Eat the food you love and enjoy every mouthful. Simple, right? But what if you can’t because you’re feeling bloated after every meal you have? What if you need to open that zipper or your inflated belly will do it for you?
You may feel at a dead end when bloating comes regardless of what you eat. You might have just enjoyed a bean chilli, salad, some ice-cream or nibbled on some nuts.
It can be a health food or a treat but the result always seems the same. And as you need to eat a few times a day, figuring out what’s behind your discomfort, can be a real challenge.
But before you give into the notion that there is something seriously wrong with you, there are a few things to consider first.
Your gut is unique
We like to try what works for others. So when you see your friend using a new food or a supplement which helped her with bloating, you tag along doing exactly the same.
The truth is there are no ‘one size fits all’ recipe when it comes to food. Your body has a different story to tell, different health ups and downs than your friends. That’s why you react to food in your unique way.
Your gut may seem complicated at a glance but when you go deeper, it’s really smart. It gives you feedback about the food you eat. The feelings you have after you’ve eaten your dinner, or even hours later, is the answer to your question of whether the meal was the right fit for you.
You can easily overlook the solutions to bloating when you eat out of a habit. One of these drivers can be your love of sugar. When you wake up in the morning thinking about a croissant you’re going to have for breakfast, it’s clear there is more sugar in your diet than you can handle.
Too much sugar and too much of fat creates havoc with your digestion. It causes bloating, upset stomach, extra gas and it also destroys the good bacteria in your gut. This allows the bad guys to grow stronger with every sweet bite you take.
You can use these 5 ways how to stop sugar cravings but for an immediate effect simply start feeding your natural probiotics right. The good bacteria thrive on fibre rich plant foods. Whole grains, potatoes, legumes, fruits and veg, nuts and seeds are to them like oxygen to us. With every processed meal, every sugary snack but also every piece of meat, chicken, fish or dairy you eat, the friendly guys are missing out on the nutrients they need to do their job properly.
Fibre isn’t just the essential food for the good bacteria. You also need fibre to get rid of any food stuck in your intestines to reduce the fermentation time. Because the longer fermentation lasts, the more gas and pressure it means for your intestinal walls. The rest you know – big round belly as if someone inflated you like a balloon.
Having more fibre in your diet may be the answer why you’re feeling bloated but can you eat too much?
If you’re new to healthy eating, it’s worth introducing the richest source of fibre step by step. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the small, round legumes which balance your blood sugar, fill you up with healthy protein while keeping you regular. Despite all of their benefits, beans, peas and lentils can be difficult to digest due to the resistant type of starch they contain.
Should you give them up then? Legumes are one of the healthiest foods there is, so it’s 100% worth figuring out what type and amount is right for you.
First start with smaller varieties like black eyed peas, turtle beans or lentils and work your way to kidney beans. You can eat legumes every second day in small amounts (like a tablespoon) as part of a larger meal. Keep doing it until you start feeling comfortable.
In order to get all the benefits from your beans, keep increasing their amount until you get to 1 cup per day.
If you have a sensitive gut or suffer from any type of colitis like IBS, Crohn’s or diverticulitis, bloating can be triggered even by eating simple fruits and vegetables. In this case it’s worth while keeping a food diary and closely watch what foods you’re reacting to. When you get suspicious about something, just eliminate it from your diet for a week. Then notice whether it’s going to make any difference.
Fruits that can cause bloating are apricots, prunes and in some cases, bananas, apples or pears. With veg, focus on your body’s reactions to onions, garlic, peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
Even when you know for sure what foods are not the right match for your gut, you still don’t need to give them up. Try to eat them cooked, pureed or stewed and see what your gut has to say.
Yes, there are other potential villains when it comes to bloating. You may be sensitive to gluten, protein found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt. You may also react to lactose – sugar found in milk.
If this is the case, I’m sure you already have a feeling (and not only in your gut) that these foods don’t agree with you. Then the solution is easy – replace gluten with gluten-free grain (brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa) and potatoes.
Replacing dairy in your diet has never been easier. There are so many wonderful plant alternatives to milks and creamers that you’re guaranteed to find your favourite.
The truth is the list can go on for as long as you can count. That’s why what really pays off is eating natural whole foods while paying attention to your body’s reaction after a meal.
And when it happens and you feel the bloating storm coming on, use calming fennel tea which brings you peace and relief in minutes.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me in the comments below:
1. What is the one thing you’re going to change in your diet so you get bloating under control?
As always thank you so much for sharing.