Do you ever wake up, slip into that pair of jeans, get on with your day only to feel that suffocating tightness around your waist sneak up on you as the day progresses!? By lunchtime that top button has to go. And come dinner, well, you’re lucky if you can do them up! For so many of us, the bloat struggle is real! Bloating and discomfort can be caused by so many things...the food we eat, the function of the gut, the link between our brain and gut.
Of course, the first port of call should always be to your doctor or health care professional, to make sure nothing too serious is going on in there. Then, once you get the all clear, a good place to start is by looking at the amounts and types of food you are feeding your gut, as there are some commonly eaten (super healthy) foods that, for some of us, can wreak havoc in there. To be honest, for all of us these foods are poorly digested or not digested at all, leading our gut to hold onto water, produce gas and/or speed up the time it takes our food to move through our gut. All of which is pretty uncomfortable! Certain foods cause these issues more so than others. Portion sizes also play a role, for example the more you eat of certain foods the worse the symptoms will likely get.
None of us are the same which means there is no blanket rule, so experiment...you know your body best. Knowledge is power, so get to know what your gut loves and doesn’t love so much. Keep in mind though, if you do notice certain foods trigger your symptoms, don’t cut them out all together, instead swap them out for a comparable option (I have listed plenty below!), this will make sure you are still getting a variety of foods (and nutrients) which is what your gut (and the rest of your body) needs!
- Grapes, mandarines, strawberries, or oranges INSTEAD OF stone fruits, dried fruit, fruit juice
- Spinach, silverbeet, tomatoes, potato, carrot, red capsicum (pepper), baby corn, cucumber, lettuce, parsnip, INSTEAD OF onion, leek, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic or mushrooms
- Corn chips, corn tortillas, oats, rice, quinoa, rice noodles, INSTEAD OF Wheat bread, sourdough, rye bread, pasta (wheat)
- Cheese, lactose free milk, almond milk, coconut yoghurt INSTEAD OF cow's milk, yoghurt
Table sugar, stevia, maple syrup, rice malt syrup INSTEAD OF artificial sweeteners, honey, golden syrup, agave
Remember - don’t cut out foods or food groups without replacing them. That way you won't feel restricted or like you are missing out, AND you won’t be cutting out essential nutrients that you need to function.
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Mari, A., Abu Backer, F., Mahamid, M. et al. Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Clinical Approach and Management. Adv Ther 36, 1075–1084 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-019-00924-7.
Seo, A. Y., Kim, N., & Oh, D. H. (2013). Abdominal bloating: pathophysiology and treatment. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility, 19(4), 433–453. https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm.2013.19.4.433.Lacy, B. E., Gabbard, S. L., & Crowell, M. D. (2011). Pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of bloating: hope, hype, or hot air?. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 7(11), 729–739.