Nobody likes the feeling of a bloated stomach.
Unfortunately, you may be causing that uncomfortable feeling by unknowingly including foods that make you bloated in your diet.
Many of these foods are part of our common day to day meals, and a lot of them are considered healthy foods. As such, it makes sense to include them in what we regularly eat.
So if you find yourself suffering from the bloat or feeling gassy after a meal, you may want to reconsider the foods below and avoid them the next time you’re out with friends so you don’t end up with that unwanted feeling in your belly.
Foods That Cause Bloating
1. Muesli Bars
These are often thought of as “healthy” bars for snacking. They actually contain protein isolate that is taken from soybeans. This isolate is responsible for inducing gas. Stay away from snack bars made from soy ingredients and make sure the ones you consume are made from nuts or seeds to obtain the protein your body needs.
2. Chewing Gum
When we chew gum, we tend to swallow a lot of air in the process. The excess air can increase the chance of getting bloated.
In addition sugar free gums contain sorbitol and xylitol, which are ingredients that are used as alternatives to sugar. However, these ingredients can cause issues with our gut.
Chewing gum that is made with sorbitol is not good for your system. This is a sugar alcohol which causes digestive problems. Read the label of the sugar-free gum packages to ensure you purchase a sorbitol-free product. Ingesting this sugar alcohol will leave you with a bloated sensation.
3. Dried Fruit
If you have a sensitive stomach you may find it hard to digest dried fruit. It contains a high level of fructose; which even though a natural sugar, it can ferment when it reaches the stomach. This fermentation will cause a bloated feeling and gas.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables like Kale, Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts
These vegetables do not digest well in the stomach and can also ferment once they reach it. They are all high in fructans and raffinose which are not easily digested.
Raffinose is a sugar that will stay undigested until the bacteria in your stomach ferment it and this process produces a gas which will create a bloating sensation.
People with sensitive stomachs will often suffer abdominal pain, bloating, changes in their stools, heartburn and even nausea. Cooking them will soften the fiber and help to reduce some of the bloating, but not eliminate it entirely.
Other foods that contain high fructan levels are; rye, wheat, dates, grapefruit, stone fruits and many types of beans.
Beans, peas, soybeans and lentils are probably the worst gas-causing foods. These contain bursts of protein and a lot of sugar and fibers your body will have trouble absorbing. When they reach the large intestine the bacteria in your gut feeds on them which cause gas and bloating. Eating them occasionally may help your body to adjust to them.
6. Nut Milks
Almond milk is now a common choice in supermarkets for a substitute dairy product. This product has a thickening agent called carrageenan which comes from seaweed. The carrageenan has been linked to gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers. Drinking this product may leave one feeling bloated.
7. Fizzy Drinks
Don’t forget to skip the diet soda as well. They’re not much better than the regular ones.
8. Dairy Foods
Those who have trouble absorbing lactose will feel bloated after consuming dairy products. If you feel a gassy or bloating sensation after consuming cheese or milk; it is a sign your body is having trouble breaking down the sugar found in dairy. There are sugars found in dairy products, including lactose, that many people find they cannot digest.
Although each product contains different levels of the sugar, staying away from dairy if you suffer bloating symptoms when consumed would be better for your digestive system.
Beans are well known for causing gas and flatulence.
They are one of the main foods that can lead to bloating.
The main culprit for this is their fiber content, and the fact that they contain oligosaccharides, which are sugars that are indigestible and need to be broken down by the intestine.
If lentils are soaked it may reduce their bloating effects.
They contain high levels of fiber and indigestible sugars known as oligosaccharides which cause bloating. When soaked and then rinsed thoroughly before cooking it will lower the risk of bloating.
When eaten raw; it is common for people to suffer digestion problems. An onion will cause gas to form in the digestive tract which leads to belching, discomfort in the stomach and bloating. They can be enjoyed even by people who suffer these symptoms by just cutting down on the amount and the size of pieces eaten.
12. Canned Soups
There are high levels of sodium in canned soups. When a person consumes a lot of sodium their body will retain water which causes a bloating feeling.
Homemade versions of soup would be healthier as you can control the amount of sodium is put into the servings. It is reported by the CDC that approximately 90% of Americans consume more sodium than is recommended.
High intake of sodium is responsible for many health conditions such as high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, sodium is found in large amounts in many prepackaged and processed foods. It is used to help prolong the shelf life of these products as well as enhance flavor. This makes them hard to avoid if you enjoy canned, processed, or packaged foods.
Drinking a lot of water will help your system flush it out when you are unable to avoid consuming these products.
The old saying about “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is not necessarily true as they are high in fiber, fructose and sorbitol.
The sugars found in an apple are hard for most people to digest and create a gas and bloating sensation. They are a very healthy snack as they contain as much as 5 grams of fiber, are a good source of vitamin C and are also linked to lowering many diseases.
Eating them in moderation will help your system adjust to them while you still receive their many benefits.