Whether we admit or not, all of us have been troubled with bloating and gas at least sometime in our life. Gas results as a consequence of swallowing air and breakdown of certain food in your digestive tract. This may lead to burping, feeling bloated, or passing gas. Gas itself is no reason for worry but is usually discomforting or embarrassing. The good part is most of times it is our diet and consumption of certain dietary ingredients that lead to bloating and can be easily avoided to prevent gas formation.
- Beans: Beans are rich in complex sugar called raffinose, which is difficult to digest. As a result, raffinose passes through the small intestines into the large intestines where bacteria break it down, producing lots of different types of gases, mostly foul smelling like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas, which exits through the rectum. It is therefore advised to soak the beans overnight in order to reduce gas.
- Dairy Products: Dairy products are known to be an excellent source of protein and calcium. They are rich in lactose, however, many people do not have the enzyme lactase required for digesting this and suffer from lactose intolerance. It leads to indigestion, bloating and gastric discomfort. For people suffering from lactose intolerance is to use alternatives source of calcium an protein including almond milk, and soy products.
- Apples: Apples are rich in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, and extend many other health benefits. However, apples are rich in fructose and fiber, both of which are FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols, which are nothing but short-chain carbohydrates that escape digestion in the small intestine and are fermented by gut bacteria in the colon, releasing gas as a byproduct. You can partially cook apples to consume them or replace them with other fruits.
- Carbonated Drinks: These drinks are loaded with carbon dioxide, a gas to add that extra fizz and when you consume these drinks, you end up swallowing large amounts of this gas. This gas gets trapped in the digestive system, and may make you uncomfortable.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower all are known as cruciferous vegetables. They are known for providing essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium. However, they are also rich in raffinose and other FODMAPs that lead to gas buildup and bloating.
- Onions: One of the indispensable ingredients of Indian cooking, onion is a vegetable with unique, powerful taste. It is usually preferred in a cooked form and forms the base of many meals and curries. It is rich in fructans, which are soluble fibers that may lead to gas formation.
- Sugar Alcohols: Known to the primary source of sweetness in sugar-free foods and chewing gums, these include sorbitol and mannitol. They also belong to the category of FODMAPs which tend to cause digestive problems, as they escape digestion in the small intestine and reach large intestine where they are fermented by the gut bacteria, releasing gas.
- Barley: It is one of the very popular and highly nutritious cereal grain. It contains fiber and high amounts of vitamins and minerals like molybdenum, manganese and selenium. It is because of its high fiber content and richness in gluten that cause bloating.
- Lentils: Lentils contain high amounts of protein, fiber and healthy carbs, as well as minerals such as iron, copper and manganese. Similar to barley, they are highly rich in fiber and that causes bloating, since they are also rich in FODMAPs
- Processed Foods: are packaged goods and are rich in refined flours, fructose and lactose, which when metabolised and fermented by gut bacteria, may lead to gas formation.
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