10 Foods That Cause Gas & Bloating (+How To Relieve It!)

 

Written by: Lauren Villa - Jun. 1, 2020

foods that cause gas and bloating  

Last weekend I went to an all-inclusive resort and two days into the vacation I experienced what I only imagine every single other tourist experienced… episodes of inevitable bloating. Can you blame me? Between a neverending buffet of beer, sandwiches, fried foods, and salty margaritas, it was hard to practice self-control. 

What’s that saying? Nothing tastes as good as not being bloated feels? Something like that. 

With two days left in the vacation, I took matters into my own hands. And admittedly, I should have done it before my trip. I went to the internet to find the foods that cause bloating so I could show up prepared for the next buffet. 

After some intensive detective work on the bloating culprits, what I found surprised me. Many foods that cause gas are in fact foods you might think are healthy and would do the exact opposite of giving your stomach that overstuffed feeling. 

Once I knew the typical foods that make you gassy it was easier for me to navigate the buffet spread. Knowing your personal bloating culprits will help you in the long run!

So, if you’re experiencing painful gas and bloating, the foods you’re eating are to likely blame! In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know in order to find relief and feel your best. 

Woman holding her stomach, representing the effects of eating foods that cause gas.

Foods That Cause Gas


The average stomach can only hold one or two cups of food. When you eat more than your fill, your stomach expands. And that’s only a good thing if you’re a competitive eater! 

Luckily, changes to your diet can help reset your digestive system and identify the culprit. Certain foods and beverages cause more gas in the belly than others. If you’re trying to identify which foods make you feel the most overstuffed, start with this list and go from there! 

1. Carbonated beverages


Any carbonated drink, including zero-calorie soda or sparkling water, can lead to bloating. I know, it feels unfair. But when you think about it, it sort of makes sense? Carbonated drinks are so delicious because of all the fizzing, carbonated bubbles. And when those enter your stomach they can lead to stomach issues. Believe it or not, even plain water can make you feel bloated. So while carbonated beverages aren’t necessarily “foods,” they can make your stomach feel like a big bubble. And it’s hard to feel super cute when your tummy feels like a bubble.

2. Say no to salty foods


When someone complains about feeling bloated, it’s often because of a little word…called SALT. You’ve probably heard this before, but salt does this crazy magical thing where it causes our bodies to hold onto more water. We all need sodium in our diet, but the amount depends on how much you exercise. If you’re an athlete and burning thousands of calories during a marathon or intense workout, drinking salt definitely does it’s job of helping you rehydrate and replenish the amount of salt you lose through sweat. [1]

But if you’re sitting by the pool ordering a sandwich, fries, or another salty snack, you’re basically asking to feel bloated. In other words, when the waiter comes to your beach chair and asks if you want to order something, turn a blind eye to that delicious, salty fry basket and opt for something else.

3. Cruciferous Veggies


It feels counterintuitive to write a blog about living healthy and say cut out the cruciferous vegetables. But the truth is, that cruciferous veggies are one of the top foods that cause bloating. Cruciferous veggies that can lead to bloat include:

  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Collard greens
  • Radishes

It doesn’t mean that you have to cut these veggies out completely, but be mindful of how eating these veggies makes your stomach feel.

4. Beans


Overeating foods high in fiber, fat, and fried foods can cause bloating to linger longer in your stomach. Beans are packed with fiber, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals but they might as well be synonymous with bloating. The carbohydrates in beans (called oligosaccharides) are hard for the body to break down which can cause bloat. If you’re a bean lover, try eating smaller amounts or look for tasty alternatives like lentils and quinoa.

5. Fried Foods


I wish it wasn’t this way, but fried foods are hard on the body for a number of reasons. YES, they are absolutely delicious, but they wreak havoc on your digestive system if you don’t watch your portions. Fried foods can slow down the body’s digestive process, and they are one of the top foods that cause gas. Fried foods can lead to some pretty nasty side effects, like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.

6. Alcohol


If you want a flat tummy, steer clear of carbonated alcohol like beer. The bubbles in alcohol can make your stomach feel twice it’s size. Avoid drinking too much when you’re eating too. Have you ever drank a ton of water while eating dinner? Your stomach expands, and it increases the likelihood of gas and belly bloating. To decrease bloating, take small sips of water during or after your meal or slowly sip on hot water or tea throughout your meal. 

Friends having a beer in the sunshine. Carbonated beer is great going down but is one of the top foods that cause gas.

7. Whole grains


A gluten allergy isn’t just a fad. Gluten is one of the most common offenders when it comes to creating chaos in the gut. Whether you have a gluten allergy/intolerance, or not, studies are finding that more and more people aren’t able to properly digest gluten. If after eating breads, pasta, or pastries you experience bloating, diarrhea, pain, gas, you may have a gluten sensitivity.  [2]

8. Dairy


If you feel a rumble in your tummy after eating an ice cream cone or milkshake, you might have an intolerance to dairy. Lactose intolerance is extremely common and can disrupt your digestion. Someone who is lactose intolerant doesn’t have enough of the enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the sugar found in milk. When lactose isn’t properly digested, the body stores extra gas and water which can result in bloating, cramping, gas and diarrhea. [3]

9. Sugar-free products


You might want to think twice before you reach for the sugar-free gum, soda, or candy. The main ingredients in most sugar-free products are carbohydrates that the body cannot completely absorb. Ingredients like mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, and erythritol can lead to diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Watch out for anything ending with an ‘ol’ on the ingredient list. [4]

10. Onions


I love onions as much as the next person, but unfortunately this is a major bloating culprit and part of the FODMAP family. The acronym FODMAP is short for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols.” FODMAP refers to short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that our bodies are not great at absorbing. Foods like onions, garlic, oranges, cheese, soy products and many more are part of the FODMAP group. [5]

How To Relieve Gas & Bloating


There are two approaches to relieve gas and bloating. The first approach is immediate relief and the second is long-term. The long-term approach is what we discussed above and finding out which foods trigger bloating for you personally.

Here’s a checklist of questions to ask yourself about your eating habits to figure out what is causing your bloating:

  • Are you drinking a lot of water?
  • What did you eat and drink in the last 7 days? 
  • Are you consuming a lot of sodium?
  • Are your bowel movements regular?

When you have an all-inclusive resort you can pick what you want. Instead of reaching for the foods above, opt for these items. If you want more information on bloating cures check out our blog on bloating remedies.

1. Exercise


No one has a perfectly flat stomach all the time. It’s only natural for your body to make room for food and liquids after a meal. If you’ve overdone it with eating, moving your body can help with abdominal discomfort. You can do gentle yoga or take a walk to stimulate circulation to your stomach. Don’t overdo it though, you want the blood flowing into your stomach, not your limbs. [6]

A woman exercising, which can counter the effects of foods that cause gas.

2. Drink Detox tea 


Incorporating a detox tea into your daily routine can help calm your bloating and keep your system running clean. SkinnyFit Detox Tea is designed to provide your body with all of the superfoods it needs to flush out toxins, fight bloating, and help your belly feel flat. 

Made with 13 slimming and gas relieving ingredients, like matcha green tea, milk thistle, dandelion root, Detox can help naturally relieve gas and bloating, while calming constipation. 

Plus, Detox is laxative-free so you never have to worry about disrupting your digestion process. It is an all-natural and completely safe drink that you can sip on throughout the day. 

Woman holding SkinnyFit Detox tea, which is an excellent remedy for foods that cause gas.

3. Be mindful of your fiber intake


Foods rich in fiber like beans and whole grains are among the foods that cause gas. But on the other hand, not eating enough fiber can cause constipation and bloating. There are two types of fiber—soluble and insoluble. Our bodies need both and a balance of both types is important for proper digestion. Try to eat equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. Below is a breakdown of the differences between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber:

Soluble Fiber

  • Slows down digestion
  • Dissolves in the water in the large intestine and creates a gel that coats the digestive tract
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Improves glycemic index in diabetes patients

Examples of foods high in soluble fiber

  • Oat
  • Rise
  • Bran
  • Barley
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Apple
  • Citrus
  • Strawberries

Insoluble Fiber

  • Does not dissolve in the water 
  • Increases the movement of waste
  • Associated with decreased cardiovascular risk
  • Prevents constipation
  • Helps remove toxic waste from colon

Examples of foods high in insoluble fiber

  • Flax seed
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Carrots

To decrease bloating, slowly up your fiber intake. Avoid suddenly adding a lot of fiber to your diet. Keep in mind that fiber absorbs water, so drink plenty more fluids when you start eating more fiber. [7]

soluble vs insoluble fiber

4. Eat slowly


Sometimes a meal is so delicious we can’t stop, but practice fighting the urge to scarf down those nachos or burritos. When you chew slowly and allow your stomach to have time to digest, you can prevent bloating. When you eat fast, you may swallow air and retain gas in the belly.  Prevent the belly bloat by taking your time with each bite.

You can beat the bloat by taking your time eating. Practice sitting down for each meal, taking mindful bites of each time. This will reduce the pace of digestion and decrease the amount of food you eat. Eating mindfully is all about listening to your body’s cues. When you feel full, honor that and stop eating!

5. Practice mindfulness


Did you know that practicing self-care can improve your digestive system? When you slow down your breath and thoughts, you switch from your sympathetic nervous system to your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps relax the stomach and brings circulation back to the stomach and intestine. Foods that make you gassy usually don’t get digested well in the intestine. Breathing and being mindful can help relieve the discomfort. When we’re stressed, our focus is not on our digestion. Practicing meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help decrease bloating.

A woman practicing mindfulness meditation, which may help some people relieve bloating from foods that cause gas.

The Bottom Line


The biggest takeaway? Know your bloating triggers, especially before going on vacation! Bloating can put a damper on an evening, so knowing foods that cause gas can help you prevent digestive issues from happening in the first place! Now that you know common foods that cause bloating and foods that make you gassy, you can practice ways to alleviate stomach issues. 

Altering your lifestyle a little bit may help resolve or decrease your problems with bloating. While you may identify one or two triggers for your gas and bloating, there may be other triggers that are leading to constipation and stomach bloating. Be sure to drink some Detox tea if you’re looking to ease bloating fast. The unique combination of superfood ingredients helps reduce belly bloat quickly and naturally. As with anything, if you’re having serious GI problems, talk to a doctor to see if FODMAPs could be to blame or if your body has other sensitivities.

 

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