By: Jaime Schehr
Excessive bloating is one of the most common complaints/symptoms I hear connected to diet and can be so frustrating for many. Sometimes the cleaner you eat, the worse it gets! For others, no matter what they eat by day's end they have what is described as "looking 5 months pregnant".
Imbalances in gut bacteria, improper digestion, environmental factors, stress hormones, food sensitivities, medications and supplements can all be the culprit here and often it's a combination of these.
Five of the most common foods that cause bloating include
- Beans - no surprise here, and although they are super healthy for many these high FODMAP foods can wreak havoc on their belly (soaking beans may help reduce the bloating effect)
- Carbonated beverages - this one is simple, you are drinking a gas which for some people gets trapped in the stomach and causes bloating
- Cruciferous vegetables - very much like beans, this is a super healthy group of foods are commonly intolerant to many due to their high fructan content which makes them hard to digest.
- Dairy - lactose intolerance isn’t the only reason people cant tolerate dairy but it is the main reason. If you are not able to break down milk sugar (lactose) properly it leads to bloating and gas and often diarrhea
- Wheat - there are a number of reasons wheat causes bloating from the fiber content to the FODMAP content. While someone with celiac must avoid wheat, there are many people who are sensitive to wheat causing abdominal symptoms such as bloating and feel better with this group removed.
If this is something you are experiencing, consider keeping a journal on when it started, what makes it better and what makes it worse. Also make sure you are checking off the basics but essentials: manage stress levels, hydrate, avoid excessive sugars, exercise regularly and eat adequate fiber. If the problem continues, consider working with an integrative gastroenterologist or functional medicine doctor who can help you determine the underlying cause of the bloating.