Feeling Bloated? Here are 7 Things that Might be Causing It…

Bloating is one of the most uncomfortable digestive issues, not to mention one of the most unsightly. It’s hard to feel attractive when your belly is bloated, and you’ll definitely struggle fitting into whatever outfit you want to wear today. But did you know that beating the bloat isn’t as hard as you might expect? If you’re feeling bloated, here are some of the issues that might be behind it:

Gassy Foods

Let’s be clear: foods aren’t innately gassy, but there are some foods that cause your body to produce more gas. These includes legumes (specifically beans), cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cabbage, and kale), apples, and foods that have a very high salt content. These foods produce gas when they are being broken down by your intestinal bacteria, filling your intestines with this excess gas and leading to you feeling bloated. If you tend to bloat up with gassy foods, either avoid them or try cooking them in a way that reduces gas production.

Overeating

This is a fairly common one in the Western world, thanks to our high-consumption diets. It’s not uncommon for us to end up vastly overeating—consuming up to 100% more calories than our bodies actually need in a single meal. When your stomach is too full, it stretches out the muscles, which can lead to bloating. The good news: all it takes to deal with the bloating is time. Give your body a few hours to digest, and you’ll be back to your normal self. Next time you sit down for a meal, just try to eat less.

Swallowing Air

This is a problem for people who drink from straws, chew gum, drink carbonated beverages, or eat too fast. All of these activities cause you to swallow excess air when you swallow your food, and that air gets trapped in your belly. To avoid this problem, get rid of straws and drink straight from the cup, kick that gum chewing habit, avoid soft drinks or anything carbonated, and slow down when you eat.

Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

For people with gluten problems, bloating after a dose of gluten is an all too common reality. Gluten is a protein found in wheat products, but some people are actually allergic or sensitive to it, either as an autoimmune condition or a simple food sensitivity. Avoiding gluten products is the easiest way to avoid feeling bloated after a meal.

Lactose Intolerance

Some people just can’t handle the lactose (sugar) in milk because the bacteria in your body aren’t able to break it down. Lactose intolerance is the result of a missing enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for digesting lactose. If you get bloated after consuming a dairy product, it may be time to consider going dairy-free.

Constipation

If you’re having trouble with your digestive tract, feeling bloated is one of the most common symptoms. A low-fiber diet may make it harder for your body to break down, absorb, and eliminate the food you eat. That food may sit in your digestive tract for longer, leading to a build-up of food in your colon, small bowel, and even your stomach. All that unmoving food will cause excess gas and air to be trapped in your digestive tract, leading to bloating.

Booze

Alcohol is often both carbonated (like beer) and high in sugar or carbs—after all, every alcohol is made from fermented sugar. Sugary booze can lead to an excessive gas production in your stomach, which can leave you feeling bloated. Cut back on the alcohol to solve this problem easily.

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