People often find that although they’re eating healthily, they continue to suffer from frequent stomach discomfort and ballooning. There’s nothing worse than puffing up after a delicious and healthy meal and ending up feeling like the Michelin Man on steroids.
Most gastroenterologists agree that, provided you’re not suffering from a medical condition, the likely cause of abdominal bloating is a build up of intestinal gas.
To help you narrow down the cause, I’ve compiled a list of ten common foods that can cause belly bloat.
Experiment and take note of how you feel after eating. When you can identify problem foods, you can manage your symptoms and wave goodbye to belly bloat forever.
1. Nut milks
A lot of supermarket varieties of almond milk contain the thickening agent carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed and has been linked to gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers. Try making your own nut milk at home.
Many people have trouble digesting onions, especially when eaten raw. To limit discomfort, enjoy smaller quantities of well-cooked onions or substitute with spices, herbs, and the green part of the spring onion to add flavor to dishes.
3. Granola bars
Many common “healthy” snack bars include protein isolate, which is derived from soybeans, and a common gas-inducing culprit. Read the label to ensure any protein you are getting from these bars comes from the nuts/seeds themselves, or make your own.
Lentils contain phytic acid, which may lead to bloating.
Soaking lentils in plenty of cold water with some added lemon juice or vinegar overnight could significantly reduce their phytate levels, helping to lower their potential for bloating. Once the lentils have been soaked, rinse them thoroughly with filtered water before cooking them well.
5. Chewing gum
Sugarless varieties of chewing gum typically contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol notorious for causing digestive distress. Read the labels to check that any gum if you do consume it is sorbitol-free.
6. Canned soup
When looking to lose weight, it’s common for many of us to turn to soup. However, canned soups generally contain high sodium levels, which may lead to water retention and temporary bloating. Try making a large batch of homemade soup instead.
7. Dried fruit
Dried fruit has a very high fructose (natural sugar) content, which those with a sensitive stomach can find difficult to digest, causing bloating and gas. Fresh citrus fruits and berries are lower fructose fruit options.
8. Pro-inflammatory fats
Dietary fats that are linked with inflammation and can contribute to bloating are: