Ugh – bloating. Such an uncomfortable feeling! If it’s common for your stomach to excessively expand, particularly after eating, then it might be beneficial to take a closer look at your diet. Assuming you’re not suffering from a medical condition such as heart or liver disease or IBD, then the likely cause of your abdominal bloating is a build up of intestinal gas.

Even if you’re a healthy eater, you may still continue to suffer from frequent stomach discomfort. In order to assist you in finding the cause of your bloating, I’ve compiled a list of common foods that could be the cause of your belly bloat. Please keep in mind that everyone’s digestive system is unique, and you probably won’t react to all of these foods. You may need to employ a little trial and error in order to find out what causes your bloating. It’s also possible that you may be able to tolerate these foods but in only in limited quantities. Keeping a food diary and observing your symptoms can really help you in determining which foods are causing you to bloat.

  1. Onions – In can be difficult for the body to digest onions, particularly when they’re eaten raw. Raw onions can produce gas in your digestive tract, which can cause bloating. To combat this, try consuming cooked onions instead.
  2. Lentils – Lentils contain high levels of fiber, indigestible sugars and phytic acid, which can lead to bloating. Soaking lentils overnight in cold water can reduce the phytate level, which will help to reduce the chances of bloating. Make sure to rinse lentils thoroughly after soaking them.
  3. Dried fruit – Due to the high fructose level in dried fruit, they can ferment in the stomach, causing bloating  and gas. Try fresh fruit as an alternative.
  4. Nut Milks – Many almond milks contain carrageenan. Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and has been linked to gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers. Your best bet is to make your own nut milks at home.
  5. Chewing gum – Chewing gum contains sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol notorious for causing stomach issues. Look for sorbitol free chewing gum instead.
  6. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale – These healthy veggies are high in fructans, which are poorly digested in the gut and can ferment in the stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach you may experience stomach pain, bloating, heartburn and nausea. Avoid consuming these raw. Eat them steamed or fermented instead.
  7. Canned soup – Due to their high sodium content, canned soup can lead to water retention and bloating. Opt for making your own soup instead.