By Lauren Denos: 3/1/2015 (Concerns)


Bloating is a common occurrence for many people. For some it can be quite a hindrance to your daily lives. It can cause you to feel sluggish; creating pressure against the bladder and making you feel like you need to pee every 5 minutes. Not to mention that it can be embarrassing to have your stomach puff out so much and be gassy! Unfortunately, there are many things that can cause bloating. It could be as simple as eating a gas-inducing food, or eating something you have a sensitivity or allergy to. Let’s look at the most common culprits for bloating:

Over eating - When we eat too much we put more food in our stomach that can quickly be digested, which lends itself to a very over-full and pressured feeling. It is better to take your large meal and split it in half right away. Save the other half for later. This can not only make your bloated waistline feel better, but you will have an extra meal for later!

Eating too many fats - Fats take longer to digest than many other foods. Now, we do need a certain amount of healthy fats on our diet; but, when you are eating very high fatty meals that have a high concentration of fat, this will contribute to a really overly full, stretched-out stomach for a much longer period of time.

Eating too fast - when you eat too fat you do not give your body time to signal to the brain that you are full. So what happens is you can wind up eating way too much. This, in turn, puts you back into the overeating category above.

Swallowing air - This is very common and something I discovered while jogging. While jogging many people swallow air, which causes bloating and gas. But swallowing air is not limited to just jogging. It can happen when you drink too fast, chew gum, or when you suck on hard candy, etc. You can take an anti-gas aid when this happens to help beat the bloat.

High sodium intake- Many people eat way above the recommended amount of salt daily. Most of the foods we eat have sodium occurring naturally in them or already added to them. Too much sodium causes fluid retention, which can give that bloated, sluggish feeling. To take care of this issue start paying attention to how much salt you are putting on your food, and look at what is already in the food you are eating. You may be surprised by how much you are actually ingesting.

There are also many foods that can cause bloating and gas. This can be because of the sugars that they have naturally occurring in them, and it can also be from food sensitivities. Food sensitivities can be something you have had since childhood, and they can also come on in adult life. Thankfully, though, they can also change. So you could have been fine with dairy as a kid, but as an adult you weren’t able to tolerate it. Because food sensitivities can be a cause, virtually anything can be a culprit. Also, any food that is not absorbed properly in the small intestine as it should, can cause bloating. There are some foods more than others that are commonly known to cause this issue. Let’s take a look at them.

Foods that Cause Bloating:

Beans and legumes - We have all heard that beans can cause gas; it is the source of many jokes. But the reason beans cause gas is because of the indigestible sugars (oligosaccharides). Our bodies do not produce the enzyme we need to these sugars. So our small intestine does not break down and absorb the sugars into its lining. Instead, bacteria in the small intestine break it down; it then travels to the large intestine where it gets rid of it in the form of gas.

Grains - due to the high-fiber content. There is a lot of fiber in grains, and while fiber is good for us there is such a thing as too much. Sometimes it is also a matter of too much fiber for you at that time; you may need to build up slower. Other issues with some grains are the gluten that many people are allergic to. Also grains are a high carbohydrate, and some bodies do not digest carbohydrates very well. If you have an issue with grains, then best thing to do is just avoid them all together. But if you are insistent on continuing eating grains, then you may want to see if a digestive enzyme will help with this issue.

Onions and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower contain sulfur and raffinose. These are very hard for the body to digest, especially when raw. If you are going to eat these vegetables, cook them first. This should help your body digest them much easier and, besides, steaming them brings out many of their healthful nutrients.

Lactose - due to sensitivities in the body. Many people have an issue with dairy that can cause intestinal issues. You can have sensitivities or allergies to different parts of dairy, but the issue that most people have is the lactose itself. Lactose is a natural sugar occurring in dairy. Test going off dairy for a while and see if you notice a difference.

Sweeteners - can cause bloating if your body cannot break them down. Granted, you could get gas from anything you cannot break down, but artificial sweeteners are said to cause this more than their natural counter parts, due to the body’s inability to break them down. Test out other sweetener choices and see what works best for your body. A few good choices to test out are: Raw organic local honey, raw coconut sugar and stevia.

Carbonated drinks - I think we can all see why this would cause gas. There is gas literally pumped into liquid. Add to boot that you may be drinking one with artificial sweeteners in it, and you have a recipe for a homemade personal jet propulsion system!

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