Bloating or gas is a digestive disorder that is can occur inside due to swallowed air or undigested food particles that happen during the digestive process of breakdown of food particles that remains in the colon. Bloating can be miserable making you uncomfortable, is painful and often embarrassing. It could also be an indication of some serious health issues.
Sheela Seharawat, expert dietician and curator of Diet Clinic says, the main reason for bloating is the accumulation of gas in the abdomen. This gas accumulation has three major symptoms – flatulence, bloat, and belching. Wrong food intake, excessive eating or prolonged gap between two meals is the major reasons that can be attributed to the gas formation and further acidity in the digestive tract. She also mentions, that gas although is not any health threat, but of the problem happens regularly and almost daily, it exerts a lot of pressure in the diaphragm and thereby on the heart. It can also cause a lot of mental discomfort on any person. There could be several other reasons for bloating to happen like stress and anxiety, blockage in the gastrointestinal tract, celiac disease or malfunctioning of the gall bladder.
Boating is a common occurrence that many of us experience after meals. Such bloating is caused by certain foods that we eat as a part of our meals. Often replacing these bad foods that cause bloating with healthier substitutes can give us permanent relief from the miserable experience that we have to undergo with bloating and flatulence. Let's discover these foods that cause this discomfort and what are their alternatives.
1/ Milk and other dairy products
Though milk and dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and protein, there are a whole lot of people amongst us who have problems digesting it. Their system cannot break down the lactose and sugar found in dairy and gets intolerant to it. If you are lactose intolerant you will get to know about it with side effects like bloating, diarrhea, gas, and abdominal cramps.
How to beat the bloat: There are numerous alternatives available including lactose-reduced milk. Milk alternatives like almond, soy cashew, and oat milk are great alternatives, however, they might lack the quantity and quality of calcium and proteins that you get out of natural milk. Even some kind of yogurt and cheese available in the market have very little lactose and is easy for the body to digest.
2/ Cruciferous veggies like broccoli
Cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprout along with broccoli are some regular cruciferous veggies and are considered very healthy with rich contents of vitamins, minerals, fibers, potassium, and iron. But at the same time, they also contain a certain element that causes bloating in many. Try having these vegetables only cooked if you get boating issues after consuming them. If the problem persists, it is better to avoid them.
How to beat the bloat: Cooking or fermenting these vegetables before consuming is the best way to enjoy them, as it breaks the non-digestible fibers for easy digestion. You can also possibly enjoy other veggies like spinach, lettuce, zucchini, and cucumbers.
Beans or legumes are rich sources of quality proteins and healthy carbohydrates along with a good source of fibers, vitamins and various minerals. But at the same time, they contain a type of sugar called oligosaccharides, which are difficult for the body to breakdown and can cause discomfort in the form of bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and cramps.
How to beat the bloat: Since beans are rich sources of fibers and other much-needed nutrients for the body, you must find out ways to adapt to them. Introduce them slowly in your diet and opt for the lighter ones first like lentils, sprouted beans, and mung beans. These are much easier to digest. You can also soak the beans overnight in water to make it easier for the body to break them down and digest. Also, try and mix them with other fermented foods like miso and sauerkraut to ease the digestion of these foods.
Wheat has a protein called gluten that is what causes bloating and stomach aches in many individuals. Gluten sensitivity can be often seen in many and is called celiac disease. Wheat also contains another protein called lectins that binds with the cells in the digestive tract causing breakdown and absorption of many nutrients.
How to beat the bloat: Whole grains have been highly regarded for their positive health qualities like weight loss, lowering the rates of cardiovascular diseases and even diabetes. If the gluten in wheat bothers you, go for other whole-grain options like oats, brown rice, and buckwheat. Also properly cooking the food inactivated most of the qualities of lectins, making it easier to digest.
5/ Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions have a powerful and unique taste that is eaten in foods in much smaller quantities. Both garlic and onions contain fructans, a form of soluble fiber that causes bloating in many of us. Even in small quantities, it can be a prime cause of bloating and other digestive disorders.
How to beat the bloat: If you get bloating problems after consuming garlic and onions, avoid eating them raw, particularly onions. Cooking both of the properly reduces its chances of creating problems. Another alternative could be herbs and spices to flavor your dishes or trying something else similar to thyme, parsley, collard greens, leek, and fennels.
Bloating can also be caused by parasites and other microorganisms that surface most of the foods we eat, more common vegetables and fruits that we regularly consume every day. The best way to get rid of them is by washing them properly under running tap water so that these parasites don’t wreak havoc in our digestive system causing bloating and other problems. Also, certain foods cause constipation and such foods should be avoided or should be consumed in moderation.
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