You may have heard the mantra that "five a day keeps the doctor away." The truth is, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal. You should indeed increase your intake of whole and fresh foods. However, there are some fruits and vegetables that you should consume in moderation, or they could be the worst foods for gut health.

Otherwise, you could actually be harming your gut health! Ready to learn what fruits and vegetables are bad for your gut? 


Sweet like candy, dates are a tasty dried fruit that packs a punch of B vitamins, fiber, and other essential minerals. However, if you have sensitive digestion, the high fiber content in dates could irritate your bowels if you eat too much of this fruit. 

Besides this, dried fruits commonly contain sulfites. Signs of sulfite sensitivity could include bloating, diarrhea, gas, skin rashes, nausea, and asthma. When you eat dates, try to stick with just two per serving to keep your sugar, caloric, and fiber intake at a more manageable level. 

bowl of dates


Soy is a plant-based protein source that is a food stable for anyone who wants to avoid meat or reduce meat consumption in their diet. 

If you have a soy allergy or sensitivity, you could experience symptoms of gut inflammation and irritation within minutes of eating a soy or tofu product. Symptoms of an allergy include:

If you notice any of these signs after consuming soy, speak with your doctor to see if there could be an allergy present. 

white soy beans


Onions lend some great flavors and aromatic compounds to your food. However, they can also be tough for your gut to break down, which leads to gas. Regarding what vegetables are bad for your gut, when you pair onions with garlic, your symptoms could be even worse. 

Raw onions, in particular, can cause painful cramping and gas, but even cooked onions could trigger symptoms. If you have sensitive digestion or notice these symptoms after consuming onions, consider reducing or eliminating onions from your diet, at least for a while, to see if you notice improvement. 

sliced and whole white onions

Brussels Sprouts

If you're wondering what vegetable is bad for your gut, you should know that Brussels sprouts contain high levels of fructans. Your gut bacteria can ferment fructans after consumption. 

Often, this could result in severe abdominal discomfort. Many people opt to eliminate Brussels sprouts. However, if you enjoy eating them, try cutting Brussels sprouts out and reintroducing them in smaller portions after a few weeks. 

bowl of brussel sprouts


The luxurious taste of artichokes is a favorite with foodies everywhere. From pizza toppings to salads or just eaten on their own, artichokes have a rich, full-bodied flavor profile. The trouble is, artichokes also contain high levels of fructans and fructose, both of which can severely irritate your stomach. 

So, if you want to beat the bloat and trying to figure out which vegetable is bad for your gut, you may want to lay off of artichokes, at least for a while. 

artichoke with lemon


If you're wondering what vegetable is bad for your gut, you might not have expected peas to make it to the list. However, peas contain both mannitol and fructose. These are short-chain fermentable carbohydrates can be highly problematic for the sensitive gut. 

fresh peas


Similar to artichokes, asparagus has a higher fructose content than other types of vegetables. Asparagus also contains considerable quantities of gut-irritating fructans, which means it could be one of the worst vegetable for gut. If you have IBS or another pre existing gut condition, both fructose and fructans could cause your symptoms to skyrocket. 

Try cutting out asparagus for a few weeks to see if you notice improvement, and your colon will thank you. 

bowl of asparagus


Mushrooms contain high levels of mannitol, Mannitol is a kind of sugar alcohol that could cause considerable gut irritation. Once you've improved your gut health, detoxed from mannitol, and feel better again, try reintroducing smaller quantities of mushrooms.

tray of many types of mushrooms

Substitute These Bad Gut Foods for Probiotics and Prebiotics 

While these may be a few of the most common but unexpected fruits and vegetables that can be bad for your gut in large quantities, there are lots of natural probiotics and prebiotics out there that can help you look and feel better from the inside out. 

Learn about the Healthiest Foods You Should Include In Your Daily Diet.

Adi Arezzini

Adi Arezzini
Teami Blends - Co-Founder + CEO
Certified Nutrition Health Coach