Tip: The Smart Way to Prepare Your Veggies

Eat your vegetables they say. But what if veggies just make you bloated and cause digestion issues? Here are some tips.

When it comes to veggies, it's very important to break down and soften the exterior wall prior to eating them. With leafy greens and broccoli, make sure you cut, dice, or shred them and let them sit for 10 minutes.

When plants are damaged, they release polyphenols to prevent further damage to their tissues. To do this, the plant has to release enzymes that cause cellular breakdown to release those polyphenols. These enzymes help to break down that cellular wall, and this makes them more digestible. This also makes the plant more nutritious because of the extra release of polyphenols.

Additionally, cooking and mashing vegetables can also help to make them more digestible. Just make sure that if you boil vegetables, you also consume the liquid. Boiling can cause the most important nutrients to leach into the water. (Editor's note: Some nutrition gurus recommend that you save the water, refrigerate it, then use it for your protein shakes.)

Choose Your Vegetables Wisely

If you have severe gut issues, choose vegetables high in soluble fiber but low in insoluble fiber. Examples:

  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Peeled summer squash
  • Starchy tubers
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Yucca

If you're looking for a highly digestible source of plant nutrients without the digestive stress, you can also just include a serving or two of Superfood into your daily diet.

Chris Albert is an NSCA and NASM certified personal trainer, and one of the founders of Metroflex Gym in Long Beach. Chris has trained pro and amateur bodybuilders, powerlifters, fighters, and fitness models. He’s also a proud US Marine Corps veteran. Follow Chris Albert on Instagram