Does your stomach got that puffy feeling? Try to change your nutrition and see if your swollen belly misery goes are down to these foods that make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
To a certain extent, a bloated belly post-meal is – let’s say – normal. Like a steo fo digestion. Still, we know that may not comfort you when you have to squeeze your inflated tummy into a figure-hugging party dress or for a men – well-suited trousers. Don’t despair – there are ways to lessen the swell!
For most people though, staying bloat-free is a case of finding foods that make you feel bloated in the first place. It’s really important. They can differ from person to person, but here are the most common culprits.
Carbonated beverages are some of the worst foods that make you feel bloated. The bubbles (even the ones in sparkling water!) are gas, which can stay inside your stomach and make you feel like you’ve been filled up with a bicycle pump. Trust me! Even when you’re skipping the sugar and going for ‘diet’ drinks, the artificial replacements such as sucralose and aspartame can disrupt your gut. It’s also about the condition of our natural microbiom.
Especially peaches, cherries, apples or pears containing sorbitol. It is a naturally occurring sugar that, due to its properties, can also easily cause bloating.
Mushrooms contain a type of sugar which is called raffinose. Once raffinose reaches the colon, it’s digested by bacteria and fermented, producing gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. And it’s then that you can easily notice to that bloating effect.
This group of food are really great generally. They’re full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. However, they also contain oligosaccharides – types of sugars that the body finds tricky to break down. Try soaking beans before cooking them to reduce swelling, or try mung and adzuki beans, which are a little easier on the digestive system. The worst seems to be a chickpea. That’s why I recommend to use it in hummus.
Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are also packed with the difficult-to-digest sugar called raffinose. Bloat-free alternatives include spinach, courgette, asparagus, carrots, beetroot, kale and celery. They are also very nutritious and valuable to provide instead of this I wrote above.
This is a common culinary culprit of bloating. Dairy is inarguably good for us, but it can also make life miserable for those unknowingly suffering from lactose intolerance… Some people cannot produce enough of crucial enzyme – lactase which breaks down the sugar in dairy products. The sugar then winds its way down your digestive tract, pulling water into your gut and producing that puffy stomach. If you do cut back your dairy intake, make sure you get your calcium from other sources such as oranges, tempeh, soya, broccoli, kale and almonds.
A lot of food additives, such as flavor enhancers, dyes, conditioners and preservatives, also cause bloating and indigestion. To avoid this, read the labels and avoid such products.