Beat the bloat

We have all been there, that uncomfortable, gassy feeling in your stomach after eating just a bit too much, that bloated feeling.

Being bloated isn’t an exact science as each person’s metabolism and digestive systems is different to the next, but there are some foods that are certainly more likely to cause bloating, or as it’s also known, a ‘food baby’.

Lecturer in the school of Nursing and Human Sciences Dr. Mary Rose Sweeney says that everyday foods such as peas, onions and cabbage can be problematic.

Sweeney’s advice is backed up by an article written by Barbara Bolen PhD for Verywell Health, including a list of foods that are beneficial, and others that are not so helpful to avoiding a bloated stomach.

Foods that contain a high amount of short-chain carbohydrates generally tend to produce more liquid and gas when being digested, often leading to a visibly larger stomach.

These foods can include some citrus fruit, like apples and pears, grains such as wheat and barley and many others including a lot of dairy products and substitutes, sweeteners like honey and molasses as well as many vegetables including mushrooms and cauliflower.

It must be pointed out that while avoiding these foods can decrease the likelihood of feeling bloated, devising your own diet is a dangerous thing to do and a dietician should always be consulted.

There are foods that do not contain a high amount of these carbs and can help avoid a food baby as well. These include Fruits like bananas, oranges and strawberries among others, certain sweeteners like syrup and sugar and also certain veg, dairy products and protein sources.

While there are no consistencies within the food groups regarding what will cause bloating what won’t, Bolen does also say in her article that eating more of these products at the same time will cause more of an effect that if consumed individually.

McKel Hill, an author and dietician, writes in an article for her site, Nutrition Stripped, that other minor things can help cause a food baby to occur and can be easily prevented.

Fizzy drinks, eating too fast, eating too much and not enough fibre or water can all increase the chance of feeling bloated. Even being stressed can be a problem to your digestive system.

Other links that Hill makes are not regularly having bowel movements, smoking, and taking certain medications as well as regularly taking probiotics.

Of course, having this feeling is completely normal and happens to most people if not everyone, so there are ways of dealing with it even if it difficult to prevent.

Simple things like going to the toilet and passing wind will help the process speed up significantly but on top of that, drinking warm beverages will calm the digestive system down, and light exercise and stretching will also help.

All in all feeling bloated happens to everyone, although there are ways you can limit the chances of it happening by making very simple changes to the food you eat, as well as your lifestyle.

Ian Brennan

Image credit: Pinterest