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18 April 2023

These widely-consumed foods can make you feel gassy and bloated

Do you often feel uneasy and bloated — a condition where your belly feels full and tight, usually due to gas — after having rajma chawalchole chawal, or even certain cruciferous vegetables? Well, worry not. Commonly experienced by many people, bloating can easily be kept at bay by adopting certain eating habits and by restraining or restricting foods that have the potential of making you feel bloated.

To make it easier for you, nutritionist Lovneet Batra took to her Instagram page to share some popular food items that might be making you feel bloated and, as such, can be avoided.

Food items that can make you bloated

Beans may cause bloating because they have a high fiber content and contain oligosaccharides, which are sugars that the body can find difficult to break down.

Carbonated drinks contain high amounts of carbon dioxide, a gas. When you drink one of these beverages, you end up swallowing large amounts of this gas, which can get trapped and increase pressure in the stomach. This may lead to uncomfortable bloating and belching.

Kale, broccoli, and cabbage are cruciferous vegetables and contain raffinose, a sugar that produces gas and makes you bloat.

Onions are one of the main dietary sources of fructans, which are soluble fibers that can cause bloating. Like onions, garlic also contains fructans, which are FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) that can cause bloating.

Raw vegetables/salads contain lots of fiber, fermented by bacteria in the colon, producing gas in the process. The more fiber you consume, the more gas and bloating may occur.

Speaking with indianexpress.com, Dr. Rahul Dubbaka, Consultant – Gastroenterology, CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad explained that “bloating can be uncomfortable and even painful at times, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain foods”.

He shared a quick cheat sheet of common food items that are known to cause bloating. They are:

1. Beans and lentils
2. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage)
3. Dairy products (particularly if you’re lactose intolerant)
4. Carbonated beverages
5. Fried and fatty foods
6. Artificial sweeteners
7. Onions and garlic
8. Wheat and gluten-containing foods (for those with gluten intolerance)

How to keep bloating at bay?

Making certain dietary changes and the way we eat food, can help manage bloating, said Dr Dubbaka as she shared some tips:

1. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly to aid the digestion process.
2. Avoid eating large meals and instead, have smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
3. Drink plenty of water to help flush out excess gas and toxins from your system.
4. Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, and caffeine as they can increase bloating.
5. Exercise regularly to promote good digestion and bowel movements.
6. Try keeping a food diary to identify any specific foods that may be causing your bloating, and eliminate them from your diet.
7. Consider probiotics, either in supplement form or through fermented foods, such as yoghurt, to help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Batra also suggests a few tips to manage bloating. They are:

1. Sip on ajwain + saunf + jeera concoction 30 mins post meals
2. Limit sodium
3. Eat slowly and chew foods more thoroughly.
4. Staying hydrated will flush out your system and help de-bloat you
5. Drink coriander seeds water first thing in the morning. It helps in removing excess sodium from the body which leads to water retention.

While bloating can be uncomfortable, it’s usually not a cause for concern. “However, if your bloating is severe, accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, or persists for an extended period of time, it’s best to seek medical advice to rule out any underlying health issues,” concluded Dr. Dubbaka.