We’ve all experienced that uncomfortable feeling in our bellies and the embarrassment that comes with passing gas. You’ll be surprised at how common bloating and gas is. In fact, 16-30% of people say that they experience it daily. The cause of bloating is more than likely something you’ve consumed. Here is a list of foods that may be the culprit for bloating and indigestion.
This green superfood is also the cause of super gas and bloating in most people. How can a food that yields so many health benefits cause so much intestinal distress? Broccoli contains a complex sugar called raffinose, which produce gas resulting in bloating. In addition, this green sprout is rich in fiber that doesn’t break down until it reaches the small intestine which causes bloating as well. While you shouldn’t cut broccoli out of your diet, it is recommended that you steam your broccoli. Steaming your veggies can make them easier to digest.
Onions taste great when they’re grilled and served on top of a burger or added to a submarine sandwich. However, they can cause some serious gas. Onions contain sugars called FODMAPs, a chain of carbohydrates and fibers that don’t digest well in the small intestine. There are some who have an intolerance to FODMAPs which causes bloating, gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Be sure to get checked out by your doctor if you feel like your digestive issues are caused by FODMAP foods. If you can’t live without onions, cooking them can decrease the digestive effects. Also, for recipes that call for onions, it is worth replacing onions with other herbs and spices.
Another food that contains FODMAPs is wheat. Since it is an ingredient that is widely used in bread, pasta, cereals, and cakes, avoiding wheat can be difficult. For those with a gluten allergy, consuming wheat can cause digestive issues like abdominal pain and belly bloating. The best way to avoid wheat induced gastrointestinal upset is to adopt a wheat-free diet. There are an array of alternatives to wheat including oats, buckwheat, and almond flour. For more options, check out our list of the best gluten-free flours.
It’s no secret that beans cause gas and bloating. They are another group of foods that belong to the FODMAPs family, meaning they can cause an increase in the production of gas. Like broccoli, legumes are high in fiber which as mentioned earlier, it can be difficult to digest. A tip to reduce gas is to soak your beans before you cook them, this reduces the FODMAPs presence. Also, if you’re using canned beans be sure to rinse them multiple times to get rid of the gas causing starch and sugars.
Although dairy is a great source of protein and calcium. However, dairy products like cheese, yogurt, milk, cream cheese, and butter are detrimental to those with a lactose intolerance. In fact, 75% of the world’s population cannot properly digest lactose, symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping. There are dairy alternatives for those who are allergic to lactose. Check out our lists of the best milk, cream cheese, and cheese substitutes.
Dried fruit is a nutritious snack that is high in fiber and is best when sprinkled in oatmeal or yogurt. At the same time, they can cause digestive woes for those who suffer from fructose malabsorption. This happens when the body has a hard time absorbing natural sugar. As a result, gas is produced which causes bloating and stomach cramps. If dried fruit makes you bloated, trying swapping it out with fresh fruit instead.
For many people chewing gum is a stress reliever and helps curb cravings, but it can cause gas when consumed in excess. One of the reasons being is that when you chew gum you naturally swallowa lot of air. In addition, the sugar alcohols in sugar-free gum can cause gastrointestinal upset. To explain, when the sugar alcohols reach your digestive tract, it meets bacteria which ferments it and produces gas. Look for ingredients ending in -ol is a sugar alcohol, the most common sugar alcohols used in gum and candy are sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol.
How Can You Relieve and Prevent Bloating and Gas?
When you do find that your belly is distended and you’re wincing with abdominal pain, there are ways to relieve the discomfort. First, consume debloating foods like cucumbers and bananas. Additionally, sipping on a cup of hot ginger, fennel, peppermint tea is known to calm an upset stomach and indigestion.
To prevent bloating in the future, it is recommended that you consume enough probiotics. Studies have shown that strains of probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis, can relieve the symptoms of bloating. Also, over the counter gas caplets like Beano and Digestive Advantage help your body properly break down complex sugars in gassy foods.