With so many different and contradictory claims when it comes to eating healthy, it can be hard to know what to eat and what to avoid. This confusion leads so many to throw their hands up altogether and feel those feelings of “why even try?!”
The thing is we are all different, or I like to say unique. What is one persons health food can be another’s poison.
Even foods touted as healthy can still cause you discomfort. Bloating is our bodies attempt to let us know it disagrees with something we gave it and can be a big clue to the types of foods you should cut down on or avoid. Remember symptoms are our body’s language, it’s way of communicating with us.
Here are a few of the main culprits when it comes to foods that can cause bloating…
Beans are great for protein and good carbs, but many of them contain a type of sugar in the FODMAP group (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols). If you have digestive issues, beans can cause gas as they digest which gives you that unpleasant, bloated belly. Soaking the beans can usually help, but if you’re in a hurry, choose pinto or black beans — they’re easier to digest.
Another high protein legume with loads of fiber, lentils can also bring on the bloat. Choosing the light-colored lentils is a better option for keeping that bloating under control.
Whole wheat has always touted as a healthier alternative, but it doesn’t sit well with a lot of people due to the gluten it contains. If you have a sensitivity to gluten, your gut will show it by bloating after consuming wheat products. Wheat also has FODMAPs, as we discussed above, so if you’ve shown a tendency to bloat after eating wheat products, you should look for gluten-free options like quinoa, buckwheat, pure oats, or things made with almond or coconut flour.
- Cruciferous veggies
While cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are super healthy, they can lead to stomach inflation. Cooking them makes them much easier to digest, but if that still doesn’t seem to help, focus more on spinach, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes.
- Garlic and onions
These two are great for flavoring just about anything you can cook up in your kitchen. If eating either of them raw sets you off, you should make sure they’re cooked first. If that still doesn’t do the trick, you should try swapping them out for fresh herbs like thyme, basil, chives, or parsley to keep your dishes flavorful.
- Dairy Products
If you’ve noticed bloating coming on after eating yogurt, cheese, butter, or drinking milk, switch to lactose-free dairy products to get all the flavor without the agony. Many people cannot process dairy well, in fact, it has been estimated that seven million Canadians suffer from lactose intolerance.1, so give dairy-free a shot and see how much better you feel. Milk, in particular, has many other alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or cashew milk. Check out my recipe for Homemade Cashew Milk that can be made in under 10 minutes!
Just because certain foods are healthy doesn’t mean they are helping you out. If you frequently bloat after eating, keep a journal of what you eat (like we talked about in last weeks blog) and write down when you get bloated. You’ll be able to identify the offender, learn more about your body and the best foods to feed it.
Do certain things tend to bloat you more than others? Hit reply and let me know what your problem foods are. I may have some useful tricks up my sleeve for you!
1. Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. http://www.cdhf.ca/en/disorders/details/id/13