This topic is important to me because although I strive to live a healthy lifestyle there are still some foods that my body does not agree with.
I am sure most of us have experienced the not-so-fun tummy bubbles also known as bloating that can sometimes linger for hours. Its uncomfortable and unnecessary and I am here to give you some insight on why you may be experiencing the bubble guts, what you can do to fix it and help you find out what foods you might need to avoid completely.
This can be a very frustrating topic for me because bloating is caused by many foods that I love and foods that are really good for you. And of course, each body is different and some of the foods I will be talking about may not affect you… consider yourself lucky! Here are some of the healthy foods known to trigger bloating:
What the heck are legumes? I get this question quite a bit. Legumes consist of plants that produce a pod with seeds inside. Peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas, beans, peas and lentils. Yes- that means peanut butter is a legume…sigh.
Legumes are high in fiber and protein and have some beneficial amounts of vitamins and minerals. There is a bit of controversy circulating legumes because they contain something called phytic acid. What phytic acid does is interrupts the absorption of calcium, zinc and iron from your food.
On the bright side, you can reduce phytic acid by soaking your legumes overnight, using sprouted or fermented legumes and by cooking them. These are all great ways to reduce the phytic acid and still enjoy all the legumes you love without the bloat.
Yet another controversial topic but I am going to bring it up anyways. Wheat contains gluten, which is a binding agent and can affect people with Coeliac disease, as well as people without, quite a bit.
According to the National Health Service, Coeliac disease is a condition where the intestine lining can't absorb and is damaged by gluten-containing foods including wheat, barley, oats and rye. Wheat sensitivity is symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhea and sickness come on quite slowly, usually hours after eating wheat.
After eating breads and pastas, I become bloated and uncomfortable pretty fast. I’m not going to lie it can be pretty annoying because we all can agree how delicious breads, donuts, pastries, etc. are! And of course I just want a donut after writing this sentence…
But, for the most part I generally stick to a gluten or bread free diet during the week (also because it is high in carbs) and let myself indulge a little (or lotta) bit on the weekends. Because let’s be honest- a donut (or 3) is SO worth a few hours of bloating and a few extra calories, am I right?
These bulbous (or bulb) vegetables can be so good for you! They have been used for centuries to get rid of colds, flu, and many other illnesses. They are known to reduce inflammation and heal infections with their antibacterial properties. How amazing is that? Unfortunately, they also contain fructose (a natural form of sugar) and lots of fiber which can cause bloating and they get me every time.
These tasty veggies tend to cause less bloating once cooked and are digested easier than when eaten raw.
As most of you know, there are quite a bit of lactose intolerant people out there including myself. Lactose intolerance is not a very fun thing because who doesn’t like cheese??
Let me explain a little bit about what lactose is and why you have an intolerance to it. Lactose is a certain sugar that is found in milk. Our small intestine produces lactase which breaks down milk sugar aka lactose. When our bodies don’t create enough lactase to digest the lactose we often get stomach issues that range from bloating to more severe issues like vomiting.
So many things we love have dairy in it including milk, ice cream, cheese, chocolate, sour cream and butter. Basically allllll of the goods.
These bad boys include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts and a few more. These veggies contain raffinose which is a sugar that is indigestible until the bacteria in your gut ferments it which basically means bloating.
I actually decided to remove cauliflower from my diet because it gave me a lot of stomach issues and it wasn’t worth it to me. I still eat a lot of kale and broccoli which don’t bother me as much and I still get all the amazing benefits of those veggies.
Sad but true… salty food causes major bloating so be careful! Salt is a sneaky thing that can be in breads, soups and a lot of snacky, processed food.
Sodium can cause water retention which creates your belly to bulge. Drinking a lot of water can help with this though, so if you just had a salty meal then don’t forget to hydrate yourself by drinking a ton of water after. Also, try using Pink Himalayan salt instead of regular table salt. It is packed with trace minerals and electrolytes and is delicious!
All of these foods that can give your stomach a hard time are all actually very good for you. The more of these you eat, the more your body will start to produce what it needs to properly digest these foods.
Be aware of how you feel after you eat, especially after you eat the above listed foods. I decided to try to avoid most of the foods above but I make sure to replace them with other healthy foods instead. There are always alternatives to the foods you like and the foods that don’t like you.
And hey, if the bloating doesn’t bother you then by all means, keep eating what you’re eating! For those of you who can’t, there are some amazing alternatives to the above listed foods such as almond milk, almond butter, coconut/almond flour, spinach, cucumbers, and so much more.
I decided to write this blog because I was getting very discouraged feeling bloated every time I would eat and I wonder how many others feel the same way. Hopefully this helps you understand some of the causes of your bloating. Don’t forget there is also a ton of unhealthy food that will cause bloating too. Food journals are a great way to find out what foods are activating your stomach issues and what aren’t. If you believe your symptoms are more serious please, please, please see a physician.