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Bloating is one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms, but they affect each person differently. For some, bloating only engenders mild discomfort, whereas for others, abdominal distention can be really painful.
Here are the top 10 foods that can cause bloating. Note that these foods don’t have to be completely eliminated from your diet. Most are healthy foods that feed the digestive system’s good bacteria, so test your tolerance before eliminating them!
The process that transforms fresh fruit into dried concentrates the sugars they contain. This higher concentration of sugars can cause bloating and other gastrointestinal issues if they are consumed in large quantities. Choose dried fruit without added sugar, these are sweet enough, no need to add extra!
Dried fruits are also much more caloric than their fresh counterpart. For example, a portion of raisins (1/4 cup) contains 110 calories whereas a portion of grapes (20 fruits, around 3/4 cup) contains only 70.
For people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, this higher concentration of sugars and the presence of fructans in dried fruit can cause symptoms. A low FODMAP* portion of dried fruit equates to 1-2 tablespoons, depending on your tolerance.
The saying goes “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”… except if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome! Apples contain a fair amount of sorbitol and fructose. In people who are sensitive, this creates bloating, gas, etc. If you notice that apples cause you digestive symptoms, opt for citrus fruits instead, which don’t contain any fermentable carbohydrates.
The fiber and carbohydrates contained in legumes, known as GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides), are responsible for the bloating that occurs after consumption. These carbohydrates are harder to digest, which causes discomfort. To remedy this, gradually increase your consumption of legumes, your body will get used to them!
An alpha-galactosidase supplement (such as Beano®) can help you to better digest them. To find out more, check out our article “How to Reduce the Flatulence Caused by Pulses”.
The bubbles contained in soft drinks and even sparkling water cause air to enter into your digestive system, which in turn causes bloating. It’s even worse if you drink with a straw. Indeed, the air within the straw finds itself also directly into your stomach.
It’s a good idea for everyone to reduce their consumption of sugary soft drinks, but it’s even more pertinent if you suffer from bloating.
*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.