Being bloated after a meal is no-doubt an uncomfortable feeling. Your pants feel tighter, your stomach feels and appears larger, and it can be difficult to go to the bathroom. There are certain foods that are known to cause bloating more than others and recognizing these foods can help you reduce bloating.
Do keep in mind though – if food swaps don’t relieve or prevent bloating, then it could be a sign of something more serious that you would want to speak to your doctor about, but a good first place to start is by making diet changes to determine that.
Food Swaps to Prevent Bloating
Cruciferous vegetables: Eating your greens is healthy, but many green veggies can trigger bloating. This includes broccoli, kale, and cabbage among other foods in the cruciferous family. You don’t need to eliminate these health foods altogether. Instead, consume them in moderation, eat them cooked, and ensure you drink plenty of water to prevent the fiber from bulking and drying in your system.
Sugar-free gum: Chewing gum promotes bloating because it causes you to take in excess air. But sugar-free gum increases your risk of bloating because your stomach isn’t too fond of sugar alcohols. Instead, opt for sugar-gum and remember to brush your teeth and not consume too much to prevent cavities.
Dairy: This isn’t really too surprising as many people contribute their bloating to dairy, especially if they’re lactose intolerant. The good news is there are many cow milk alternatives for many dairy items.
Foods that fall into the FODMAP category: FODMAP – fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols – category includes fructose, lactose, galactans (found in some legumes), and some meat and poultry. Sometimes eating foods that fall into FODMAP categories can trigger bloating and other digestive issues. But with categories that seem so broad, you may think what is there left to eat? Well, you may want to experiment with FODMAP foods as some may trigger bloating and others don’t. Also, many people who take a digestive enzyme are able to better breakdown FODMAP foods.
Onions: Onions contain fructan, which is a fruit sugar that could cause stomach distress. This is because sugar ferments in the gut, which can trigger bloating. You can swap onions for water-rich vegetables like cucumbers to add a crunch to your meals.
Gluten: Another very common trigger of bloating, those with a gluten intolerance will experience a wide array of symptoms. The good news is that because of the increased awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerances, there are a variety of gluten-free options ranging from bread to snacks, so you don’t need to give up the carb life completely.
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