Summer is heating up, and that means people are spending more time soaking up the sun at the beach or pool. However, the last thing most people want to experience in the heat of summer is uncomfortable bloating.
The Hidden Cause Of Bloating
While many people believe that bloating is caused simply when you eat something that “disagrees” with your stomach, or maybe when you eat something heavy and greasy, there is actually a more scientific explanation for some types of bloating. There are certain sugars that our bodies cannot digest, and these are referred to as FODMAPs, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These indigestible sugars travel through your gastrointestinal track until they reach your colon, where natural bacteria in your colon begin to ferment them. The fermentation that occurs is actually what causes gas and bloating.
Five Bloat-Inducing Foods
- Apples: While an apple seems like a healthy snack – and it is – it is also high in fructose, which is a sugar that falls under FODMAPs. They are also high in fiber, which the body already has a hard time digesting. If you’re looking for a fruity alternative, try grabbing a banana or a couple slices of cantaloupe.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables like brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage all are extremely high in fiber, and can cause bloating and gas, especially when consumed raw. They also contain the indigestible FODMAPs sugar raffinose, which builds up fermented gas in the colon. Steaming or roasting these veggies can help break down the fiber and make them easier to digest in general, but won’t get rid of the raffinose. Instead, try opting for non-cruciferous vegetables like romaine lettuce or sauerkraut – which is essentially pre-digested cabbage.
- Dairy: Dairy products are high in lactose, a milk-sugar on the FODMAPs scale. To properly digest dairy products, we need the digestive enzyme, lactase. While all mammals drink their mother’s’ milk in infancy, humans are the only animals to continue to do this into adulthood, even when our bodies are not engineered to do so. A study found that nearly 60% of people, mostly those of Asian and African descent, stop producing lactase around the time they reach puberty. However, people of northern European descent had lactose intolerances at a much lower rate. Opting for nut-milks and coconut milk is a good alternative to dairy milk.
- Grains: Most grains, but especially wheat and rye, are on high in FODMAPs and fiber, which can cause serious digestive problems, especially for those with gluten intolerance. If you’re looking for a tummy-friendly replacement to pasta and rice, try opting for quinoa, a seed closely related to the spinach family with a fluffy, rice-like texture.
- Onions: Onions contain fructans, an oligosaccharide carbohydrate. Even in small amounts, this can cause not only bloating and gas, but also indigestion and acid reflux. It is believed that cooking onions may help to slightly reduce these symptoms. Unfortunately, similarly flavored scallions and shallots also aren’t good on the digestive system. When in doubt, probably eliminate the onions.
WiseLifeNaturals Can Help Supplement A Low FODMAPs Diet
If you’re temporarily cutting out some of the above bloat-inducing foods until the heat of summer starts to fade, WiseLifeNaturals can help provide natural health remedies for bloating, as well as provide natural supplements to augment your diet. Our organic turmeric supplements can help aid in digestion, and our best-selling Pure Moringa Oleifera Extract contains high amounts of vitamins C and A, as well as calcium, protein, and potassium to help supplement a low FODMAPs diet. Choose WiseLifeNaturals today for all of your natural supplement needs!