“What foods are you avoiding or adding to reduce bloating? I'm constantly bloated whether doing good on the meal plan or cheating—my "fat" clothes are not fitting me bc of it. My bday is next Sunday, and I don't want to feel like a bloated cow! Any of you have advice? And how long after adding or avoiding certain foods do you start to feel better?” —Shanone M.
This topic bubbled up in the Facebook group and judging by the 41 replies (!), I realized it’s a common problem we’re apparently not too shy to talk about…so lets get all TMI, OK?
Bloating (aka tightness, discomfort, or swelling of the abdomen, with or without the toots) is typically caused by 1) overeating, 2) eating rich and fatty foods, 3) eating sodium (salty foods), 4) food sensitivities, or 5) eating too fast and not chewing properly.
The last one is definitely my #1 bloating culprit!
Long process short, whatever food your body is not able to digest or absorb before it reaches the large intestine will produce gas as it is broken down, which causes gas and bloating.
Not chewing properly makes it harder for the body to digest and absorb, so bigger pieces pass and, well, bloat. Eating too quickly also results in swallowed air, which also leads to bloat.
Foods to Avoid
-Fatty and fried foods
-Highly processed foods
-Artificial sweeteners like sorbitol
Now here is where it gets tricky…
Some plant foods, while nutrition superstars, don’t play nice with all tummies.
Wheat, for example, can cause some people to bloat like a balloon. Fortunately, the meal plans are always wheat-free and gluten-free, if you need to avoid wheat for a flat midsection :)
I find sprouted whole wheats don’t bloat me, but the really processed, crappy, white stuff (like pretzels or junk foods) are a belly destroyer.
Beans and lentils can also be a problem for some people (they contain indigestible sugars—oligosaccharides—that get broken down in the intestines, creating gas), but soaking, cooking them well with kombu, and chewing to a mush usually reduces their gassy effect.
Similarly, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, garlic, and prunes contain sugars and starches that can cause gassiness and bloating.
Try an elimination diet, avoiding common food allergens like corn, gluten, dairy, and soy. (Members: There’s an elimination diet plan on your dashboard). And if that doesn’t work, try removing some of the other plant foods that are known troublemakers.
If you’re new to a plant-centered diet, increased bloating and gas is common. Give your body some time to adjust to the increased fiber. You’ll digest like a champ soon!
Have a remedy for beating bloat?
Share it in the comments below.
When I was having all kinds of GI distress, I found this tea helped a lot.
You can also try this simple and easy detox drink. It's great first thing in the morning!
12-16 oz water (purified is best)
1-2 tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
dash of cayenne pepper
ground cinnamon (optional)
honey, pure maple syrup or stevia (to taste, as necessary)
Directions: Mix all together, and drink!
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