Beating The Bloat
Bloating is a common complaint and one the causes frequent discomfort for many. There are a number of theories and myths that float around, causing many of us to avoid a late meal or starchy carbohydrates. There are many reasons for bloating, including poor digestion, stress, food intolerances and allergies, hormonal imbalances and over-eating. But does this achieve the desired outcome or are we barking up the wrong tree from the offset? And if so, how can you combat the bloat for good?
E.g. Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, onions
|Cruciferous veggies are high in fibre and can cause excess gas to build when digesting.|
|This is not difficult to deduce – adding excess gas to your digestive system is only going to make bloating worse.|
|Beans contain a certain type of sugar that isn’t digestible, causing gas to be produced.|
Highly processed foods
E.g. Cakes, biscuits, ready meals
|These foods are high in sugar and salt and many other added ingredients that our body is not designed to digest with ease.|
|The act of chewing gum tells your stomach to prepare for food, but as you do not eat anything, the gas it has produced will cause discomfort and probable bloating.|
|Salt can be found in high quantities among readymade meals and convenience snacks, but it can also be added to homemade foods without much thought. Salt causes water retention, which will cause you to feel bloated and uncomfortable.|
The following two food categories are commonly thought to cause bloating among many of us. But they will only do so if you have an intolerance, and should not cause you discomfort if this is not the case and you consume them in moderation. Cutting out these food options when you needn’t could mean you miss out on important vitamins and minerals.
|Dairy contains lactose; people with lactose intolerance cannot digest it, and therefore experience bloating and discomfort. However, those who do not have lactose intolerance will not experience bloating.|
|Refined carbohydrates often contain white flour, which can cause bloating issues for those with intolerance to wheat. However, for those of us without this issue there is no reason to steer clear – just be mindful of moderation and opt for wholegrain varieties as they will leave you feeling more satisfied for longer.|
If you have severe or chronic bloating or other symptoms such as constipation or diarrhoea, consult your GP as it could be a sign of a food intolerance, IBS or other digestive problems.