Nobody likes that bloated, miserable feeling you get after eating certain foods. Many of us find ourselves asking, ‘What causes bloating in the stomach?' And, sometimes this bloat is simply caused by temporary gas. And infrequently it can be a sign of a much more dangerous problem. Since bloating usually occurs because of the way your digestive system interacts with the food you eat, we have included in the following bloat-free list 20 different foods which are negatively and positively associated with bloating.
The first Top 10 list below will show you which foods and drinks you definitely should avoid banishing bloating. This will keep your belly from blowing up, and lessen your chances of suffering from embarrassing gas problems. Then we list 10 foods you can eat which actually reduce bloating. Add these foods to your diet, replacing the belly bloaters, and your tummy won't look like you swallowed a beach ball.
Top 10 Bloating Foods to Avoid
1 – Steer Clear of Carbonated Drinks
You know that canned sodas like Pepsi and Coke are highly carbonated. But even sparkling water with its natural seltzer uses carbonation to deliver those little bubbles and that unique taste and appearance. The more carbonation you experience, the more bloating and gas you have to put up with.
2 – Skip the Chewing Gum
Chewing gum leads to bloating the same way that drinking through a straw does. The constant smacking, chewing, saliva-producing characteristics of chewing gum cause you to absorb a lot of excess air. This can lead to bloating in your belly.
3 – Avoid Cruciferous Vegetables
These gassy foods include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These foods are no doubt extremely good for your body. You have to get them in your diet, but overdoing them can lead to belly bloat. Since these foods have a place in a healthy diet, you need to be eating them. Just try to spread them out over your weekly diet, not doubling or tripling up on them in any one meal.
4 – Overloading on the Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are needed for your body to produce energy. As a source of reserve energy, your muscles actually store excess carbohydrates as glycogen. That is a problem when you eat way too many carbohydrates at a single meal because each gram of glycogen is accompanied by 3 gram of water.
Are you getting the picture here? When you eat a lot of carbohydrates, your body retains water just like it does with too much salt. This causes a bloated appearance and feeling, so make sure you are counting your carbs and eating accordingly.
5 – Fatty Fried Foods
Foods that are fried and fatty are often made with trans fat, enriched flour, salt, and other unhealthy components. Your body recognizes these as things which it would rather not process, and so your digestion of fatty foods takes longer than healthy fruits and vegetables.
You never want to cut back on fat entirely. Monounsaturated fatty acids and essential fatty acids actually help you cut down on belly fat. When you eat too many fried foods, the longer processing time can give you a heavy, bloated feeling and appearance.
6 – Cut Back on the Alcoholic Beverages
A lot of people think that the dehydrating properties of alcohol, wine and beer may cause you to rid yourself of excess water. But the opposite is actually the case. Alcohol is a diuretic. This signals your system to retain water, often times delivering a swollen and puffy appearance. If you don't want to look and feel bloated, drink alcohol responsibly.
7 – Stop Drinking Through a Straw
Okay, so this is not really a food or beverage. But it is a drinking behavior that can lead to bloating. Whenever you use a straw to ingest a beverage, you swallow air along with whatever liquid you are drinking. This air quickly becomes trapped in your belly, creating that bloated, poochy look. It can also lead to embarrassing gas.
8 – Salt and Other Sources of Sodium
Women understand more than men just how much extra salt and sodium in your diet can lead to water retention and bloating. Water is attracted to salt like a groupie to a rock star.
You probably know that salt can lead to hypertension and other heart problems. Well, it can also make you look and feel bloated, puffy and gassy. To keep your heart healthy and your belly flat, cut back on the salt and any other foods which are sodium-rich.
9 – Be Careful with the Coffee and Tea
Some people begin their day automatically chugging down 2 or 3 large mugs of coffee. Others drink a lot of black or green tea throughout their daily routine. These 2 beverages are high in acids, as are fruit juices and hot chocolate. Just like the spicy peppers in the previous example, these acidic drinks can wreak havoc on your digestive tract. This aggravation can lead to swelling and bloating.
10 – Cut Back on the Spicy Foods
Like the cruciferous vegetables mentioned earlier, spicy foods like peppers are a healthy part of any smart diet. But they do irritate your gastrointestinal system, especially when eaten in excess. Instead of eating a meal full of several spicy foods, spread your spices out over your weekly and monthly diet.
Top 10 Foods That Reduce and Prevent Bloating
1 – Bananas
You're probably thinking that bananas are dense and heavy. They are definitely that when compared to some other foods. But the way that they are naturally composed delivers a lot of healthy dietary fiber and potassium. This means that they actually help relieve water retention and bloating because they contribute to a naturally healthy digestive system.
2 – Get Plenty of Leafy Greens in Your Diet
Be careful about your selection of green vegetables here. You remember earlier when we mentioned that some green veggies can cause you to feel bloated and gassy? That is true, but kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce are 3 leafy greens which battle bloat because they are packed full of fiber. They help clean out your system, and they are especially low in calories. They also deliver a high level of antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals that your body needs.
3 – Eat More Artichokes
This wonderfully nutritious vegetable has a lot going for it. Like other green veggies, it is full of several essential minerals, nutrients, and enzymes. As a plant product, it also delivers high levels of phytonutrients that help regulate a healthy digestive system.
This means you process artichokes and any other food you eat quickly and safely. They do not get stuck in your stomach, giving you a bloated appearance. This is due to the fact that a single medium-sized artichoke offers a full 7 grams of healthy dietary fiber. That is nearly 30% of your daily fiber requirement.
4 – Cucumbers
Cucumbers are good to keep around for a lot of reasons. If you wake up with bags under your eyes, spending 10 to 15 minutes resting with cucumber slices on your closed eyes can immediately lessen the amount of baggage under your eyeballs.
Cucumbers are also super healthy food, with a high level of an antioxidant called quercetin. This effectively fights inflammatory enzymes, reducing swelling and belly bloating.
5 – Eat More Asparagus
Asparagus is definitely an anti-bloating vegetable. If you eat a lot of asparagus, you may understand that it makes you urinate more frequently too. This is a good thing. All that peeing helps flush your body of excess water naturally. Asparagus also contains healthy prebiotics. This is the “good bacteria” that live in your digestive system and helps prevent or reduce gas, as well as bloating.
6 – Ginger
We are not referring to the beautiful redhead Hollywood starlet trapped on Gilligan's Island. However, the food ginger is naturally good for you in a number of ways. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and boosts healthy digestive tract operation. It is outstanding for fighting inflammation in your digestive system, and for relieving bloating.
If you overeat protein, a special enzyme in ginger absorbs the excess protein, once again fighting puffiness and even gas. Ginger is also excellent for soothing aching muscles and cramps and is extremely versatile in the kitchen.
7 – Peppermint and Chamomile
If you feel bloated immediately after eating, try some chamomile or peppermint in your tea. Like many of the anti-bloating foods on this list, those 2 herbs relax your gastrointestinal muscles, pushing out gas that leads to bloating.
8 – Avocados
The healthy monounsaturated fat in avocados is good for you. Avocados also deliver a decent amount of dietary fiber, they are extremely versatile, can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced, and make you feel fuller longer.
This all leads to you eating less of those foods which can cause bloating, and avocados also promote a healthy digestive system.
9 – Brown Rice
Simple carbohydrates can definitely lead to a bloated appearance. But complex carbohydrates like brown rice really put your digestive system to work. They take a longer time to digest than simple carbs like refined, enriched white rice. This helps make you feel full for a longer period of time. It also causes you to eat less throughout the day, which can lead to a slim, trim belly.
10 – The Right Types of Yogurt
Not all yogurt is high in probiotics. But when you choose yogurt with a high level of this “good bacteria” you experience the same benefits delivered by the prebiotics in asparagus. Your digestive system works properly, processing food and waste materials at a naturally healthy level. That means you can eat away your bloating belly with yogurt that is rich in healthy probiotics.