What causes a bloated belly?
Bloating is something we all suffer from. After a rich meal, it can feel like your stomach has doubled in size, and that you’re full of air. This is not very flattering when it comes to your figure, and uncomfortable if it happens on a daily basis.
However, it is important to know that certain foods (even healthy ones) can cause bloating. These foods ferment in the digestive tract and are responsible for this uncomfortable feeling. If you want to keep your stomach flat and have better digestion, here are the foods to avoid.
- White bread
- Industrially prepared food
- Deli meats
- Raw vegetables
- Dairy products
There are several ways to facilitate digestion and limit the ‘fermenting’ effects of these foods.
For legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans, soak them overnight in water before cooking them in fresh water. They will then be more digestible.
For raw vegetables, rinse them and take the time to chew them well. Consumed raw, they will naturally swell in the stomach.
Foods that contain yeast, such as bread, will easily swell in the stomach. Digestion is difficult with this type of food, so it is better to choose wholemeal sourdough bread.
Fruits such as bananas are more digestible when eatenripe.
Dairy products made from cow's milk can be difficult to digest. If you feel that you are sensitive to lactose, opt for plant milk instead.
Finally, overly salty and industrially prepared foods cause water retention: this is the case with deli meats and ready-made meals. These are often too rich, caloric, salty, and sweet: the ideal combination for a long and difficult digestion. Instead, favour home-made products that are as natural as possible.