Once again, you’re dealing with a bloated stomach. Your belly feels like it might pop and recreate a scene from the movie “Alien.” Gathering gas is either caught sideways, or worse, putting on an embarrassing concert. Nothing you do seems to relieve the cramping, gas or discomfort of your puffy tummy.
The good news is there are a few things you can do to prevent future stomach bloating by watching out for common offenders in the foods you eat. Bloating can be a symptom of a serious health condition, such as untreated Celiac disease, or simply just a poor diet.
Begin your fight against stomach bloat by cultivating some healthy eating habits. Bloating caused by water retention can be stymied by drinking plenty of water. The old “eight glasses of water a day” adage doesn’t cut it for everyone so find out how much water you need to drink daily here. See also 10 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water.
Bloating also occurs if you tend to wolf down your food quickly as opposed to eating slowly. Take your time when you eat, and give your stomach a chance to digest meals rather than dumping food into it in one go.
Here are 9 Reasons Why You Keep Getting a Bloated Stomach
Mindful eating habits are important, but they may not be as crucial to your bloating causes as the foods you eat. What happens inside your stomach when foods are broken down is where the real secrets to your bloating occur, and these nine offenders may be to blame.
Whole grains are often touted as a quick health staple but their high fiber content can be responsible for gas and bloating. If you’re used to eating a diet high and processed foods and suddenly add whole grains, this comes as a shock to your digestive system. The reaction? Painful, gassy bloating. Add grains slowly and drink plenty of water.
2. Food Intolerance
It would stand to reason if you can’t tolerate a food or additive it may make you bloated. Gluten and dairy are two of the worst foods for causing bloating. Avoid dairy if you know you are lactose intolerant. Gluten hides in a lot of foods and can cause serious symptoms, the least of which is bloating.
3. Processed Foods
Processed foods are everywhere, and may be a bit hard to avoid. They are made with artificial ingredients that are hard to digest and cause bloating instead. Most processed foods have high table salt content. Replace traditional salts with natural sea salt, celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt, as these are much better for you.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Many artificial sweeteners found in processed foods are difficult, if not impossible, to digest. This causes bloating and undue stress on your digestive system. Avoid artificial sweeteners by looking out for these fake sugars and reaching for the real deal. If you’re limiting your sugar intake substitute it with honey, agave nectar, brown or yellow sugar or stevia instead.
Beans are infamous for causing gas and bloating. No burrito is eaten without worry that bloating will occur later. However, not all people are sensitive to bloating from beans. If beans aren’t a part of your normal diet then you’re more likely to experience gas and bloating. Add beans into your diet slowly to reduce symptoms and enjoy legumes without worry.
FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. They are basically sugars that the small intestine finds difficult to absorb, but that bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract find easy to ferment. In other words, they’re fuel for the gas that causes painful bloating. They’re found in most bloat-causing foods and the ultimate culprit.
7. Untreated Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease is an immune reaction and intolerance to gluten. It causes severe symptoms, the least of which is bloating. If you suspect that Celiac disease may be to blame for your bloating, check with your physician. They can do a blood test to determine if you’re intolerant to gluten as well as determine what else may be causing your bloating.
8. Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks otherwise healthy cells and is unable to tell non-foreign substance from foreign ones. This can lead to digestive issues such as bloating. While treating your autoimmune disease can help embracing an autoimmune paleo-diet helps restore your digestive system back to optimal health.
9. Other Common Culprits
Fighting bloat means keeping an eye out for other foods that may cause puffiness. These are some other common offenders that have made the bloat-list that you also should watch out for.
- Nut milks
- High fructan foods
- Dried fruits