Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating
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The most common reason for bloating is gas in the gut, often caused by certain food and drinks. Not only can a bloated belly be uncomfortable, it can also be disheartening if you have been working hard on a healthy diet and exercise regime.
The problem is that lots of foods considered healthy can be the cause of bloating.
Some common symptoms of bloating, as explained by the NHS, include your tummy feeling fuller or bigger than usual, tummy pain or discomfort, rumbling and loud noises from your tummy, and passing wind more frequently the usual.
Fitness experts from BreakingMuscle.com explained: “Bloating can be caused when particular foods take slightly longer to digest than others, this can cause a prolonged build-up of gas, leading to a rounded appearance of the stomach.”
The experts state that even balanced, organic diets can cause bloating and poor gut health, but simple changes can remedy irritation and discomfort.
Making smarter food choices taking extra time to chew food, staying hydrated and being aware of individual food intake limits, can help reduce the chances of being bloated.
A spokesperson for BreakingMuscle.com said: “There is a common perception that only highly processed foods can cause stomach irritation, bloating and poor gut health, but that is wrong.
“For most of us, the simple way of finding out if certain foods don’t sit well is purely through trial and error.
“Removing and replacing certain things from your eating pattern will help build a comfortable diet.
“It’s important to bear in mind that everyone is different and what works for someone else may not work for you.
“Taking more time to chew, staying hydrated, and being mindful of food intake limits, can all be factors that can reduce bloating too.”
10 foods which can increase the chance of bloating
Asparagus is one of the many cruciferous vegetables which can lead to undesirable digestive symptoms.
The experts explained this is due to the high fibre content of the vegetable, which can cause gas to be produced during the fermentation process.
This fruit can take longer to digest than others as they are high in polyols (sugar alcohols) which can be difficult to break down in the body.
Coffee contains caffeine which can irritate the gut and lead to bloating.
The experts explained that some of the acids in coffee are known to upset sensitive stomachs.
The spokesperson said: “Watermelon is packed with fructose, which is a naturally occurring sugar that can cause bloating when consumed in large amounts.”
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The starch content in potatoes makes them a high gas-producing carbohydrate. The expert said: “Try swapping potatoes for rice as rice is the only carbohydrate that does not cause gas.”
Fructans are soluble fibres that are found in onions and can cause digestive issues. Red onions have high levels of these fibres, so switching to a white onion may help.
These legumes contain sugars called oligosaccharides, which although may be naturally occurring, our bodies can find difficult to break down.
Gluten is a major ingredient in soy sauce and this can cause inflammation throughout the body. Many people may actually have an intolerance to gluten without actually knowing it.
According to the spokesperson, some people may find that eggs will upset their stomach and sensitivity to them can cause gas and bloating.
They added: “The sulphur in eggs is also the culprit for the foul smell produced when releasing wind.”
The expert said: “Cucumbers are high in a chemical compound called cucurbitacin which can cause gas production in the body.”
How to reduce bloating
The NHS recommends some ways to reduce bloating. These include regular exercise, which can improve digestion and help you feel better, and drinking plenty of water.
The health service also recommends chewing with your mouth closed to avoid swallowing air, eating high-fibre foods if constipated, and switching to smaller, more frequent meals instead of large meals.
If you do find yourself with a bloated stomach, massage it from right to left to release trapped wind.
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