Expert advice Nutrition

Relationship Between A VEGAN Diet & UR GUT

Gayatri Chona

MSc Nutrition U.K., Specialises in nutrition for kids, teens, pregnant women & corporate diet plans

4 min read


Veganism is not just A DIET; it is not about giving up or losing anything either, but living a healthier, cleaner lifestyle! However, it is not something you take lightly either- when we eliminate major food groups (non- vegetarian & dairy), they are replaced with foods that are primarily plant-based and increase the amount of carbohydrates that can sometimes feed your gut with unwelcomed sugar. The trillions of gut bacteria affect our mental health, our mood and its ability to cope with stress. The right kind of gut bacteria also plays a vital role in metabolism and weight management. The modernized western diets today focus on GMO farms that have grown animal products, hormone infused dairy and highly processed foods. All these are responsible for the increasing levels of severe digestive and gut issues. A healthy, plant-based whole food diet helps soothe the gut and prevent gut inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and fatty liver. Having said that there are some critical things to watch out for when going vegan.

1. Go as natural and whole foods only:

With vegan diets gaining popularity the food industry is catering to it from making vegan chocolates to ice creams to even vegan pepperoni pizzas. All these may be great in taste & flavor but are highly processed and not gut-friendly. Too much of these can leave you feeling bloated and gassy. Protein shakes or supplements available in the vegan market are often packed with artificial flavours, sweeteners, emulsifiers and preservatives. All of which kills UR healthy bacteria in the digestive system. Opt for whole, unrefined foods in their natural form, source from local organic markets v/s big grocery stores or online shopping.

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2. Support your Vegan diet and build diversity:

When UR going Vegan, it’s essential to support it with healthy fermented food that helps build UR gut bacteria. Giving your diet diversity by adding a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, greens, nuts & seeds is the key to keeping our gut microbiome happy. These microbes living in our digestive tract play a critical role in digesting food, maintaining a healthy gut lining, keeping inflammation in check and regulating appetite. Add prebiotics (onions, garlic, leeks, green leafy vegetables, soaked flax & chia seeds) & probiotics (kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha) to your daily meals.


Our gut is a creature of habit. Making sudden dietary changes by moving to whole fibre-rich foods overnight, can throw your digestive system into a tailspin leading to bloating and digestive discomfort. Give time for your microbiome to readjust to the new diet by eliminating and introducing new foods slowly, one meal at a time instead of all at once. Do not rush it.


3. Slow & steady:

Transition into your vegan diet gradually. Our gut is a creature of habit. Making sudden dietary changes by moving to whole fibre-rich foods overnight, can throw your digestive system into a tailspin leading to bloating and digestive discomfort. Give time for your microbiome to readjust to the new diet by eliminating and introducing new foods slowly, one meal at a time instead of all at once. Do not rush it.

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4. Top up with the right fats and supplements:

Adding healthy fats to UR vegan diet is very important. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce intestinal inflammation and maintain gut health. It’s crucial that you add nuts, seeds, avocados to your daily intake to get the essential fatty acids (EPA & DHA) your body needs. Use cold-pressed olive oil or sesame oil to your salads and stir-fry. Add nuts and seeds to the smoothies and breakfast bowls to get your daily requirement in. Vegan diets are rich in protein, fibre, phytonutrients, calcium and potassium. But it lacks a couple of essential vitamins like vitamin B12 & D3. Make sure you add a good quality supplement to get your daily requirement in.

5. Beware of FODMAPs:

(fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) Short-chain carbohydrates are found in abundance in plant-based foods such as avocados, cauliflower, beans, garlic etc. They are rich in prebiotics & beneficial, but increased intake of FODMAPs can lead to excess fermentation, digestive gasses & bloating. DO NOT eliminate them but be mindful of quantities. Also, reduce the amount of grains you consume. Vegan diets can sometimes be heavy on grains and too much fibre. All these lead to excess sugar in the gut, which kills good gut bacteria and breed yeast infections. “Eat beans, not beings” go Vegan, but keep in mind – eat mindfully, chew well, hydrate lots, stay away from gluten & processed foods and get adequate sleep. Simple changes make habits; habits make a lifestyle!