Belly bloating is an uncomfortable feeling that none of us like to deal with.
I’m not sure about you, but I don’t expect to suffer from a bloating belly when I’m eating healthier.
Normally we assume our belly bloating is due to eating too much of the wrong foods and we get a little frustrated when we haven’t indulged.
Why would we have belly bloat when we’re eating healthier?
Here’s what I discovered, our belly is a picky eater.
Worse than a toddler with a plate of veggies, our belly will revolt and throw a tantrum.
It’s our belly telling us that it just doesn’t care for the food we just ate. And, if you’re going to continue to eat it, your belly is going to continue to bloat.
Unlike a toddler, our belly can’t be tricked into eating something it doesn’t like. We are the ones who need to change our eating habits. This requires you to listen to your body to determine which foods are causing you to bloat.
Here are a few of the main culprits when it comes to foods that can cause bloating...
Beans are great for protein and good carbs, but many of them contain a type of sugar in the FODMAP group (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols). If you have digestive issues, beans can cause gas as they digest which gives you that unpleasant, bloated belly. Soaking the beans can usually help, but if you’re in a hurry, choose pinto or black beans — they’re easier to digest.
Another high protein legume with loads of fiber, lentils can also bring on the bloat. Choosing the light-colored lentils is a better option for keeping that bloating under control.
Whole wheat has always touted as a healthier alternative, but it doesn’t sit well with a lot of people due to the gluten it contains. If you have a sensitivity to gluten, your gut will show it by bloating after consuming wheat products. Wheat also has FODMAPs, as we discussed above, so if you’ve shown a tendency to bloat after eating wheat products, you should look for gluten-free options like quinoa, buckwheat, pure oats, or things made with almond or coconut flour.
4. Cruciferous veggies
While cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are incredibly healthy, they can lead to stomach inflation. Cooking them makes them much easier to digest, but if that still doesn’t seem to help, focus more on spinach, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes.
5. Garlic and onions
These two are great for flavoring just about anything you can cook up in your kitchen. If eating either of them raw sets you off, you should make sure they’re cooked first. If that still doesn’t do the trick, you should try swapping them out for fresh herbs like thyme, basil, chives, or parsley to keep your dishes flavorful.
6. Dairy Products
If you’ve noticed bloating coming on after eating yogurt, cheese, butter, or drinking milk, switch to lactose-free dairy products to get all the flavor without the agony. Many people cannot process dairy well, so give dairy-free a shot and see how much better you feel. Milk, in particular, has many other alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or cashew milk.
I can hear the family now, “we knew we weren’t supposed to eat healthy, YEAH!”
This list covers every healthy food group we’ve been told to eat. Just because certain foods are healthy doesn’t mean they’re good for your digestive system. If you frequently bloat after eating, keep a journal of what you eat and write down when you get bloated. You’ll be able to identify the offender, learn more about your body and the best foods to feed it.
This is how I discovered that wheat was causing my belly bloat. Not what I wanted to discover about myself. There was a time when I baked a fresh loaf of bread every weekend.
Are foods causing your belly to bloat?
Share in the comments and let me know what your problem foods are. I may have some useful tricks up my sleeve for you!
Terri King is a small business consultant / bookkeeper / tax preparer turned full-time health coach educator / blogger. As a mother of four grown children and grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren desiring to lose weight and get healthy in order to stay active and enjoy her family, she founded Balanced Health and You to share healthy living tips for balancing life and health through learning that creating health begins with one healthy food choice at a time. Through her coaching, Terri provides tools and education on how to develop the right mindset for living healthier, eat healthier, lose weight, overcome inflammation, and gain energy for a life of transformation.