If you are feeling bloated every time you eat, even though you’re not rushing through your meal, then maybe there are some other things you could change about your diet to flatten your belly.
You haven’t gone through your meal like a stampede of wild buffaloes. And you haven’t consumed too much food. And yet you’re feeling bloated? There are some sneaky causes, according to Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a gastroenterologist who wrote the book on that. It’s called The Bloat Cure. Here are some insights from within its pages.
5 surprising causes for feeling bloated
1. Cruciferous vegetables
Yes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and bok choy are a superhero cancer-fighting squad. But they also contain a starch called raffinose that is tougher for your body to digest. It transforms into methane gas when it reaches your colon. Try to have smaller servings to teach your digestive system to deal with that. Also, you can cook the cruciferous veggies with lemon juice, to stimulate digestive enzymes.
2. Artificial sweeteners
The chemicals in artificial sweeteners don’t get absorbed in your small intestine and end up in the colon, where bacteria ferment them. So let them go completely. But don’t overdo it with regular sugar either. A large quantity of that can create an imbalance in the microbiome in your gut. Stick to foods with 5 grams of sugar per serving or less.
If you’re lactose intolerant, maybe you’ve swapped milk with soy milk. Or perhaps you’re a vegetarian and consuming a lot of tofu. Well, there’s a problem there. They’re both examples of processed soy, which acts like estrogen in your body. This leads to some severe bloating. So if you are looking for a replacement for milk, choose coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, or unsweetened almond milk. If you can’t give up on soy, try an organic version.
4. Sports drinks
They contain a lot of sugar and sweeteners, so don’t use them for hydrating after an intense workout; even if you need electrolytes. The healthiest way for you to recharge, to avoid feeling bloated, is to have some water and a banana, drink unflavored coconut water, lemonade, or some sparkling water flavored with pomegranate juice.
5. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Or NSAIDs. If you use them for your joint pain, they can hurt your intestinal lining and make you retain fluids. Try a pain reliever that doesn’t contain ibuprofen or aspirin. Take it one step further by trying an anti-inflammatory diet. And tune in better with your body with the help of meditation.