You may think this, but not all stomach bloating issues come from eating just junk food, or highly fatty or salty foods. Many unsuspecting foods that are really healthy for you can also contribute to bloating – yes, loading up on veggies, whole grains, and healthy plant-based proteins can come with the dark side of bloating.
As eating healthy foods comes with a lot of positive health effects – increased energy, better sleep and improved mood, you shouldn’t therefore cut out any food groups. It works wonders if you’re having some issues with bloating with healthy foods, to try and cutting down on the following 5 healthy foods – these foods have been known to cause gas accumulation in your belly.
Though they’re definitely good for you, legumes such as beans and lentils are known to be major culprits of gas and bloating. They contain oligosaccharides, which are a difficult-to-digest carbohydrate.
If you still want the health benefits of legumes, but are worried about your stomach, try soaking them in water before cooking to reduce bloating.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Vegetables in the cruciferous family — which include broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower— contain raffinose, a sugar which remains largely undigested until it reaches the large intestine, where it’s fermented by methane-producing bacteria. Eating yogurt or taking a probiotic can boost the good bacteria in your colon, helping to reduce bloating from these fiber-filled veggies.
Dairy products can be a problem for those who have trouble digesting lactose. If you are lactose intolerant, your body doesn’t have the necessary enzymes to break down these sugars, which triggers bloating. Though you may not be completely allergic, about 60 percent of adults have problems digesting milk, which could cause stomach discomfort and bloating.
4. Whole Grains
Since foods high in fiber can often cause bloating, even heart-healthy whole grains can be problematic. Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet, but can sometimes cause bloating if your body is not used to their fiber content. Though fiber does help with digestion, studies have found that reducing your intake if you happen to consume a lot can actually help with stomach issues and reduce gastrointestinal problems.
An apple a day may save you a trip to the doctor’s office, but it does not keep the bloat away. High in fiber, apples also contain fructose and sorbitol, sugars found in fruits that many people can’t tolerate. The result? You guessed it: gas and the inevitable puffy feeling.
Apples are a great snack, however: One fruit provides an average of 4.5 grams of protein and around 10% of your daily vitamin C requirement, so don’t give up on them altogether. Eating apples specifically has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and respiratory problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Eat them in moderation and separately from meals, and time your eating right. If you’ll be wearing a form-fitting outfit or bathing suit, you might not want to reach for an apple. Also be aware of these other fruits that cause bloat: pear, peaches, and prunes.