7 Belly Bloaters to avoid

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7 Belly Bloaters to avoid

Feeling puffy, gassy and bloated? Stay away from these 7 stomach-swelling triggers.

Even if you have lost a lot of weight but you are sporting a bloated stomach, you clothes won’t fit you the way they should.

About one in five people regularly suffer from bloating, says John E. Pandolfino, M.D., chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and not only is a swollen stomach unsightly and uncomfortable, but it can also be a symptom of bigger body issues.

Your belly is a barometer of your overall health, and everything from your diet to your moods can affect your digestion, gas production, and, ultimately, whether or not you feel like you’re about to bust a gut.

You never thought that bloating was such a serious matter, just an inconvenience at the wrong time. Here are seven common culprits, plus simple strategies to beat the bloat:

1.    Wheat

You don’t have to have Celiac disease or gluten insensitivity. Wheat could still be bloating your belly. Wheat has potentially harmful proteins other than gluten, such as gliadin, alutenin, and agglutinin, which can increase inflammation and alter your gut’s delicate balance of bacteria, trigger bloating, gas, and even diarrhea.

Try removing wheat from your diet for about a month and see if your midsection disappear. Remember, though, that wheat isn’t just in breads and pastas. Processed foods like candies, seasonings, and canned soup, are common sources as well, read carefully the nutrition labels.

2.    Sodium

Sodium particles attract water and cause tissues to hydrate, too much can cause water retention. In our modern diet we tend to get too much salt in our diets in average we get more than twice the recommended amount.

Reduce your salt intake but also avoid processed foods as they are usually high in sodium content.

3.    Sugar substitutes

Avoiding sugars is good, but to replace it with sugar-free varieties including ice cream, candy, and gum, they’re difficult to digest and can ferment in your gut, causing bloating, gas, cramps, and diarrhea. Foods high in sorbitol ( a solution is a hyperosmotic laxative) have a laxative effect.

If you are purchasing ‘sugar-free’ or no added sugar ‘foods, check their labels for erythritol, glycerol, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol—basically anything with “-tol” at the end. And while you’re at it, swear off gum, sugarless and sugar-packed alike.

4.    Stress

Stress is a silent killer and really bad for your tummy too, Pandolfino says. First, it makes you more likely to reach for unhealthy foods and gulping them down in record time. Second, it heightens the sensitivity of the GI tract to spur stomachaches. And third, it causes the diaphragm to squeeze down on your abdominal cavity to literally push out your gut.

Cure –When you breathe slowly and deeply, the brain signals the body’s adrenal glands to cut back on their release of stress hormones, calming your nervous system and digestive system alike. Next time you feel stressed out take some time to focus on your breathing.

5.    Dairy

Our bodies need an enzyme called lactase to digest lactose, a type of sugar. Some of us don’t produce much of it, other don’t produce any, without enough of the enzyme, lactose ferments in the intestines, creating a buildup of gas that leads a loosening of the belt.

Solution to this; cut down on dairy without eliminating them all together.  Research suggests that many lactose – intolerant people can process up to 12 grams of lactose without problems. Plus yogurt and fermented dairy products with probiotics regulate the digestive system and many help flatten your belly.

6.    Dehydration

When your body senses you are dehydrated it goes into panic mode, storing water between and within cells resulting in swelling. In addition, it also sucks away water from your digestive system, which relies on water to clear waste and bacteria buildup in the intestine. Without water, that bacteria just keeps making more belly bloating gas.

Drink as much water as you need, some recommend 8 glasses a day, but it depends on your health, weather and exercise habits. As long as your urine is pale or transparent, you are probably fine.

7.    Fiber

Eating the right amount of fiber is good for you, but too much will result in an uncomfortable feeling and smelly gut. A 2012 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that when people who suffered from digestive distress reduced their fiber intake, they also reduced their bloating by 69.7 percent.

Reason being? Unlike your intestines, bacteria in your colon can digest small amounts of fiber, producing gas as a result.

What you need to do: To up your fiber intake without increasing gas, do so slowly over a matter of weeks, and pair it with extra fluids. The liquid will help keep things moving along, preventing another stomach-swelling source: constipation.



Tina is a DailyStar senior writer. She graduated from Edith Cowan University. Writing has always been something she enjoyed. Her positive outlook colours every aspect of her life. Her motto -Life’s too short so get living.

When she’s not busy writing, Tina is exploring the city she adores, running in her local Park every day, drinking an absurd amount of coffee, taking care of an adorable pup, kids and traveling.

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