Unexpected Foods that May Cause Bloating

You’re eating healthy, exercising, and generally taking care of your body, so why do you feel bloated all the time? Many times, people are unaware of the real reasons behind bloating and gas, unknowingly consuming foods that perpetuate their discomfort. Read on to learn about which healthy foods cause bloating and how you can fight the feeling before it begins.


Vegetables

Cabbages, turnips, broccoli, and cauliflower have long been touted as some of the healthiest vegetables for your body, fighting cancer and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, they also come with some uncomfortable side effects. These vegetables—also known as cruciferous vegetables—contain an oligosaccharide carbohydrate chain composed of simple sugar molecules called raffinose. Raffinose is difficult for the body to digest and often escapes the stomach and small intestine, entering the large intestine undigested.

The large intestine is full of generally harmless bacteria that aid the body in digestion, yet when undigested food enters, the bacteria can ferment this food, which causes gas and bloating.

One of the best ways to avoid bloating from these vegetables is to cook them. Boiling, frying, and baking all produce enough heat to break down raffinose and make it safe for your stomach and intestines.


Dried Fruit

While several fruits, like apples and peaches, cause bloating due to their high concentration of fiber, once dried, every fruit gets a dose of sugar and concentrated nutrients that are extremely hard for your body to digest.

Not only does dried fruit have a high concentration of natural fruit sugars, it also contains added refined sugars. Both of these have a negative effect on the digestive system, feeding the bad bacteria in your gut and causing bloating and gas.

Dried fruit also has plenty of healthy nutrients that your body needs, but these nutrients are too concentrated for your body to digest. When eating dried fruit, you need to drink plenty of water to aid the fiber and vitamins you’ve consumed to move through your digestive system.


Gum

While chewing gum may seem like a harmless habit that occupies your mouth and freshens your breath, sugarless gum is especially harmful to your digestive system. Sugarless gum contains high amounts of a sugar alcohol called sorbitol that your body cannot digest. Once again, the bacteria in your large intestines are forced to try and break up undigested food, allowing it to ferment until the process is complete.

Another problem caused by gum is the process of chewing. As you chew the gum, your body sends signals to your brain informing it that you are eating. When your brain thinks that food is headed down to the digestive tract, it instigates the production of digestive enzymes that—without any food to occupy them—cause gas and bloating.


Soy and Power Bars

Many people who understand that dairy isn’t good for them have switched over to soy in the hope that a dairy-free lifestyle will improve their health. While unprocessed soybeans like edamame are good for you, once processed, the oligosaccharides in the product make it difficult to digest.

Whether soy is the base for milk, cheese, yogurt, or protein bars, it can cause digestive issues. Protein bars in particular, are a serious problem for many health fanatics, as they are often unaware that soy is one of the ingredients.


Reduce Bloating

While bloating is common, it can usually be resolved with just a few simple changes to your diet. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding foods that typically cause you problems is essential. You can also consult with your doctor about your bloating, gas, and pain.


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