If you’re having trouble getting that flat stomach, one thing to think about is what you’re eating. Bloating can be related to stress, smoking, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or another gastrointestinal issue. Most times, it is caused by food. Many foods can cause bloating which can bring unwanted “baby bump” jokes. Here’s a list of foods to avoid if you’re feeling bloated:
- Dairy: Lactose intolerance can range from mild to severe, but either way, gas is usually a symptom. Try limiting the amount of milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream you eat and see if that helps. Drink lactose-free milk, or take Lactaid pills to help your body digest milk products.
- Apples and pears: These fruits contain about four grams of fiber per serving, so they’re an excellent source of soluble fiber, but fiber can also be hard on sensitive tummies. Eating half of these fruits but eat them along with other foods.
- Beans: I know we all remember the school-yard song about this magical fruit. The reason beans make you feel bloated is because they contains oligosaccharide, a type of sugar which is not normally digestible by our bodies. When this sugar reaches your large intestine, the bacteria go to town eating it up, and the gas you produce is an unfortunate byproduct.
- Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and asparagus: These highly nutritious veggies are often avoided because many people don’t like what comes later. The reason these veggies cause gas is due to raffinose. This sugar goes undigested until it reaches the large intestine, where it’s fermented by methane-producing bacteria. Eat them in moderation and with other foods should help prevent a bloated belly afterward. You can also take anti-gas medicine such as Gas-X.
- Fatty foods: Fatty foods, especially the fried variety, are digested more slowly, giving food more time to ferment. This means more gas. It also increases the sensation of fullness.
- Salty foods: Sodium doesn’t cause gas, but it definitely makes you retain water. Make sure you’re not exceeding 2,300 mg a day.
- Gum and hard candy: You may not realize this, but when you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion.
- Carbonated beverages: Bubbly drinks such as soda and beer release carbon dioxide which can translate to bloat.
- High-Acid Drinks: Alcohol, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and fruit juices. High-acid drinks can irritate your GI tract which causes swelling.