Bloating is something that many of us in the West accept as a part of life. Every now and then, our abdomens expand uncomfortably and then they contract again after a couple of days. It’s all-natural, we tell ourselves.
It turns out, though, that humans weren’t supposed to live this way. Bloating usually occurs in response to an infection when humans live in the wild. But in modern society, it occurs because of our environment. It is what gastroenterologist Albert O. Snow called “acquired inflammatory bowel.”
Food is the biggest culprit here. While other factors play a role, what you eat has the most significant impact on your gut health. And, unfortunately, the vast majority of people have gotten it completely wrong. We think that it’s normal to eat white flour, sugars, processed foods, and lots of meat and eggs. But it’s not. Nobody ate like this in history except kings – and just look how many of them turned out.
In this post, we take a look at some of the foods that cause bloating and what you can do about it. Bloating almost always occurs because the immune system in your gut is reacting to something that it doesn’t like. Either it is responding to compounds in the food itself. Or bacteria are churning out harmful byproducts that are activating it.
Carbonated drinks are a big bloating culprit. The reason is pretty obvious: they contain a lot of carbon dioxide. But they also contain sugars and sweeteners that can produce a lot of gas. When they get down to your colon, bacteria there begin to thrive on them, churning out unwanted byproducts. These then create a sense of bloating and, sometimes, pain.
Wheat is a controversial subject and everyone seems to have a different opinion on it. There is, however, growing evidence that some people are sensitive to compounds in wheat and much more likely to become bloated from eating it. Wheat, for instance, contains certain polysaccharides known to cause bloating in studies.
Avoiding wheat is hard, but today, there are countless alternatives. These include oats, quinoa, and even almond flour.
Onions are another controversial subject. Modern nutrition science confirms that they have many benefits. But they also contain various types of fibre that the body can sometimes find challenging to digest.
If you’re struggling with onions but want to add additional flavor to your dishes, then try adding fresh herbs and spices instead.
Not many people consume rye these days. But if you’re one of the few people who do, it too can cause problems with bloating. That’s because, as a grass crop, it is similar to wheat. It contains gluten and other compounds that may cause bloating in people who are particularly sensitive.
Lastly, some people struggle to digest dairy products. Around 75 percent of the world’s population can’t actually break down lactose into smaller sugars, so bacteria in the colon process it, creating all kinds of unpleasant smells and gas. Replace dairy with plant-based milk sources to solve the problem.