We all know and love the feeling of when we wake up with a flat stomach in the morning. Unfortunately, some of us don’t get to experience that on a daily basis. I have worked with clients in the past who have serious bloating issues. I am not talking about a little bit of puffiness, what I am referring to is extremely painful and a person can easily be mistaken for being pregnant. Well, that is not a pleasant way to live. What we eat can have a major effect on the prevalence of this problem. High FODMAP (fermented oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols) foods, a group of indigestible short-chain carbs and sugar molecules, are the most common foods that create digestive issues. When carbs aren’t digested properly, they become fermented by gut bacteria in the colon which then causes gas and discomfort. Below is a list of foods that should be avoided or reduced if you’re regularly experiencing that puffy-stomach post-meal feel.
Dairy can be nutritious for those who can tolerate it but unfortunately, 75% of the population are lactose intolerant and are unable to break down lactose (the sugar found in milk). Being lactose intolerant can create major digestive issues. If you’re eating Greek yogurt with granola in the morning, it is no wonder that you may be suffering from bloating, gas, and cramping. Casein, the protein found in dairy, has also been shown to promote inflammation in the gut lining, resulting in bloating. Cow’s milk is one of the most inflammatory foods in our diets today. Inflammation can lead to many digestive issues including bloating, gas, diarrhea, and in some cases constipation. Another study shows that the same milk sugars have been linked to ovarian cancer. Click here to read more on how dairy may have significant negative effects.
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage are extremely high in fiber, which can be hard for the body to break down. They also contain FODMAPs and can cause bloating in some individuals. Eating this group of veggies in their raw state can increase this issue. Cooking them may make them easier to digest. Try my Broccoli Mash for an easier to digest veggie option!
Containing alpha-galactosidase sugars, beans fall under the FODMAP list. Beans are also coated in phytic acid, which is considered an “antinutrient” because it binds to the nutrients of the food it’s found in. This prevents you from digesting and absorbing essential vitamins and minerals. The coating is why beans can be difficult to digest and have a by-product of gas and bloating, giving beans the stamp of the “musical fruit”. It is important to soak beans and discard the water before cooking with them to help ease digestive problems.
Lentils are a high in fiber and high in protein legume that many people love. Some individuals with sensitivity may experience more bloating due to the high fiber content (especially if they are not used to eating high fiber). Similar to beans, lentils also contain FODMAPs. This can create gas, bloating and discomfort. Soaking or sprouting them may make digestion easier for some. Try my Lentil Soup Recipe using sprouted or soaked lentils.
Many people have trouble digesting onions, especially if consumed raw. Onions contain fructans, which are soluble fibers that can cause the formation of gas in the digestive tract as well as possibly making you feel discomfort, belch or bloat. Onions are a key ingredient in many recipes and I understand that cutting them out is nearly impossible. If you are bloating on a regular basis, I suggest to limit onion quantities and make sure to always cooking them before consuming.
Wheat is an ingredient that is found in many products like bread, pizzas, pasta, baked goods, and even sauces. People who have IBS, gluten sensitivity, or celiac can experience major digestive issues from consuming wheat ingredients. The starch in wheat can create gas once it is broken down by the good bacteria in the large intestine- which leads to bloating. Wheat also contains fructose, a FODMAP, that can make the bloating even worse. Try my new Gluten-Free & Low Carb Paleo Bagels!
Garlic can be incredibly nutritious and adds so much flavor to meals. However, just like onions, garlic contains fructans which fall under FOODMAPs and cause bloating. If you are one of those people that experiences discomfort, it is best to cook garlic before consuming it to help with digestion.
Apples are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber and unfortunately for your digestion, are higher in fructose than most fruits. Fructose makes apples a FODMAP. Fructose and fiber can ferment in the gut, which can then cause digestive distress. Similar to some of the other foods above, cooked apples may be easier to digest. Try my mouthwatering Gluten-Free Apple Crumple.
Mushrooms, similar to beans, contain the sugar raffinose. This sugar does not fully digest in the small intestine, but actually goes through fermentation in the large intestine. Like the other FODMAP foods, this causes bloating and gas. If you have candida (that is, you naturally overgrow yeast) then fungi may aggravate digestive symptoms such as bloating.
So many people experience bloating, gas and cramps after consuming sugar alcohols. Sugar Alcohols usually replace sugar in products such as protein bars, drinks, baked goods, yogurts, and others. The most common types are xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol. Pay attention when reading labels!
Do you experience bloating?! If so, let me know your tips and tricks to debloat! Xx