There are some meals that will cause uncomfortable bloating and pressure, no matter how much of it you eat. While our stomachs naturally expand as we fill them, some foods are more irritating on the body than others. To help ease the pain following a delicious meal here are some foods that are known to cause bloating and abdominal pain.
If you’ve heard the term “beer belly” before, this one will make a lot of sense. The term not only refers to accumulated belly fat but also the bloating caused by beer after consumption. Made from fermentable carbs like barley, yeast, maize and wheat, beer is a carbonated beverage that is known to leave consumers feeling extra full. As an alcoholic beverage alternative, try red wine, white wine, or even spirits to keep bloating to a minimum.
Another drink that may be hard to part with for some is milk. Although an excellent source of protein and calcium, milk contains lactate, an acid caused by the fermentation of lactose. Found in all dairy products (milk, cheese, cream cheese, yogurt and butter), lactic acid cannot be broken down by approximately 75% of the world’s population. This allergy known as lactose intolerance can cause a major upset to the digestive tract resulting in gas, cramps, bloating and possible diarrhea. Tests can be run to see if you suffer from lactose intolerance but a large serving of any dairy product can upset just about any stomach. Lactaid pills and lactose-free options are available in drug and grocery stores to help combat this discomfort.
Garlic & Onions
Used for flavor in many meals, both garlic and onions are bulb vegetables that can cause abdominal bloating. Garlic and onions contain fructan, a chain of molecules that store carbohydrates. Our bodies lack the enzymes needed to properly digest fructans, leaving them to ferment in gut bacteria causing gas, abdominal pain, reflux and altered bowel movements. In addition to normal discomfort when consuming fructose, sensitivities and allergies can arise when eating raw bulb vegetables. Substituting onions and garlic for other herbs and spices may alter the taste of your meal but your stomach will thank you later.
Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, beans also contain sugars called alpha-galactosides. Similar to fructan, alpha-galactosides are a type of short-chain carbohydrate that ferments in your colon. While this can cause bloating in any person, individuals with irritable bowel syndrome are at a higher risk for another type of gas that may cause major discomfort. To reduce the alpha-galactosides in beans, soaking them prior to injection allows the beans to be more easily digested.
This last one may come as a shock to some. Apples, high in fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C, have been known causes of abdominal bloating. Similar to beans, onions and garlic, apples contain large amounts of fructose. More specifically, these foods are uniquely high in FODMAP sugars. This means that the compounds making up the food’s structure are comprised of a short chain of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols. Fructose, FODMAPs and fiber are all fermented in the intestines, resulting in uncomfortable gas and bloating from a bacterial overgrowth commonly referred to as SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Although one of the most popular fruits in the world, apples can be substituted with blueberries, strawberries, bananas and grapefruit for similar health benefits without the bloat.
Abdominal Bloating Relief Near You
Bloating is your body’s natural response to food that is too rough on your digestive tract. Simple lifestyle changes such as eating less of a certain food or switching from lactose to soy milk may help reduce abdominal bloating. If you or someone you know suffers when eating one or more of these foods, call and schedule an appointment with the qualified healthcare providers at Digestive Healthcare Center. Our physicians will assess your symptoms and create and personal relief strategy for you. Do not let chronic abdominal bloating hold you back! We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping you in any way we can.