Bloating is when your tummy feels enlarged or swollen after eating, usually caused by gas or possibly other digestive problems.
Bloating is a very common occurrence with about 16-30% people claiming they experience it regularly. However, it can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful.
Most instances of bloating are caused by dietary choices.
Here are 6 foods that cause bloating and their alternatives:
Beans are part of the legume family and are rich in protein, healthy carbs, fiber, as well as several vitamins and minerals.
However, most beans contain FODMAPs, which are short-chain carbohydrates that do not get digested and are instead fermented in the colon by gut bacteria – which produces gas as a byproduct.
Alternatives: Pinto beans and black beans are easier on the digestive system. You can also replace beans with meat, grains, or quinoa.
Lentils are also part of the legume family that contain high amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy carbs plus some minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese.
Their high fiber content usually causes bloating in sensitive individuals, as well as those who are not used to consuming lots of fiber.
Alternatives: Light colored lentils have lesser fiber content, and may not cause as much bloating as its counterparts.
Wheat is another major source of FODMAPs, which may cause digestive problems in individuals with sensitive gut. Wheat is hard to avoid as it is a main ingredient in many tasty treats like biscuits, cakes, waffles, pizzas, and pastas. Consuming high amounts of wheat, especially with those who are gluten-sensitive and/or diagnosed with celiac disease, may experience bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Alternatives: Opt for gluten-free alternatives to wheat such as quinoa, pure oats, buckwheat, coconut flour and almond flour.
4. Carbonated Drinks
Sodas and other carbonated drinks are common culprits to bloating. From their name itself, these drinks have high carbon dioxide content, so consuming high amounts of these will trap the carbon dioxide gas in your digestive system causing uncomfortable bloating and sometimes cramping.
Alternatives: Plain water! If that’s too boring, other alternatives include tea, coffee, and fruit-flavored or infused water.
Onions are bulbous vegetables that are popularly used in cooked meals, salads, and side dishes.
They’re usually eaten in small quantities, however, it’s worth noting that onions are one of the major sources of fructans – soluble fibers that can cause bloating.
If you have a sensitive gut, it is best to avoid eating onion raw and avoid eating too much of it. Cooking may help your body digest it better, too.
Alternatives: Use other fresh spices or herbs.
6. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
The cruciferous vegetable family include cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. These are incredibly healthy greens and will supply you essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, potassium, and iron.
However, they also contain FODMAPs, that may cause bloating in some people.
Cooking these vegetables may help your body digest them better, and produce lesser gas.
Alternatives: Go for other greens such as cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, zucchini, and even sweet potatoes.
Read the full article by Healthline here for a complete list of foods that cause bloating and what to eat instead.