You eat healthy.
You make your own lunch.
You work out.
You drink a lot of water and avoid soft drinks.
You barely ever give in the temptation of that juicy burger with home fries.
But you still look like you just finished eating 2 hot dogs with double fries and chocolate fudge ice cream. You ask yourself: what in the world? Am I doing something wrong? Is this genetics?
Nothing wrong with you. You just need a little more gut control and be more conscious about foods that make you bloated.
Don’t you just love a good turkey chili with three beans? Beans and lentils are definitely good for you, but they can cause bloating, believe it or not. They contain oligosaccharides, which are a difficult-to-digest carbohydrate. I buy dry beans, soak them overnight and cook them slow in the crock-pot to reduce bloating.
2. broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower
Ah, killing me! I have been drinking apple kale juice religiously! Maybe too religiously. These veggies are so yummy, BUT they contain raffinose, a kind of sugar that remains undigested until it reaches the large intestine, where it’s fermented by methane-producing bacteria (yes, I googled this one).
If you are lactose intolerant, your body doesn’t have the necessary enzymes to break down these sugars, which triggers bloating. Bye, bye ice cream.
4. whole grains
Can you believe this?! Even heart-healthy whole grains can be problematic, since they are high in fiber and fiber does cause bloating.
…rolling into the not so good for you territory of foods that make you bloated
5. salty frozen food
Frozen or processed foods that are loaded with sodium can trigger water retention. Your body holds on to the water so it doesn’t get dehydrated. If you happen to consume a lot of sodium, drinking extra water can help keep bloating at bay.
If there is one artificial “food” I’m addicted to, it’s sugar free gum. I always have Orbit on me and I chew on it at least 4-5 times a day. And guess what? Artificial sweeteners cause bloating…
No big surprise here. Carbonated beverages can cause gas build-up in your stomach and increase bloating. And ladies! If you drink your bubbles with a straw (because we don’t want to ruin our lipstick) that can actually contribute to more bloating. Using straw increases the air intake leading to gas and bloating. I did not know this! I drink everything with a straw…
Are you pulling your hair out yet? I sure am! There is no way I can skip those veggies and a good, heart-healthy whole grain bread for my sandwich, but at least I’m now more conscious about the causes of my puffy tummy.
Time for some good news! Let’s take a look at foods that will not leave you bloated!
1. cucumber & watermelon
They are both loaded with water, which helps fight bloat. Watermelon tastes sweet but it is very low on sugar and calories (read this article on all the goodness of watermelon).
One of the main reasons you puff up is water retention. Asparagus helps to reduce it.
Ate something salty the night before? Nosh on a banana in the a.m. High-potassium foods like this can off-set sodium.
4. egg white
Try an egg white omelette for breakfast to flatten that tummy. It’s packed with protein which will fill you up, and acts like a diuretic to de-bloat you.
These pretty little things are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and they can reduce gas and bloating. Yesss!
6. greek yogurt
Not only is Greek yogurt full of protein, it helps aid in digestion, giving you a flatter stomach in a shorter amount of time. Go with the plain version and add some fresh or dried fruit and some honey or agave for a satisfying snack. So much better than the store bought flavored versions.
7. almonds & pistachios
Almonds and pistachios are great, non-bloating snacks provided you choose the unsalted packs.
This veggie fills you up quickly without the calories and the bloated tummy. Eat it as spaghetti, use it for lasagna instead of pasta or slice and bake them with Parmesan on top when you’re looking for a snack. The options are endless.
Photo by Rick Robillard