Avoid These 6 Foods That Cause Bloating
Sure, you may not know how to do the Rumba, Samba, Do-si-do, or Harlem shake, but if you're no stranger to belly bloat (and the excess gas that can go with it), you're probably pretty familiar with the "pants shimmy."
Ladies, you know what we're talking about — it's that extra struggle to wiggle and jiggle into your favorite pair of jeans after too many fizzy carbonated beverages or a weekend of cocktails with the girls.
Or the finesse that's needed to finagle your legs into some pants fresh out of the dryer after enjoying one-too-many salty snacks the day before. You know, the pants shimmy.
Whether you blame your jeans for suddenly becoming too-tight or your dear Auntie Flow, who's en route for her monthly visit, the real culprit behind your interpreted "pants dance" is likely found lurking in your diet.
Certain high-fiber foods can cause major belly bloat, which leads to Pandora's box opening, where a whole slew of issues can make their debut, from pain, cramps, and pressure to swelling, gas, and constipation.
So, what foods are notoriously known to cause bloating, you ask? We'll tell you. Read on to get the scoop on the top offenders that could be behind your discomfort.
What Exactly Is Belly Bloat?
Just about everyone has dealt with the dreaded "belly bloat." Even if you haven't, you've definitely heard about it.
After all, those "beat the bloat" blogs and purported de-bloat remedies are pretty hard to miss on social media.
And let's not forget about the gut health wave that's currently taking over TikTok — from tummy distension to period poops and just about everything in between, if your gut is out of whack, #GutTok has your back!
That said, despite digestive issues being the talk of the town at the moment, not very many people know what belly bloat is. In fact, a common misconception about bloating is that it's always the result of chowing down on a big meal, but to the medical community, it usually means an excess of gas in the gastrointestinal (GI) system.
What Does Bloating Feel Like?
Every single one of us is unique. In other words, no two digestive systems are exactly alike. With this in mind, it's important to note that bloating may feel different from person to person, but more often than not, it's described as feeling full to an uncomfortable degree.
Other symptoms of belly bloat may include:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal rumbling or gurgling
- Gaseous distension
Bloat is usually temporary and no cause for concern, but sometimes it can be more than just a full belly. If you experience severe pain or your puffiness seems to be getting worse, you may want to get checked out. Talk to your primary healthcare provider if you have any of the following?
- Weight loss
- Intense abdominal pain
- Bloody stool
A trip to your doc is also recommended if the unwelcomed belly bloat affects your daily activities.
What Causes Bloating?
When trapped gas doesn't pass through your top end (via belching) or back end (via flatulence), it builds up in the GI tract, leading to bloating and swelling — aka belly bloat.
This can be caused by something as simple as drinking from straws, chewing gum, or any of the common foods you eat.
Bloating and Your Diet: What Foods Cause Belly Bloat?
#1. Artificial Sweeteners
As if you needed another reason to steer clear of fake sugar — aka artificial sweeteners — they just might be to blame for your belly bulge.
These lab-made chemicals don't get absorbed in the small intestine and end up hanging out in the colon, where they're fermented by your friendly gut bugs (bacteria). Too many sugar alcohols, and you might get gas.
For those with lactose intolerance (70 percent of the world's population), soy milk may seem like a solid swap. But, before you make the switch, you should know that processed soy can cause some serious puffiness.
Yup, it's true; the popular dairy-free milk alternative has estrogen-like effects in the body, which can quickly contribute to — you guessed it — bloating.
Don't worry; you can still have coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, or unsweetened almond milk!
Wheat has gotten a pretty bad rap over the years, mainly because of a little ingredient known as gluten. Found in most baked goods, bread, pasta, and even soups; gluten is usually nothing more than a controversial topic to discuss at dinner, but it's a nightmare for those with gluten sensitivity.
Well, for starters, it's lurking in just about everything, making it really difficult to avoid. But that's not the worst part — when an individual with a gluten sensitivity consumes gluten, digestive upset is sure to follow suit; this includes gas, diarrhea, stomach pain, and belly bloat.
#4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Everyone knows the health benefits of leafy green veggies and their potent illness-fighting compounds, but unfortunately, these superfoods also contain large amounts of a starch called raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until friendly gut bacteria ferments it.
During the fermentation process, methane gas is produced, making you bloat. The trapped gas is then released through your backside in the form of a foul-smelling toot. (Yep)
Now, don't go shunning cruciferous veggies or Brussels sprouts from your diet, as these superfoods are extremely beneficial for your health. But if you think your abdominal bloating is due to these superfoods, just try eating smaller portions until your gut is better accustomed to handling raffinose. Adding a dash of lemon juice can also help stimulate digestive enzymes.
We probably don't have to tell you about the magical power of beans and their ability to make you break wind, but due to indigestible sugars called oligosaccharides, this high fiber content food easily makes the “causes of bloating” list.
Along with these little guys, other legumes like lentils, peas, and soybeans are known as gas-causing foods. Eat them in moderation or combine them with easily digestible whole grains like quinoa and rice.
Do you feel especially gassy after a few slices of cheese or a bowl of ice cream? Does a serving of cereal with milk make your tummy hurt? If so, you may be lactose intolerant — which means your body lacks the necessary enzymes to digest lactose. This can cause quite a bit of distress in the gut, leading to a slew of discomforts, such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and bloating.
Think you might be lactose intolerant? Make an appointment with your doctor to get tested.
Top Tips and Tricks To Battle the Bloat
To avoid belly bloat, you may want to start by nixing the above foods from your diet or reducing how much you eat them. Here are a few more tips and tricks to help you battle the bloat:
Tip #1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Did we say hydrate?
Believe it or not, not drinking enough H20 is often a major culprit behind bloating because dehydration can impact your overall salt and water balance — a pretty important factor in battling belly bloat.
Try drinking a tall glass of water upon waking in the morning. You've been fasting for seven to nine hours, and while most folks focus on breakfast, it's a good idea to rehydrate first thing in the A.M.
Pro Tip: You may want to chug a tasty sports drink to hydrate your body, but whatever you do — don't. These popular beverages are often loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can quickly lead to belly bloat, as we mentioned a little earlier.
When in doubt, hydrate — but with water!
Tip #2. Don't Eat Late
While eating high-calorie fatty foods right before bedtime won't necessarily make you pack on the pounds, it can cause belly bloat.
When you snooze, your digestive system isn't working as hard as it does when you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed — and being in a reclined position can cause some discomfort in the evening and morning.
Your metabolism slows tenfold during rest, so if you chow down on a whole lot of carbs right before you hit the hay, your digestive tract won't be able to digest the food properly, leading to an especially bloated tummy in the morning.
In other words, skip the mid-night snack — trust us, you'll thank us later.
Even further, following a low FODMAP diet — like the kind used by people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome aka IBS — can help you nix your bloating or gas.
Tip #3. Try Bye-Bye Bloat
Keeping yourself hydrated in addition to curbing your late-night munchie habit (or at least swapping the junk food for things like blueberries, zucchini, or cucumbers) will help to prevent bloating. But what's a gal to do if already bloated?
Enter Bye-Bye Bloat.
A fast-acting supplement that offers quick bloating relief, Bye-Bye Bloat is designed to ease discomfort and promote healthy digestion.
Our best-selling blend of organic fennel, dandelion, and fenugreek work together in perfect harmony to calm an upset stomach and other common digestive woes (water weight, anyone?) while gentle digestive enzymes help break down fats, proteins, and carbs to help you feel your best.*
Simply take one or two capsules after a meal or before bedtime to de-bloat. (You're welcome)
A Final Word
It goes without saying that bloating can be a pain in the derriere, but the truth is that it's just a part of life.
Fortunately, it usually isn't a cause for concern. Still, if you're suddenly experiencing foreign symptoms or unbearable pain without any recent dietary changes, it may be worth checking in with your doctor.
Most bloating is caused by water retention or gas building up in the digestive tract (and simple things like chewing gum or sucking on hard candies). Of course, many ladies also struggle with belly bloat during their menstrual cycles due to fluctuating hormones.
Unlike bloating resulting from dietary habits or food intolerances, however, you can't really tame period bloat unless you strive for hormonal balance. In this case, we recommend our Balanced Body Kit — a female-friendly squad of supplements that work together to help your body maintain equilibrium, find balance, and heal; from the inside out.*
On the flip side, if your bloating is a result of noshing on one too many cruciferous veggies, you can get relief fast with our best-selling bloat-management supplement — Bye-Bye Bloat!
Here at Love Wellness, we’re no stranger to the pants shimmy. Whether due to fluctuating hormones, stress, or certain foods, when it comes to belly bloat — we’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. That’s why we created a female-friendly line of supplements designed to help.
From digestive enzymes and probiotics to our Balance Body Kit, you can always count on us to have just what you need to de-bloat and un-puff so you can feel your best!
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