You may struggle to digest certain leafy greens. Some people fare better than others with various produce. Despite the health benefits, sometimes stomachs struggle to break down meals containing leafy greens, like salad for example.
But what about lettuce? Is iceberg lettuce hard to digest? While iceberg lettuce is generally considered easier to digest, some people will experience difficulty passing lettuce through their system. If you experience gastrointestinal discomfort after eating iceberg lettuce, you may have an intolerance.
Everyone features a unique gut with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some suffer with spice, others with fibrous greens. Let’s take a look at why you might find lettuce hard to digest.
Why is iceberg lettuce hard to digest?
For most, the reason comes down to one thing: fiber. Iceberg lettuce contains a lot of fiber. Usually, this facilitates the absorption of water in the large intestine. Basically, fiber keeps things moving easier. It smooths the digestive tract.
However, too much fiber makes things runny. If you eat a lot of iceberg lettuce, your large intestine could absorb more water than it needs. This results in diarrhea. Stool becomes loose and, without getting too detailed, you may find yourself running for the bathroom.
Since every person features their own unique gut, you may experience fiber overload quicker than others. Cellulose, the fiber found in leafy greens, proves more difficult for some to breakdown, resulting in cramps and bloating.
However, it is important to consider you might also have an allergy or intolerance. These issues must be diagnosed by your doctor. If discomfort exceeds normal indigestion, you should seek their medical opinion.
What happens when I can’t digest lettuce?
The typical symptoms of lettuce indigestion include diarrhea, upset stomach, and bloat. If you struggle with excess fiber, you may feel discomfort in your lower abdomen. Frequent bathroom visits and gas could result.
While these symptoms pass, it may be some hours before you feel totally normal again. Take note, though, if your symptoms worsen. You don’t want to mistake a bacterial infection for regular indigestion. A fever or flu-like symptoms signal something worse, like e. coli or other bacterial infections.
Should I avoid iceberg lettuce?
Since leafy greens contain many beneficial nutrients, it’s worth it to find greens that agree with you. Since iceberg lettuce usually doesn’t induce stomach discomfort, another ingredient in your salad could be the real culprit.
Try isolating different salad ingredients to determine which causes your pain. Also, try different sized salads. Perhaps you’re consuming more iceberg lettuce than your body is prepared to digest. Portion control often fixes stomach and bowel issues.