Greens making me sick- Should I switch to iceberg?

I know there a billion posts about bloating and gas caused by raw veggies, but more specifically I am wondering:

Do "spring greens" like romaine, chard, mizuna, arugula, radicchio, mache and frisee bother anyone else? I eat salad daily and was using mostly iceberg before due to cost. I switched to the organic greens listed above, and I've had a horrible stomachache after eating them! It's not the usual bloated-from-eating-lots-of-veggies feel, it's worse.

Has this happened to anyone else? The rest of the salad ingredients are the same as always- cucumber, carrots, red peppers, sometimes nuts or avocado, sometimes tomato, then oil & balsamic vinegar. No broccoli, cauliflower, beans, sprouts, onions, or any other "gassy" veggies. I'm guessing the culprit has to be the lettuce. For breakfast I eat only fruit, and this does not happen- nor does it with cooked food.

I hate to switch back to iceberg because I know it has way less nutrients, and oddly enough, these same greens haven't bothered me in the past (but I usually mixed them with iceberg).

Help- I'm totally turned off on salad, which is bad because that is the bulk of my diet and my favorite food!!


  • Some thoughts- the spring greens you eat, are they in a bag all premixed and prewashed? I don't usually have problems with those, but some prewashed mixes use some type of chemical that preserves them that some people react bad too. It may not be the individual greens.

    Or, it could be the mixture of them itself? I don't feel that great when I eat chard myself.

    You could always break them up by mixing them with iceberg lettuce. I don't see the harm in that myself.

    I've found green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce and bibb lettuce pretty easy on the stomach. Maybe try those?

  • grapefruit.fanaticgrapefruit.fanatic Raw Newbie

    They are in a pre-mixed, pre-washed container, so I'll try another brand, or just get the bibb, green & red leaf lettuce you suggested. Hope that works :)

    Thanks sisterbecky!

  • ambiguousambiguous Raw Newbie

    Perhaps you have an allergy or sensitivity to one of those greens? Arugula is in the mustard family, and radicchio is also kind of spicy; these seem like the most likely candidates to cause problems. Frisee is just a kind of lettuce.

  • Are you a raw food newbie? Dark leafy greens are very detoxifying. If a veggie is bitter, it's a liver cleanser. For instance, radicchio (which isn't green, but purplish leaf) is very bitter-tasting but nourishing to the liver. If you are new to eating lots of raw produce, you are probably getting rid of stored toxins. Many people on the SAD diet assume that they are "allergic" to raw produce because their bodies are very toxic that the rare times they eat something raw, their bodies attempt to cleanse themselves. So then they avoid anything raw! I know people who think they cannot tolerate various raw fruits or veggies.

  • grapefruit.fanaticgrapefruit.fanatic Raw Newbie

    Violet- I'm not a newbie, so this is definitely not detox. I eat lots of raw produce every day, and nothing else besides these greens bother me so much.

    Ambiguous- I think you and sister becky are right, I may just need to switch over to something else. I've been snowbound with these storms, so I have only been able to get to a store with a small selection. I can't wait to get out and try some different greens! Thanks for the feedback.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    why iceberg? why not red leaf or green leaf lettuce? they all have more nutrients than iceberg. i don't do salad mixes because of price and also there have been a lot of studies showing that bagged salad is contaminated. yuck.

    there have been times when i've not eaten much salad. i simply up my intake of green smoothies and/or green juice. sometimes i just eat sprouts alone too.

    good luck and feel better!

  • rinrin

    are you having enough fluids? leafy greens give me severe cramps if i'm not hydrated! i think it could be the high fiber content, fiber needs liquid to move along, otherwise i could see it giving you cramps/other distress.

  • grapefruit.fanaticgrapefruit.fanatic Raw Newbie

    I feel like I am having enough fluids, and I haven't had problems with anything else high in fiber (like apples, which I eat a lot of). I will try to have some more water though, and see if it helps.

    I'm starting to think it may have been the avocado!! I bought some red leaf lettuce (thanks bitt) and bam, sick again. Then I left the avocado off of my salad, and I was fine. Has anyone else ever gotten sick from avocados?

    I'm hoping it was just a bad bunch, since that would be better than me not tolerating greens! I am going to try arugula and radicchio again with just some oil and vinegar, and see what happens.

  • rinrin

    out of curiosity - do the greens give you trouble when they are mixed into a smoothie or juice? if you are having trouble digesting them that might make it a bit easier on you. just a thought if you haven't tried that already!

  • grapefruit.fanaticgrapefruit.fanatic Raw Newbie

    I haven't tried that yet, good question. I've tried making green smoothies and just don't enjoy the taste.

    I'd love to get a juicer. I'm a student, so I'll have to save up the money, but I can't wait to try different juices.

  • Vinegar and oils would make me sick.

    But not sure in your case.

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