Bloating is that awful puffy, poochy feeling you can get when you eat too fast, eat too much or if you eat foods high in fiber that can cause gas to build up in your digestive tract.
Foods that cause gas can cause bloating. They aren’t necessarily bad for you — in fact many of them are healthy high-fiber foods that belong in a healthy diet. There are some things you can do to help reduce the discomfort. But first, here’s a look at foods that might be making your belly feel bloated.
Dry beans and lentils are high in a fiber and eating them in large amounts can result in a lot of gas formation. Legumes are high in nutrients so they should be part of a healthy diet. Avoid excess gas by starting with small portions and slowly build up the amounts you eat.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale are also high in fiber so they can cause gas and bloating. But they’re also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so they’re a good part of a healthy diet. Your digestive system will adjust over time so start with smaller portions and work up. Steaming your cruciferous veggies might also help reduce some of the bloating..
3. Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks and beer can make you feel bloated because you’re essentially swallowing air. You’ll probably get some relief by belching, but you might still feel some bloating for a while after. Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy and eating or drinking too fast may have a similar effect.
4. Greasy Foods
Eating a meal that’s high in fat can also make you feel bloated. Fats slow down the rate at which your stomach empties into the small intestine. So while eating some fat is fine, eating a large greasy meal might make you feel miserable. There’s not much to do, but wait until the bloating passes and watch your portion sizes next time.
5. Foods Sweetened with Alcohol Sugars
Foods sweetened with alcohol sugars, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol can cause you to feel bloated because you don’t digest them well so they’re fermented by bacteria in your digestive tract. Alcohol sugars are used in sugar-free gum and candy as well as some “low-carb” foods.
6. Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products can cause discomfort and bloat for people who have lactose intolerance, which s the inability to digest milk sugar (lactose). It’s especially common in Native Americans, African-Americans, Asians, and Latinos. Drinking lactose-free milk or taking lactase pills with your dairy products can help alleviate the symptoms = but please speak wit your health care provider first.
7. Whole Grains
Whole grains are good for you because they’re rich in fiber and nutrients. But the fiber, along with the starch, can make you feel a bit bloated if you over-do it. The good news is that your digestive system will adapt to the extra fiber and the gas and bloating should decrease over time.
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