Feeling bloated doesn’t just happen by accident. Bloating gets in the way of your dating life, your exercise, your ability to get more accomplished, and so much more. When you are constantly bloated it makes you feel less confident, and completely changes the quality of your life.
In fact, there are certain healthy foods that can actually trigger bloating. Here are a few to watch out for:
This fruit is actually packed with sugar alcohols. These sugars are fermented by gut bacteria and when this happens, you get some major bloat. For that reason, it’s a kind of prebiotic that can stimulate diarrhea and exacerbate existing irritable bowel syndrome-related symptoms. Common side effects of sugar alcohol consumption (or over-consumption) include bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
If you eat plums frequently and experience bloating, try cutting back or switching them with berries; chances are the bloat will disappear.
Chewing gum causes you to swallow excess air, which can contribute to abdominal pain and bloating seen with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Further, when you chew gum you send your body physical signals that food is about to enter your body. The enzymes and acids that are activated when you chew gum are therefore released, but without the food they’re intended to digest.
This can cause bloating, an overproduction of stomach acid, and can compromise your ability to produce sufficient digestive secretions when you actually do eat food. Some people may also have adverse gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, from the artificial sweeteners that are commonly found in chewing gum.
If you have mercury fillings, you should know that chewing gum may cause this known neurotoxin to release from the fillings into your body. According to one study:1
“…chewing gum has been shown to increase the release rate of mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings… The impact of excessive chewing on mercury levels was considerable.”
Every time you chew, mercury vapor is released and quickly finds its way into your bloodstream, where it causes oxidative processes in your tissues. If you chew gum, you’re going to be chewing often, which is why it’s particularly problematic for those with mercury fillings.
If you have digestive issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or even just a sensitive stomach, you could find certain fibrous foods such as broccoli to be too much to handle.
Broccoli, and other cruciferous veggies such as brussels sprouts and cabbage contain sulfur and a carbohydrate called raffinose, both of which are hard for the body to break down. Cooking helps to break these compounds down, though, so while it’s certainly healthy to eat your greens, cooking these particular vegetables first could help to reduce bloating.
*Broccoli sprout supplement is also a good option*
Though dairy doesn’t cause bloating for everyone, many people are sensitive to yogurt and cheese, and 10% of Americans have some kind of lactose intolerance. Cutting back on dairy could be the secret to getting rid of a distended mid-section.
Here is a tip; buy organic raw dairy as this type of high quality and unpasteurized dairy will either reduce bloat significantly or get rid of it altogether. The benefits of raw dairy go far beyond just reducing bloat.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, a lack of water can actually cause you to become bloated. Drinking water has many benefits, including improved digestion. Have you ever seen athletes and bodybuilders carrying around jugs of water? That’s to keep the body’s metabolism firing on all cylinders—and to keep digestion moving with all the food they’re taking in.
A general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. So for example, if you weighed 150lbs, you would drink 75 ounces of high quality water each day. The top 3 bottled brands are Evian, Fiji, and Voss. Always buy in glass when possible.
I’m often asked if we should be drinking water during our meals; the answer is NO. If you want optimal digestion drink a cup of water no earlier than 30 mins before a meal, and no earlier than 60 minutes after a meal. Drinking a lot of water during your meals dilutes and vitamins in minerals resulting in less than optimal absorption, and possibly bloating.
References and Resources