Secret Bloaters

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Always bloated? These foods could be responsible for your discomfort

Certain foods are at the top of the crime list when it comes to bloating; beans for instance. And those Monday blues we all love to hate mostly come from bloaty effects from rich fatty foods we gobble up during indulgent weekends. But what about those times you clean up your diet and still can’t seem to shake off your water retention? Bloating can happen for a myriad of reasons ranging from hormones to nutrition. Therefore, it is important to emphasise, that we are not saying that you should quit consuming the culprits on this list for life. But, just in case you have an event coming up that will require sliding into a certain adored outfit, or keeping your energy levels normal, you may want to give these foods a break.

Yoghurt

No, this does not change the fact that this remains a primary source of much needed probiotics, or the good kind of bacteria. Specific kinds of yoghurt can, however, cause more harm than good. This is because dairy products tend to contain different levels of lactose- the sugar molecule- that gets fermented, resulting in gas bubbles and ultimately bloating. You would be wise to aim for Greek yoghurt more than the other kinds, as it contains more protein than sugar.

Onions

They have a specific carb in them called fructan, which can cause problems for your tummy as it is not easily absorbed into the body. Hence, increasing water content in the intestine, ultimately causing gas.

Black coffee

Due to its acidic nature, black coffee can irritate a sensitive stomach, causing instant swelling. These effects are often aggravated by adding sugar or sweeteners. Mostly this effect wears off in a couple of hours.

Grains

Certain grains like wheat, contain the un-digestible carbfructan. People with gluten intolerance who eat wheat or other grains like rye, feel the effects of an immune reaction; leading to a weakening of the stomach lining and causing gas, constipation or diarrhoea. Even without the intolerance, once fructan ferments in the stomach, it causes the same effects.

Chewing gum and artificial sweeteners

You swallow a lot of air as you chew gum to begin with. But, the main culprit again, is a carb in the form of sugar alcohols which are present in gum. These alcohols are not easily digested and can cause stomach upsets particularly when consumed in high amounts. The reaction they have in the intestine is similar to that of someone who is lactose intolerant. The symptoms include pain, cramps, gas, and in some cases, diarrhoea. Look out for these sugar alcohol names in your gum next time and put them back on the shelf: xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and maltitol.

Watermelons

Still a mid-day snack favourite, this watery gem is high in fructose, which places it smack in the middle of this list. Statistics say, almost 40% of people worldwide are incapable of absorbing fructose in the body, causing bloating, gas and again diarrhoea.

Popcorn

It only makes the list as a contender because of its sheer volume. One serving of popcorn is equal to around three tennis balls, experts say. This serving holds the same amount of carbs as one would find in a single slice of bread, but because of its density, it takes up more stomach space. The good news is that, this is a temporary effect. So, do not cancel movie night just yet.

Certain veggies

Contained within cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts, is a carb known as raffinose. Our bodies don’t make the enzyme required to break this carb down, which means that it goes through into the large intestine without being digested. Whenever food gets into the large intestine in such a state, bacteria is ready to ferment it. This will result in gas build-up and especially smelly flatulence. One way to make this easier on your body is, by consuming the veggies roasted, making them easier to chew and digest.

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