7 Foods That Cause Stomach Bloating

Millions of people struggle with stomach bloating and the discomfort that comes with it. Although this problem can be caused by some gastrointestinal disorders, it’s often simply an issue of diet. A wide variety of foods negatively impact your digestive system, so if you frequently experience bloating, it’s a good idea to avoid them. Here are some foods that can cause stomach bloating.

Foods That Cause Stomach Bloating

Artificial Sweeteners

While artificial sweeteners can help you cut a significant amount of carbohydrates and calories out of your diet, they can also be a major source of stomach bloating. Chemical sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose, can irritate your intestinal tract, resulting in gas. Sugar alcohols, like xylitol, maltitol and sorbitol, feed the naturally occurring bacteria in your intestinal tract. These bacteria produce methane as a by-product of their metabolism, which causes many people to experience severe bloating.

Beans

Beans

Beans and other legumes are among the most infamous stomach-bloating foods. Few people are able to consume large quantities of beans without gas and bloating. This is caused, in part, by the specific types of starches present in the beans, as well as substances that prevent proper digestion of the proteins. Furthermore, as with sugar alcohols, the starches in beans feed intestinal bacteria. Together, these factors result in considerable bloating.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and Garlic

Garlic and onions contain a type of carbohydrate known as fructans, which are difficult to digest for some people. This is because humans lack the enzyme necessary for breaking them down, so they just sit in your digestive tract where bacteria can consume them. Some people also experience bloating due to the sulfur content of these vegetables.

How to Prevent Stomach Bloating

Bananas

Most fruits can actually help ease bloating, but bananas are an exception. Bananas are loaded with certain kinds of sugars and soluble fiber that intestinal bacteria thrive on, which causes extensive bloating for many people. Underripe bananas, those that still have some green on them, are the worst offenders. These are high in latex, which is known to cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Salty Foods

Salty Foods

Salty foods, like pre-packaged meals or fast foods, aren’t just bad for your cardiovascular system. They’re also a hidden cause of bloating. Salt causes your body to retain more water, which can make even your stomach feel distended and uncomfortable. It’s best to focus on non-processed and low-sodium foods to avoid this problem.

Brassicas

Brassicas

Although cabbage, kale, bok choy and other brassicas have many excellent health benefits, they can cause problems for bloating in certain individuals. These vegetables contain certain kinds of starches that some people have trouble breaking down, which causes them to become bloated and gassy.

Fiber Supplements

Fiber supplements are commonly touted as a means of preventing constipation and supporting good overall digestive health. However, when taken in excess, they actually have the opposite effect. Too much fiber, especially without sufficient water intake, tends to encourage constipation, which is itself a cause of bloating. Furthermore, some fiber supplements can feed intestinal bacteria, resulting in gas and abdominal discomfort.

Nobody wants to suffer from a bloated stomach, but many aspects of your diet may be promoting it. However, by keeping these potentially troublesome foods in mind, you can more easily avoid bloating and the discomfort it causes.

You’re Doing It Wrong: Common Mistakes People Do With Raw Food Diets

raw food diet

Many people who transition to a raw food dietreport feeling lighter, healthier and more energetic. These claims make diving head first into the lifestyle sound enticing, but it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re unfamiliar with raw foods. If you’re beginning to adopt an entirely raw diet, avoid these common pitfalls.

rawfood-pyramid

Transitioning Too Fast

Jumping right into a 100 percent raw diet can shock your body and result in symptoms such as chills, constipation, bloating, gas, headaches and skin problems. Often referred to as “detox,” these symptoms are the result of your body cleansing itself of unnatural chemicals, processed ingredients and other byproducts of a previously unhealthy diet. It’s smarter to begin by gradually increasing the amount of raw foods that you eat each day and working your way up to entire raw meals.

Eating Too Few Calories

Raw foods, especially fruits and vegetables, have much more bulk than their cooked counterparts. This makes you feel full faster than you’re used to and can lead to accidental undereating. Incorporating soaked and sprouted raw grains into your diet along with calorie-dense protein sources such as hemp seeds and chia seeds can help you meet your calorie goals without feeling like you’re stuffing yourself at every meal.

Eating Excessive Amounts of Fat

Although seeds and nuts provide a ready source of important nutrients, many raw foodies wind up consuming too many. For some, nuts and seeds can be hard to digest and may cause discomfort. These foods also pack high amounts of fat, which can lead to weight gain over time. A good way to make sure you don’t overdo it is to portion out daily amounts of seeds and nuts into bags or containers. Raw desserts made with nuts, seeds and coconut oil should be considered treats and only consumed on special occasions.

Having Overly Strict Rules

When some people go raw, they become obsessed with the concept and start to worry about consuming foods that have been heated above a certain temperature or those that were grown using conventional methods rather than organic. These kinds of rules turn the diet into drudgery and may wind up detracting from its health benefits.

Relying on Packaged Goods

Raw crackers, breads and other packaged raw products are convenient when you need a snack on the go, but remember that they’re essentially raw versions of the processed foods you’re trying to eliminate by going raw in the first place. Limit your intake to avoid overindulging in oil and salt.

Limiting Food Variety

Some raw foodies eat large quantities of a single food in one sitting instead of a combination of foods. While these “mono meals” are okay on occasion, too many of them not only limit the amount of nutrients that you get but also make a raw diet boring. Try new fruits and vegetables as you transition to raw foods to keep things exciting and introduce your taste buds to different flavors.

Making Preparation Too Complicated

Don’t let the quest for diversity make you feel obligated to spend hours in the kitchen preparing restaurant-quality raw foods. Enjoy foods in as close to their whole forms as possible to keep dishes simple and quick. Save meals that require a lot of chopping, marinating and dehydrating for when you feel like having a truly special treat.

Raw foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that provide extensive health benefits. When you approach the raw food diet with mindfulness about what you eat and a willingness to learn along the way, you are ready to enjoy the amazing benefits of a raw food diet.

Healthy Raw Food Lunchbox Ideas!