Do you suffer from bloating and gas? It could be your diet. Here are five foods that can make the problem worse.
No one wants to feel like they’re bursting out of their pants after eating a meal, but for millions of Americans with bloating and gas that’s the reality. While this symptom can occur for a variety of reasons, as might be expected, diet plays an important role. Some people are intolerant of certain types of food that others can eat without problem, but some foods are more likely to cause intestinal distress than others. Here are some foods that commonly cause gas and bloating.
Foods That Cause Bloating and Gas: The Healthy Veggies
Your mom may have told you to eat your vegetables, but she may not have mentioned the malodorous consequences. Vegetables are a good source of fiber and non-digestible starches; but what the body can’t digest is broken down by intestinal bacteria leading to fermentation and gas. Vegetables that are likely to cause this problem include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Beans are another source of a flatulence producing, indigestible carbohydrate known as raffinose. Soaking beans before cooking them and discarding the water can reduce some of the bloating and gas associated with beans as can cooking them thoroughly.
Foods That Cause Bloating and Gas: Wheat
Some people are intolerant to wheat and can’t digest it completely leading to fermentation and gas build-up. In some cases this can be a sign of a more serious disorder called celiac disease, a disease characterized by sensitivity to the gluten found in wheat and some whole grains. If you suspect wheat is causing bloating and gas, keep a food diary for a few weeks. Then, eliminate wheat products and see if the symptoms improve.
Foods That Cause Bloating and Gas: Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are found in a variety of foods and beverages ranging from sugarless chewing gum to sports beverages. If the label says sugar-free, there’s a good chance sugar alcohols are the sugar replacement. Like the carbs found in vegetables, sugar alcohols aren’t digestible, but the gut bacteria enjoy breaking them down, leading to uncomfortable flatulence. Read labels carefully for any mention of sugar alcohols such as xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, or erythritol if you suffer from gas and bloating.
Foods That Cause Bloating and Gas: Carbonated beverages
Carbonated beverages cause bloating because the carbon dioxide bubbles found in these drinks promote gas formation which leads to bloating and abdominal distension. The gas and bloating can be even more of a problem if a carbonated beverage is sipped with a straw, causing more air to enter the digestive tract. Cut back on carbonated beverages and drink them slowly without a straw on the occasions you do have one.
Foods That Cause Bloating and Gas: Dairy Products
Gas and bloating that occurs after eating dairy products usually indicates lactose intolerance, a common condition where the lactose in milk and other dairy products can’t be broken down. This common problem can be solved by taking Lactaid or avoiding dairy products entirely.
A Word of Cautionutrn
Bloating and gas can sometimes be a sign of a more serious medical condition. If the symptoms fail to resolve, see your doctor.