BLAH. BLAH. BLOAT.

bloat1

/blōt/

verb

make or become swollen with fluid or gas.

Listen to your gut. We’ve all felt it: that too-full feeling you get in your belly. What an uncomfortable feeling, right? But, once you figure out what and how your body responds to certain foods, it becomes rather easy to eliminate bloat. Something I’d suggest is: logging a food diary to help keep track of how you feel after you eat certain foods and figure out which ones are a problem for you.

Overeating is probably the most common cause of bloating. Your stomach is only about the size of your fist. It can and does stretch, but that can make you feel bloated. Another really common factor to bloating is eating fatty foods. Since fat takes longer to digest than protein or carbs, it keeps the stomach full longer. There are other difficult-to-digest foods that can cause gassiness and bloating, and I’ve listed some below to hopefully help you figure out what may be causing discomfort in your belly:

Beans and lentils. They contain indigestible sugars called oligosaccharides (try saying that 3 times fast). These sugars must be broken down by bacteria in the intestines. 

Fruits and vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, prunes, apricots all contain sugars and starches that may cause gassiness and bloating.

Fructose, a natural sugar added to many processed foods, is difficult for many people to digest. It leads to gas, bloating, discomfort and pain. It’s in a lot of foods in the form of “high fructose corn syrup,” and it happens naturally especially in dried fruit as well as honey, onions, and garlic. Garlic is a huge bloating factor for me, personally.

Dairy. Another one that makes me feel the discomfort and pain of bloating. Foods like milk and ice cream can cause gas, belly pain, and bloating if your body can’t easily digest a dairy sugar called “lactose”.

Soda. The bubbles in soda and other drinks like beer, champagne and carbonated waters are filled with gas. Meaning, they fill up your digestive system. And the only way to really get rid of it, well is to pass it. That’s right, Toots McGee. 

Bloating can be reduced, or even eliminated, most of the time with simple changes in diet. Also, try adding Probiotics as part of your daily maintenance routine. Probiotic supplements can help improve the bacterial environment in the gut, which can help reduce symptoms of gas and bloating. But, if you’re still feeling uncomfortable and not well, as always seek medical attention.

Ashley Conneely