Feeling discomfort after a meal is not rare among people of all ages. Bloating is one of the most unpleasant feelings you may experience. However, there is a good chance to reduce it by choosing the right foods and avoiding those, which only add to the problem.

Bloating. What is it?
The sensations of fullness and tightness in the abdomen are commonly associated with bloating. In some cases, it may cause stomach cramps or severe migratory pain appearing in different areas of the abdomen. Quite often it may be confused with a heart attack or appendicitis.

Bloating may take place if you’ve swallowed some air during the meal or as a result of digestive problems. It may also be the sign of functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract or some other disease (e.g. lactose intolerance). Eating certain foods may also result in bloating.

What foods to avoid?
Digestion of some food products is accompanied by the excessive production of gas in the intestines, which causes bloating. It is connected with the presence of a special type of carbohydrates called FODMAPs in certain foods. They are not digested in the stomach but are fermented in the colon. The gas appearing during this process is the most frequent reason for feeling tightness or even acute pain in the abdomen.

Other causes of bloating are:

  • Celiac disease (intolerance to gluten);
  • High quantities of fiber;
  • Lactose intolerance;
  • Some other underlying health conditions.

Here are some foods that can make you bloated for you to know:

Garlic and onion
Both are smelly but extremely useful products. They contain FODMAPs and may become the reason of excessive gas production. However, a harmful influence on the gastrointestinal tract may be diminished if you cook them.

Beans and lentils should be present on the daily menu of any person because legumes contain complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, especially copper, iron, and manganese. Their importance for the human body is immense. These foods are also crucial for supporting healthy levels of proteins in vegetarians and vegans.

However, legumes are the source of FODMAPs, which makes them a frequent cause of bloating. Soaking may help to reduce the amounts of harmful ingredients in beans and lentils and prevent stomach discomfort.

Chewing gum
The presence of sugar alcohols in chewing gums makes them a risky product able to cause bloating and upset stomach. The more chewing gum you chew during the day, the higher is the probability of experiencing negative effects.

Dairy products
Intolerance to lactose, which is suffered by almost 75% of the world’s population may be the reason for numerous stomach problems including bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. It happens because the lactose (milk sugar) cannot be digested by the human organism.

Grain products
Being the source of gluten, wheat, rye, and barley may cause bloating, especially in individuals with gluten intolerance. In addition, grain products are extremely rich in fiber, which may also become a problem for people who are not used to digesting it in high amounts. Both factors contributing to the situation may result in digestive issues.

When to see a doctor?
Even though bloating is common in almost 30% of people, it is not always caused by the foods. In rare cases, this symptom may signal some underlying health issues like colon, ovarian or uterine cancer. That’s why you should obligatorily see a doctor if you’ve noticed:

  • Significant weight loss without obvious reasons;
  • Blood in stool;
  • High body temperature;
  • Severe pain in the abdomen;
  • Vaginal bleeding.

Don’t delay the treatment. A timely therapy of any digestive disorder or even cancer gives good chances for a long and healthy life. Listen to your body and never ignore the signals it sends to you.