Chances are you’ve been snacking on foods that have been causing you to bloat.
Even healthy foods can cause discomfort. It’s time to check yourself, and your diet, and deflate that bloat once and for all. Here’s a list of foods causing you grief, along with tips on how you can prevent it from happening.
Plain and simple: salt and high-sodium foods cause you to inflate. Ingesting salty foods triggers water retention, which causes swelling around your waistline, hands, feet, and legs. Most women are used to this occurrence before their period when water retention is naturally at its highest, but consuming an unhealthy amount of sodium can cause this bloated feeling all the time.
It’s recommended to consume 2,300 mg of sodium per day for most adults, but with added sodium in just about every product we eat, it becomes difficult. Drinking water throughout the day as well as looking for low-sodium products can help reduce your risk of bloating, and turning to plant-based snacks versus processed foods will cut your salt consumption down significantly.
Kale, Broccoli & Cabbage
Some of your fave foods to meal prep are likely causing you to bloat. Broccoli, cabbage and kale are among the culprits. These veggies are cruciferous vegetables, which contain tough to process sugars that remain in your stomach until bacteria can ferment them. Sound gross? It gets worse. Because of their high raffinose sugar content (that hard-to-process stuff), you become gassy and as a result — you bloat.
But don’t be so quick to turn away from these healthy foods. Keep your portions in check, and steam your veggies before chowing down. Cooking vegetables soften their fibres and shrinks the portion size. This helps your body digest the food more efficiently.
Beans, Lentils & Legumes
Beans are an excellent source of protein, but they’re also known for causing gas. Much like the green veggies mentioned above, they contain certain sugars and fibres our bodies have difficulty digesting. So, by the time they reach the large intestine, the extra work needed from your gut makes you inflate and feel bloated.
To create less stress on your digestive system, combine legumes like beans, soybeans, and peas with whole grains like quinoa. It’s easier on your body and creates less bloating.
We’ve always been told that dairy leads to healthy bones and a balanced diet. But in recent years, there have been many reasons to pass on the milk products. In fact, 75 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant, meaning they lack enzymes that break down the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This intolerance, whether it’s mild or severe, causes your belly to bloat and gives you uncomfortable gas.
This doesn’t mean you have to throw away all of your cheese and milk products. Reducing the amount of dairy you eat can help reduce the amount of bloating you experience. Even better, switching to non-dairy or lactose-free products is a great alternative to keep enjoying the foods you love without the discomfort.
Foods That Can Reduce Bloating
If you’re prone to bloat, even after avoiding the foods mentioned above, there are a couple of ways to help you feel better.
Drinking herbal tea, like peppermint, chamomile and ginger, can help you deflate and helps with digestion and gas. Foods like asparagus, cucumber, bananas and avocado can also help to reduce bloating. They contain healthy digestive enzymes and prevent water retention, which flushes out your system and allows you to have that flat belly feeling you once had.
Of course, there is something to be said for “everything in moderation”, so take this advice as just that — advice. You should still eat what you love, when you want to — with no questions asked.