7 Foods That Are Making You Bloated

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7 Foods That Are Making You Bloated

PENELOPE ROSE MORRISON

After a weekend of indulging, it’s no surprise you feel bloated on Monday. But it’s not always rich, fatty foods that cause ballooning in your midsection. It turns out that the biggest culprits for those prone to tummy troubles are FODMAPs, finds research from the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

The acronym stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. In short: “These carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract,” says Julia Greer, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. This process creates gas, which leads to symptoms like bloating.

For short-term relief, Greer recommends lying on your stomach, exercising, and drinking water to help gas bubbles move along. But if you frequently have that too-full feeling, Lin Chang, MD, a professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, suggests keeping a daily diary of meals, bloating symptoms, and bowel habits to help identify triggers.

You may find that the 7 foods below are common offenders that are making you bloated.

Yogurt

It’s touted for its belly-calming probiotics, but certain types of yogurt could actually be doing you more harm than good. That’s because dairy products contain varying levels of the sugar molecule lactose, which gets fermented in your body and creates gas bubbles and bloating, Greer says. But that doesn’t mean all yogurts are off-limits. Plain Greek yogurt, which usually has around 12 grams of sugar and plenty of protein, is a good bet. Nonfat and low-fat yogurts, on the other hand, may contain close to 30 grams of sugar, making them a much grassier choice.

Cruciferous vegetables

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower all contain a type of carbohydrate called raffinose. Because we don’t make the enzyme needed to break down raffinose, it passes through the small intestine undigested. And when food enters the large intestine without being broken down first, it gets fermented by bacteria. The result? Gas buildup in the colon, which generates bloating and particularly smelly flatulence, Greer explains. To make these veggies easier on your stomach, try roasting them. While it won’t break down the raffinose, it can make them easier to chew, which in turn increases the surface area for digestion, she says.

Beans

Resistant starch is a type of nondigestible fiber naturally found in the outer shell of beans. To ease bean-induced bloating, Greer recommends soaking the dried legumes overnight. Hydrating them will break down some of the starch, so less of it makes its way to your colon, she says.

Onions

Fructan, a carb found in onions, can spell trouble for your belly. “Foods like leeks, shallots, and onions are poorly absorbed and cause increased water content in the intestine,” Chang says. The result? Gas production and bloating.

Watermelon

This naturally sweet fruit has a very high level of fructose. According to Greer, roughly 30 to 40% of people can’t fully absorb fructose, which leads to bloating, gas, and sometimes diarrhea.

Artificial sweeteners

Sorbitol and xylitol, sweeteners often found in chewing gum, absorb very slowly in the small intestine. As a result, these sugar alcohols can cause gas, bloating, cramping, and sometimes diarrhea.

Grains

Wheat and rye are on this list due to their nondigestible fructan content. For those with gluten intolerance, eating these grains (and others) causes an immune reaction, destroying the lining of the small intestine, Greer says. This leads to gas, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation. But even if you don’t have a gluten intolerance, the insoluble fiber can still be fermented by bacteria, leading to—you guessed it—abundant gas.

Stacey Chillemi

editor@thecompleteherbalguide.com

I am on a mission to transform the health of millions worldwide. Check out my website at staceychillemi.com. I am a popular and recognizable health and lifestyle reporter and expert, columnist and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Natural Remedies for Common Conditions, along with 20 other published books. I am the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide and a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years in practice as a Health Coach. I write for the Huffington Post, Huff Post, Thrive Global and Medium (Owned by Arianna Huffington). I have been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows. My focus is on natural healing, herbal remedies, alternative methods, self-motivation, food for medicine, nutrition, fitness, natural beauty remedies and the power of positive thinking.

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