Bloating refers to a swollen or enlarged abdomen soon after eating a meal. The indigestion of certain foods causes bloating. This is a common gastrointestinal complaint and is reported frequently by approximately 15-30 % adults of all ages. It might be embarrassing when you experience it while you are in the office, with friends, or have to attend a social event or meeting. Some foods trigger bloating due to the indigestible components present in them. By simply limiting the intake of the trouble-causing foods, you can stay away from bloating and its associated discomfort and embarrassment. Let us take a glance at the foods that contribute towards bloating and a swollen tummy appearance.
- Beans And Legumes: Black lentils, Kidney beans, brown lentils, soybeans, white beans, horse gram, chickpeas, white peas, and sometimes green peas, are gas-forming foods. It is not generally advised to stay away from consuming all these foods, but it is best to eat these foods in the prescribed quantities and limits. Soaking beans overnight and pressure cook them for at least 40 mins the next morning is the best possible way of consuming lentils and dals. Green peas and green channa (also called cholia) are commonly used in vegetable preparations, and it is ideal to boil them in water for 20 mins before eating in the form of vegetables, or adding them to curries. Beans and legumes make a meal nutritious and satiating, due to their high protein content, and are the preferred source of plant protein for vegetarians. Hence, do not completely eliminate them from your diet, but limit their intake to avoid gas formation.
- Carbonated Beverages: Your favorite pop or soda drink can be a major cause of gas and bloating if you regularly drink soft drinks. Whether its orange, lemon, or a cola drink, its best to avoid it as much as possible. The carbon dioxide gas added to soft drinks leads to bloating and discomfort.
- Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners containing aspartame, sucralose, or acesulfame K, none is good for your digestive health. Studies have reported that artificial sweeteners might cause weight gain but did you know that they can cause bloating too? Were you aware of this interesting fact that these sweeteners kill the beneficial bacteria in your gut? Yes, it might sound strange, but it is a reality. Your gut microflora balance is disturbed and gets distorted if you have the habit of using these sweeteners in your coffee, tea, or milk on a daily basis. So try cane, palm, or coconut sugar if you want to sweeten your beverages the next time!
- Dairy Products: You must have heard the commonly held belief, milk protein is ideal for vegetarians and drinking a glass of milk every day keeps osteoporosis at bay and keeps your bones strong and healthy. But you may not know that dairy products are not suitable for many adults due to various reasons. Some may experience gas, fullness, nausea, abdominal pain, or a general feeling of being ill or unwell. Lactose intolerance might be the root cause of the gas formation and abdominal pain. Individuals whose gut is unable to produce the enzyme lactase are prone to develop lactose intolerance. The curd is generally well-tolerated in small amounts but its best to avoid dairy products if you have this health condition. Almond milk or oat milk might come to your rescue in such situations. So remember guys, you can survive without consuming dairy products. Make sure you learn to read food labels and know what you are putting inside your body. It is nice to be well informed and aware of what is best for your health.
You may now understand how some foods have the tendency to cause gas and bloating. So, don’t feel disappointed or sad, you have the option of limiting the amount of gas-forming foods, and can choose what is ideal for your digestive health. By making simple but intelligent choices during mealtimes, you have the power to avoid problems later on. Stay healthy and fit by eating everything in moderation and not binging on any particular food. Remember, variety is the spice of life. So choose a range of foods and not any single food item whenever you eat out or at home.