London: If you’re feeling like nothing will help your bloated belly, you’re not alone. It’s frustrating when you’re trying your hardest to make healthy choices but the tummy area just doesn’t want to play ball.
Here, a nutritionist has revealed the three main causes of bloating – and how to dampen down the bloating within 24 hours. In a piece for Healthista, Rick Hay discusses how added sugar and even too much fruit can leave you bloated – but a cup of dandelion tea could help.
Bloating cause #1 Added sugar
You may think you’re buying and eating all the right foods but it’s time to check again. Nowadays, we are all aware of the traffic light system when looking out for the nutrition information on the food we buy – red means high fat or sugar, orange is moderate and green is low.
However, you may need to start looking at more than just the traffic lights and start studying the ingredients list, even if it’s low in sugar and fat. ‘Check the ingredients list first, if you can’t pronounce it, it might not be good for you,’ suggests Mr Hay.
Next time you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing over a product ingredient list, ask yourself, ‘Can I buy these ingredients easily at a supermarket or health food store?’ If you can’t, maybe think twice about buying it or do some research first.
Bloating cause #2: Eating too much fruit, legumes and lentils
Lots of people who follow new healthy diet regimes can often overdo the fruit, vegetables and pulses. Although these foods are indeed healthy, too much of them too often could lead to bloating. Fruits, vegetables and pulses are packed full of dietary fibre which is incredibly important for our digestive health and promotes regular bowel movements.
Fibre is also popular when looking to lose weight as it keeps you fuller for longer. Although these are healthy options, some don’t realise that too much can be tough on your system, especially if it’s not used to it.
Having a plate full of broccoli, chickpeas and kidney beans may be healthy but could also be bad news for your gut. Instead of fibre helping assist with bowel movements, overdoing it could do the opposite.
Increased amounts of fibre may lead to a compromised and overloaded digestive system, causing constipation, flatulence, cramping and stomach upset, which won’t help with bloating issues.
Bloating cause #3: Food intolerances
It can be unclear why a person is sensitive to certain foods. Symptoms of food intolerance include tummy pain, bloating, wind/gas or diarrhoea and certainly unexplained bloating. Some more severe intolerances can lead to skin rashes and itching.
It can be difficult to know whether you have a food intolerance or not as the symptoms are general and typical of many other conditions too.