Feeling bloated? Your tummy is stretched, tight, full and uncomfortable? Most of us have experienced this feeling before. If this feeling is persistent, we should understand the cause to prevent uncomfortable bloating episodes. In many cases, just by avoiding the foods you react to the most, we can prevent the symptoms. However, if bloating doesn’t ease up with dietary changes, it may be caused by a digestive problem such as irritable bowel syndrome which requires medical treatment.
As mentioned earlier, some foods and beverages can be triggers of bloating, here are the most common one:
Beans and Lentils
Both beans and lentils contain high amounts of protein, carbs and fiber, as well as several vitamins and minerals. They also contain a class of indigestible sugars called oligosaccharides, that may contribute to excessive gas production and bloating. However, soaking the beans or lentils before eating make them much easier to digest.
Dairy products are excellent source of protein and calcium. However, people with lactose intolerance have trouble digesting lactose, the natural sugar found in milk which can cause major digestive problems such as bloating, gas and diarrhea.
These drinks contain high amounts of carbon dioxide gas. Some of the gas gets trapped in the digestive system, which can cause bloating and discomfort.
Artificial sweeteners as sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol, can cause bloating because they are not easily digested. To avoid digestive symptoms, be aware of sweeteners you consume in soda, sugar-free gum, candies…and try to limit their intakes.
Onion And Garlic
Both onion and garlic contain yum y mum soluble fibers called fructans. These fibers are not digested by our system, but as they pass through the gastrointestinal tract, they start fermenting, leading to the production of high amounts of gas and can cause bloating. Cooking the onions or garlic may reduce these effects.
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are great sources of vitamin C, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They also contain sugars such as raffinose that the body can’t fully digest and may cause gas and bloating.
Protein bars usually contain soy protein isolate. Like other beans, soy contains sugar molecules, called oligosaccharides, that the body can’t fully digest and may cause gas and bloating.
Simple changes in your daily lifestyle such as eating smaller meals, staying active, drinking plenty of water and avoiding foods that affect you the most, can prevent bloating.Written by Mariam Fadlallah, Nutritionist