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Abdominal bloating and discomfort is a regular, sometimes daily, occurrence for many people. There are many reasons given for stomach bloating, but most often the cause can be traced back to diet.
While some may state (and their doctor may have even diagnosed) that they have a digestive ‘condition’, in most cases these conditions are either caused or made worse by incorrect diet.
What constitutes a proper diet, or otherwise will vary from person to person. This can be due in part to genetics, if your long-term ancestors have a history of existing on particular food types, these are unlikely to cause you or your family a problem.
If you suffer from stomach bloating, especially when you eat certain foods, such as beans or other gas-causing foods, you may find the following dietary and culinary notes helpful.
Eating dairy products can cause stomach gas, therefore, choose your dairy products carefully and avoid pairing them with hard-to-digest foods. Those who are sensitive to lactose will find that cheeses and yogurt may be tolerated by their system, whereas milk is not.
Sensitivity to wheat products is being recognized and diagnosed at a rapidly increasing rate. There a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the wheat we eat today is not the same as our forebears ate. Wheat has been selectively bred for a number of factors, mostly relating to increase in production and ease of processing, at the expense of digestibility.
Secondly, wheat is an ingredient, often the major one, in many of our modern dietary staples. Unless you living on a strict meat and vegetables diet, it can seem almost impossible to avoid wheat in some form or another. This excess consumption has caused allergy-like symptoms in many people.
Two favorites are bread and pasta – for many people it can seem inconceivable that there could even be reasonable substitutes for them. However, if regular bloating is a problem, both wheat and dairy should be your first elimination targets. Many people have found relief without deprivation by switching to gluten-free alternatives of their favorites.
Broccoli – Cook Gently Rather Than Eat Raw
These green little florets are no doubt delicious and very good for you. The problem is broccoli can cause your stomach to bloat. Broccoli is rich in fiber and can be difficult to digest when eaten raw.
To avoid that gassy feeling in your stomach, steam or sauté your broccoli before eating. The same applies to other vegetables that are hard to digest, such as cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens and kale.
Beans – Rinse Soaked Beans Well Before Using
Beans are loaded with proteins, complex carbohydrates, fiber and are low in fat content. Unfortunately, many people have a problem when they eat beans!
So what can you do to prevent a bloating belly and uncomfortable gas build-up in the stomach? Well, people usually soak their beans before cooking, and there is nothing wrong with this process. However, the problem starts when the water being used to soak the beans is used in the cooking.
In order to avoid that uncomfortable feeling caused by gas in the stomach, it is best to tip the water used to soak the beans out, rinse the beans, then use fresh water to cook the beans in. The reason it is best to throw the water you used for soaking away, is because it contains gas-producing enzymes.
Eat these beans with quinoa and other foods that are easy to digest. Avoid pairing your bean recipes with dairy products or spicy foods. This is a surefire way of making your stomach bloat and causing you pain or discomfort as a result.
Pears have more fiber content than apples and also can cause a gassy stomach. If you really like to eat pears but your digestive system is not so cooperative, try making baked pears. The cooking process helps your stomach to digest it more comfortably.
Adjust, or Avoid
Apply these dietary or cooking tips whenever you want to eat any of the above-mentioned foods, or other foods that cause you a problem. Hopefully, you won’t have to deprive yourself of the foods you like and the nutrients they provide.
However, if you continue to have digestive problems or your stomach gas persists, try eliminating the major culprits listed above, or any others that you suspect. A food diary can be the best diagnostic tool. If symptoms continue after that, visit your doctor for a full diagnosis of what is causing your digestive discomfort.