It is normal to experience burping, bloating and flatulence as these are normal body refluxes. These refluxes happen as a result of swallowing air, eating foods that cause bloating and during the process of food digestion. Gases are released as the foods get digested.
However, if these happen often, causes you embarrassment and make you uncomfortable, then it is time that you start looking for some remedies and get more information about how to relieve bloating.
Excessive gas, flatulence and bloating may be symptoms of a more serious digestive disorder like gluten intolerance, menopause or malabsorption. For other people these simply mean eating foods that cause bloating, lack of digestive enzymes due to old age, poor diet and vitamin deficiency.
There can be lots of reasons for bloating, excessive gas and flatulence, but diet actually plays a major role for the occurrence of these discomforts. If you want to lessen the amount of gases in your stomach, you just need to avoid bloating foods. Avoiding such gas-producing foods can help you identify which specific food causes you to have a bloated abdomen.
How to lessen Flatulence, bloating and excessive gas
The best thing that you can try is altering your diet. When you change your diet you will know which kind of food causes you bloating. Changing the diet and knowing what foods cause bloating is helpful for people who do not have underlying digestive disorders.
People who smoke, take certain medicines, stressed and have digestive disorders such as gastrointestinal intolerances and vitamin deficiency cannot reduce their gastric gases by altering their diet.
Which Foods Cause Gas, Flatulence and Bloating?
Have a food diary (it sucks, but it is effective!) and list down the foods you ate and the reaction of your body after eating such foods. Take note if you experience bloating and flatulence after eating a specific kind of food; if you notice that you start to feel bloated after eating them, then avoid those foods.
If you do not know the foods that cause bloating, then start listing down the foods you know are safe to eat. Then you can add foods every 48 hours so you will know which foods can cause gases and flatulence. Just remember that people’s digestive system is different from one another; other people may have problems breaking down certain food groups, while others do not have problems at all.
Carbohydrate-rich foods can increase bloating and gases in the stomach (unlike proteins and fats that only release small amounts of gases). Starchy foods like potatoes, corn, pasta and noodles also produce lots of gas when digested.
Carbs of Carbohydrates, one of the food groups that produces lots of gas when digested, are complex sugars or polysaccharides. Their structure is made up of long chains of sugars, making them difficult to digest. Here are some carbohydrate-rich vegetables that can cause bloating, excessive gas and flatulence:
- Beets, artichokes, sauerkraut and cabbage
- Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, green peppers
- Leeks, onions, parsley, radishes, sweet peppers
- Brussel sprouts, cauliflower
- Legumes (tofu, soybeans, dried peas, peanut, peanut butter, lentils, lentil soup, chickpeas,baked beans, beans, pinto beans, bean salads, red kidney beans, black eyed peas, broad beans, bog beans, lima beans, field beans, mung beans, and many more)
- Potatoes, corn, celery
Other non-starchy vegetables that produce gas:
- Kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips
- Cucumbers, rutabaga, zucchini
There are also people who cannot digest wheat well. These undigested wheats result to production of gas due to fermentation. Here are some wheat products that can cause bloating:
Nuts, grains,breads and cereals:
- Pastries, whole grain breads
- Bagels, whole wheat flour, breakfast cereals
Here are more hard to digest nuts and grains:
- Wheat bran, granola, oat flour, rice bran, sesame flour
- Sunflower flour, sorghum, rye, pistachios, oat bran, barley
Lactose, a sugar found in dairy foods, can cause excess gas in the stomach. These gases are produced when there is indigestion of lactose or when the person is lactose intolerant. People suffering from lactose intolerance cannot digest well dairy products like:
- Chip dip
- Salad dressings
- Ice cream
But they can eat cheese and yogurt without and digestion problems. Eggs, though, are not dairy products, can result to bloated abdomens for other people. If you have a feeling that you cannot digest well dairy products, remove them from your diet for about 10-14 days. Examine your body if there are changes, if you feel that you are no longer bloated and decrease in flatulence, then skip on dairy products.
Fatty and Oily Foods:
Fried food, whether it is deep or pan-fried plus fatty meat portions, pastries, sauces, rich creams and gravies can cause bloating and excess gas.
Fruit or Fructose:
Fruits and fruit juices contain fructose that can result to flatulence, excess gas and bloating. These fruits and fruit juices include melons, prunes, apples, pears, bananas, peaches and apricots.
Soluble fibers are found in fruits and in oat brans, peas and beans. Unlike the insoluble fibers, soluble fibers are harder to digest and are only digested in the large intestine, resulting to production of gases.
More Foods that Cause Bloating
Artificial sweeteners added to sugar-free chocolates and candies can result to digestive disorders. These artificial sweeteners are called as sugar alcohols and are found in various foods and beverages such as sugarless hard candies and chewing gums, sport drinks, sparkling beverages and carbonated drinks.
When foods are labeled as sugar-free, then most likely these foods have sugar alcohols instead of sugar. Sugar alcohols may contain xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, cornstartch, maltitol, and sorbitol. Moreover, carbonated drinks have carbon dioxides bubbles which can add up more gases in your stomach and cause bloating. Lastly, add red wine and dark beer to your list of foods that cause bloating.