Feeling bloated isn’t a pleasant feeling but we all go through it at some point in our lives. Some people experience bloating more than others and although this can be due to an underlying medical condition, usually our diet is to blame. There are certain foods that can cause excess bloating, especially if you are sensitive to them. If you are experiencing regular uncomfortable bloating after you eat, some of these foods may be to blame.
1. Carbonated Drinks
It’s easy to understand how carbonated drinks can cause bloating. All those little air bubbles full of carbon dioxide gas get swallowed and this doesn’t settle well in your stomach. The gas from fizzy drinks can also travel into your intestines and get stuck, causing cramping. Instead of carbonated drinks try iced tea or lemonade.
2. Beans and Legumes
There’s a reason for that rhyme about beans being the musical fruit. Although beans are especially good for your, they do have a tendency to cause gas and bloating. The sugars in beans are called FODMAPs which is fermented into gas during digestion by the bacteria in your gut. Gas, cramping, diarrhea and bloating can be caused by eating too many beans or other legumes like lentils and garbanzos, especially if you have a slower digestive system.
Gluten sensitivity is now becoming much more widely known. Wheat, pasta and baked goods all contain gluten and people with celiac disease or that are gluten intolerant will experience severe cramping and bloating by eating these foods. But the good news is that there are plenty of gluten free products on the market to meet your needs if you have gluten sensitivity.
4. Onions and Garlic
These two foods both contain fructans, or soluble fibers. And it’s these fibers which can cause bloating. To minimize the effects, avoid eating onions or garlic raw; cooking them will help break down some of these fibers.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are all cruciferous vegetables. These can all cause bloating even though they contain vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and iron which are great for your health. Instead of these hard to digest veggies, opt for lettuce, spinach, or cucumbers.
Dairy contains lactose, a sugar found in all milk products. For those who are lactose intolerant, eating dairy causes painful digestive issues including gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramps. It can be very hard to avoid dairy products, especially when eating out. But about ¾ of the world’s population is lactose intolerant, so there is now a wide range of alternative products becoming commonly available, such as soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk.
The saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but what it doesn’t say is that an apple a day could also cause bloating. The fiber and fructose content in apples can cause the make large intestine to get backed up, causing gas and bloating.
Beer is a both a fermented and carbonated drink making it a double bloater. It also contains wheat, which is a gluten, so if you are also gluten sensitive than it’s even worse for bloating. It’s no wonder they call it a beer belly with all that bloating!
If you suspect that any of the above foods might be causing your bloating, try cutting them out of your diet for a few weeks before introducing one back into your diet at a time. This should enable you to find the culprit, or culprits, so you can avoid them and their bloating effects in the future.