For a lot of people, it is hard to resist the temptation of a nicely cooked steak or a juicy hamburger. Despite the fact that meat is full of nutrients, it also contains a number of natural chemical toxins, saturated fat, and elements that make it difficult for us to digest. Eating too much meat can lead to serious consequences, from increasing the risk of diabetes to heart disease and even cancer.
We have researched the signs that your digestive system isn’t digesting meat well. Let’s see how many of these signs you have been experiencing.
We all have different digestive systems, and they are based on our genetics and dietary habits. Depending on the cut of the meat, some are quite high in fat. Fats take more time to be digested by the body, and that’s why they can cause indigestion the next day. Constipation can be a result of the high iron, which is normally found in red meats (beef, pork, or lamb). Besides, red meat is low in fiber, which is essential for regular bowel movements.
Advice: Some studies reveal that eating too much red meat can increase the chances of developing bowel cancer. Try to eat red meat only in limited amounts (100-200 grams, just twice a week) with lots of vegetables or grains. Try to avoid eating liver and kidneys. Switch to eat seafood or chicken, and choose boiled meat over fried meat.
2. Constantly feeling hungry
Eating foods high in iron, like red meat, increase appetite. Because iron suppresses production of leptin, which is the hormone that makes you feel full. Leptin also slows our metabolism. And iron is the one mineral that our body can’t eliminate naturally. So, the more iron you ingest, the lower your leptin levels, and the more likely you are to overeat. So if you’re mysteriously gaining weight, try cutting back on red meat.
Advice: If you realize that you always feel hungry, try to snack on yogurt with berries. Try to reduce meat for several days, and see whether you feel better.
3. Dark circles under the eyes
Don’t get tricked into assuming that dark circles under the eyes come from lack of sleep or tiredness. Not digesting meat properly can disrupt your beauty routine. If you get dark circles under the eyes on the day after you eat meat, then it’s a sign that the meat was not digested.
The compromised gut lining allows meat particles to pass through the gut wall and right into the bloodstream undigested, and they are regarded as “foreign” invaders. The body will try to produce certain antibodies to eliminate the foreign substance, and the reaction to this process can be dark circles under the eyes. This symptom is usually overlooked by health professionals.
4. High blood pressure
If you experience high blood pressure, this can be a sign that it’s time to reduce eating meat. Processed and cooked meats contain a high level of sodium, because they are normally cured, seasoned, and preserved with salt. Besides, chicken skin and red meat are high in saturated fat. All these foods can worsen hypertension, and even lead to coronary heart disease.
Advice: Try to reduce the amount of meat you consume, and switch to eat vegetables instead. If you can’t resist eating meat, try to switch to eat leaner meats and seafood as they are normally lower in fat.
5. Bad breath and body odor
Bad breath and body odor is a sign that your body is not digesting meat properly. If meat is not digested well, a smelly odor goes back out of your digestive system and eventually goes into your skin and breath. If you keep having these unpleasant problems, try taking digestive enzymes to assist in breaking the meat down so it doesn’t accumulate in your gut.
6. Weakened immune system
When your body doesn’t digest meat well, you might get sick more often than usual. Your immune system can be affected because of the natural sugar (called Neu5Gc) found in red meat. It is very hard for our bodies to digest Neu5Gc. This type of sugar is normally produced by carnivorous animals and allows them to sustain their meat diets. Our bodies do not produce this type of sugar, and that’s why our body treat it as a foreign substance, and sets off a toxic immune reaction. This reaction can cause a lot of other health problems, with cancer being the most serious.
Advice: Try to eat more nutritious food like quinoa, nuts, green vegetables, and fruit. These foods provide essential antioxidants, fiber, and protein, and they ensure that all your macro-nutrient and micro-nutrient needs are met. So if you have to eat meat, be sure to balance it with the healthy foods listed above, or with a salad. Don’t forget to do exercise and get enough vitamin D to support your immune system.
If after eating meat you start to feel sluggish or tired, don’t think it’s a normal behavior. It means that your body isn’t digesting the meat, and the meat is stuck in your bowels. Your digestive system needs to work harder to digest the meat and use more energy, which make you feel tired. Also, if you feel like you are carrying something like a brick in your gut after eating meat, it’s time to switch completely to eat something green and fresh: fruit, fresh smoothies, and raw vegetables.
Nausea is a common symptom of not digesting meat well, because it can be a reaction to certain bacteria in meat. Some pregnant women find that eating meat causes them to feel extremely nauseous. Another reason is that something in your body (perhaps an overworked organ) is rejecting the meat.
Advice: If switching to eat salad doesn’t help, and you feel nauseous or experience stomach cramps between 4 to 26 hours after you eat meat, you need to go to see a doctor immediately.
9. Bloating stomach
Meat products are one of the most difficult foods for the human body to digest, because the protein contained in meat (especially red meat) is harder to break down, and this can cause bloating. Large amounts of fatty foods like meat make your stomach empty slower, which also causes bloating or discomfort. When the meat is not digested well, it can lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body.
Advice: Instead of eating a steak, you can eat fish or chicken. Our body digest foods from these animals easier. Always have vegetables (steamed or raw) as a side dish or a salad. If you stop eating meat, you will most likely get rid of bloating stomach.