Five Common Culprits of Stomach Bloating & Healthy Alternatives
Bloating: when your belly feels swollen, tight, or enlarged after eating. It is most often caused by gas or other minor gastrointestinal problems. Roughly 16–30% of people report experiencing it at least twice a week. Though it may be a symptom of a medical condition, it’s usually caused by something you’ve eaten. Here are five infamous culprits of stomach bloating and some tips to help you avoid their inflammatory effects.
1. Carbonated Beverages
These contain high amounts of carbon dioxide. When you drink them, you swallow large amounts of the gas. Some of it gets trapped in the digestive system, which can cause bloating and cramping.
Alternatives: Anything! Tea, water, even coffee is better for you.
Wheat has been controversial recently because of the protein, gluten. But it is still very widely consumed. It is in most breads, pastas, tortillas, and pizzas, as well as baked goods like cakes, biscuits, pancakes, and waffles. People with celiac disease can suffer major digestive problems including bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach pain.
Alternatives: Anything labeled ‘gluten-free’ such pure oats, buckwheat, almond and coconut flour.
3. Dairy Products
Dairy is very nutritious and an excellent source of calcium and protein. About 75% of the world’s population, however, can’t digest lactose. This is called lactose intolerance. If you are lactose intolerant, dairy can cause serious digestive problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea, and cramps.
Alternatives: Yogurt, Lactose-free milk products, coconut, almond, soy or rice milk.
4. Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are used in sugar-free foods. Common types include sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol. They can cause digestive problems such as bloating, gas and diarrhea.
Alternatives: Erythritol and Stevia are sugar alcohols that are easier to digest.
“Beer belly” refers not only to belly fat but also to the bloating beer causes. Beer is a carbonated beverage made from barley, wheat or rice, as well as yeast. So it contributes both gas and fermenting carbohydrates.
Alternatives: Red or white wine and spirits will cause less bloating.