10 reasons why you feel bloated

20 April 2017 by
First published: 23 September 2016

Struggling to button up your skinny jeans? Here’s 10 reasons why you feel bloated.

Some foods can make you feel good, give you energy and boost your mood, while others can make you suffer uncomfortable side effects like gas and bloating. If your stomach feels as swollen as a balloon, it might have something to do with what you’re dishing onto your plate. Discover the 10 most common causes of bloating here, and find out the best ways to beat a puffy tum.

1 Too much sugar

A diet high in sugar can diminish the levels of good bacteria that keep your gut healthy and increase bloating and gas. Limit sugary foods and munch on lower sugar fruits like blueberries whenever you need a sweet hit.

2 Excess salt

Eating salt-laden foods can cause you to retain water, which can make your stomach feel heavy. Put away the salt shaker and jazz up food with herbs and spices instead.

3 Chewing gum

Using chewing gum to freshen your breath can cause bloating, as you end up swallowing excess air. Ditch your gum habit and freshen your breath by chewing sprigs of parsley and peppermint, which act as natural breath fresheners.

4 Eating cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage are super-healthy, but can come with a downside – a bloated belly as a result of the sulphur and raffinose content in these veggies. These two compounds can be difficult for the body to break down, so steam these instead, as this helps to improve the digestive process.

5 Consuming dairy

It’s not a problem for everyone, but some people find that dairy doesn’t agree with them. This could be because you are unable to digest lactose (the sugar present in dairy products) because you lack the enzyme that’s needed to break it down. Swap regular milk for oat or almond milk and munch on coconut yoghurt, which is also free from dairy.

6 Gorging on gluten

Can’t live without bread? If you suffer bloating when you eat carbs like bread or pasta you could have a problem with gluten. Opt for gluten-free grains such as brown rice or quinoa to ease symptoms.

7 Eating too quickly

Racing against the clock to finish your dinner? Put your knife and fork down! Eating too quickly disrupts digestion, so take your time over meals and try to eat without distractions.

8 Filling up on fizzy drinks

From cola to carbonated water, fizzy drinks cause bloating as the bubbles get trapped in your belly. Sidestep the fizz and deflate with plain old water that’s been flavoured with mint, lemon or cucumber.

9 A low-fibre diet

Fibre gets things moving along by making sure food moves through the intestines more quickly. Add fibrous foods like oats, lentils, apples and figs to your diet to help banish bloating

10 Dehydration

Water is truly the ultimate elixir. Not only does drinking H2O help to keep your skin supple and your cells healthy, bumping up your daily water intake to a minimum of two litres will help you avoid constipation and ensure waste products move smoothly through your system.