. Such as a 50% dilution with water then slowly increase the amount of juice consumed with less water.

3. Including warm/hot water with fresh lemon and freshly grated ginger can reduce nausea and vomiting. Ginger is also considered a herbal carminative which means that it will reduce irritation to the gastro-intestinal lining and it will reduce nausea.

4. Removing or reducing the gas causing vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions and garlic. This is due to the high sulphur content although cabbage traditionally has been shown to reduce ulcers (very old studies) and irritation as it contains high amounts of glutamine so in some cases cabbage juice may help rather than aggravate but this can vary person to person.

5. Drinking smaller quantities more frequently can help symptoms experienced such as 10 oz (300 ml) 6-12 times daily.

6. Chamomile, Peppermint, Licorice, Spearmint, Aniseed and Fennel tea – these carminative herbal teas can reduce reflux, abdominal cramps, flatulence, bloating and IBS.

7. Marshmallow root tea is an excellent soothing agent although this needs to be simmered on the stove top for 15 minutes rather than steeped.

8. Fruits and Vegetables to reduce irritation – fennel, apple due to its pectin content, celery, pear and cabbage.

9. Including herbs & spices in your juice – such as ginger, turmeric, parsley and mint (not all in one juice) these are particularly beneficial for any digestive upsets.

10. Vegetable Broth and Thai Infused Vegetable broth – also adding some extra freshly grated ginger as you simmer the vegetable pulp may help any upsets. Warming foods can reduce upsets.

11. L-Glutamine can be useful to reduce irritation to the stomach and intestines. L-Glutamine is food for the intestinal villi and can help improve the integrity of the mucus membranes of the digestive tract.

12. Slippery Elm – is an excellent demulcent fiber that will reduce inflammation in the throat, stomach, intestines and large bowel. As this fiber passes through the digestive tract due to the polysaccharide content it reduces irritation on contact.

13. Aloe Vera – This is also very healing to the mucus membranes of the digestive tract. Aloe Vera also contains polysaccharides that have been shown to improve the integrity of the digestive lining and reduce inflammation and improve nutrient absorption.

14. Probiotics – these very specialised bacterium will help reduce inflammation, stool formation and will enhance gastric mucosal function.

15. Gentle exercise such as walking, yoga and stretching has been shown to reduce stomach and digestive upsets.

16. Unfortunately, stress can have a significant negative effect on the digestive system so any type of healthy activity to reduce stress is always an excellent idea such as mediating, reading, gardening, taking a bath containing Epsom salts, having a foot massage etc…whatever activity that helps you to switch for mind off.

Note: Any suggestions can have the opposite effect in some small groups of people. If this occurs, stop immediately.