If your gut suddenly feels puffy to the point where your pants become uncomfortably tight, you have experienced the misery of bloating.
Bloating is nothing but a seriously uncomfortable feeling in your gut area when your lower or upper abdomen feel tight and your belly sometimes protrudes.
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There is no one reason why you could be bloated. It could be an unknown food allergy, a hormonal problem, a digestive disorder or maybe just a slow system.
Normally, food components are digested and absorbed in the small intestine. However, when this process is not complete, the unabsorbed components travel to the large intestines, where bacteria break them down, releasing gas that causes bloating.
Top 8 Foods That Can Cause Bloating
1. Beans and Cruciferous Vegetables
Foods like lentils, chickpeas, and broccoli contain sugars called oligosaccharides that some people have trouble digesting. When they reach the colon, they can be fermented by bacteria, which produce gas and bloating.
Still, beans and cruciferous vegetables are some of the healthiest foods out there. Instead of avoiding them completely, give your body time to adapt.
Lentils contain high amounts of protein, fiber and healthy carbs, as well as minerals such as iron, copper and manganese. Because of their high fiber content, they can cause bloating in sensitive individuals.
This is especially true for people who are not used to eating a lot of fiber. However, soaking or sprouting the lentils before you eat them can make them much easier on the digestive system.
3. Dairy Products
If you are lactose intolerant, things like milk or ice cream can leave you gassy and uncomfortable.
Lactose intolerance happens when your body does not make enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest the sugars found in dairy foods, When those sugars aren’t digested, bacteria feed on them, causing gas and bloating.
4. Carbonated Drinks
When you drink club soda, the gas from the bubbles gets trapped in your stomach which can make you feel uncomfortably full and bloated.
Sugary soda is even worse since it is high in refined carbs that cause your body to retain extra water. How you drink the fizzy stuff can also have an impact.
Sipping through a straw can cause you to swallow air, making gas and bloating worse. So when you have something bubbly, you might want to drink it straight from the bottle, can, or glass.
Alcohol is high in carbs, and it is also a diuretic, meaning it makes you dehydrated. That combo can signal your body to hold on to as much water as possible, which can cause puffiness and bloat.
But that is not all. Alcohol also slows down your stomach digestion speed. So any food you ate with your drink will stay in your belly longer, making it more likely to stick out.
Wheat has been highly controversial in the past few years, mainly because it contains a protein called gluten. Despite the controversy, wheat is still very widely consumed.
It is an ingredient in most bread, pasta, tortillas and pizzas, as well as baked goods like cakes, biscuits, pancakes and waffles.
For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, wheat causes major digestive problems. This includes bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach pain.
7. Sugar-Free Foods
Sugar alcohols like xylitol and sorbitol which are commonly found in sugar-free baked goods, candy, or gum contain compounds that your body can’t digest.
As a result, the compounds sit in your gut, where bacteria feed on them. That creates an abundance of gas and other chemicals, which results in bloating or changes in bowel habits.
8. Greasy Foods
Foods like fried rice, pizza, or nachos are not only high in sodium but they also tend to be loaded with refined carbs and sugar, two other things that cause bloating and puffiness.
Carbohydrates are stored as the sugar glycogen in the body, and glycogen binds with water. So the more carbs you eat, the more glycogen you end up storing and the more water molecules that stick around, too.
How To Avoid Or Reduce Bloating?
Some simple changes in your daily lifestyle and dietary habits can add to relief.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Eat slowly in a relaxed environment and chew your food well. Avoid smoking.
Exercise: physical activity, especially in the morning before breakfast prevents the buildup of gas and encourages bowel activityAvoid stress. Stress can hinder digestion in many ways.
2. Dietary Changes
Eat one serving of cultured yogurt daily. Drink plenty of water daily. Stay away from carbonated beverages. Enjoy digestive aids such as Ginger, fennel and peppermint tea, with or after a meal.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily. If you are lactose intolerant, avoid normal milk and go for soy milk that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and consume dairy products in moderation. Avoid high-fat foods because they are hard to digest.
Our expert Nutritionists at Possible can help you avoid this terrible problem of bloating by introducing natural superfoods.
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