What Causes Bloating?
Do you often feel bloated? You know, that feeling of abnormal swelling in your stomach after you’ve eaten. Fad diets are quick to find a culprit, but before you go on one of those “detox” diets and eliminate certain foods from your menu, a few simple changes to your eating habits can make all the difference. Here are some of the causes of bloating:
Eating too much
The most frequent cause of bloating is overeating. Try consuming smaller portions but eating more frequently.
Swallowing too much air
When we eat too quickly, or when we chew gum, we often swallow more air into our digestive system, which can be the cause of the swelling. Drinking carbonated beverages can have the same effect. Eat slowly and avoid gum and soda for a flatter stomach.
Eating gas-producing foods
Foods such as beans and cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and bok choy) can create excess gas when eaten in large quantities. No need to completely eliminate them from your menu; just make sure you vary your foods and ingest smaller portions of problematic ingredients.
High intake of sugar alcohols
Artificial sweeteners such as mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol will tend to produce gas that can be the source of your bloating. These additives can be found in sugar-free or sugar-reduced products. Scan the ingredient list to spot them.
Do any of these causes apply to you? If you’ve tried fixing all of these and still experience problems, consult your nutritionist for help. The problem could be related to a digestive disorder or issues in your meal patterns.
Stefanie Rosser, P.Dt.