Foods That Make You Gassy and Bloated
Why is My Stomach Always Gassy and Bloated?
A gassy and bloated tummy is normally caused by:
- Swallowed air or
- Foods you ate or drink.
You may experience gas only sometimes, or it may be frequent. But when it comes to the point where gas pains are preventing you from performing your daily activities, it may need your close attention. Find out what foods cause a gassy stomach and ways to reduce or prevent gas and bloating.
What is Bloating?
When you don't belch or fart often, the gas can build up in the intestines and stomach and cause bloating—the swelling in the abdominal area caused by this gas build-up. Bloating is typically followed by pain in the abdominal area, which can either be light and dull or fast and intense. Releasing air (burping or farting) or having a bowel movement may help to reduce the discomfort.
Bloating is often associated with:
- Consuming high-fat foods. Fat interrupts and slows down the stomach-emptying process and can add to the feeling of heaviness.
- Stress or anxiety.
- A gastrointestinal disease, obstruction, or illness.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon), a disease caused by abdominal pain or cramps and changes in intestinal function.
- Conditions such as Coeliac disease (which has the side effect of lactose intolerance) wherein the digestive tract isn't able to break down food and absorb some food components.
Foods You Should Avoid to Prevent Bloating and Wind
To greatly reduce bloating, try to avoid or reduce consuming gas-producing foods. The following can often produce gas:
- Baked beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Carbonated drinks
- Lima beans
- Chewing gum
- Fruits such as apples, peaches, and pears
- Hard candy
Foods with Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main gas makers due to the fact that they’re composed of polysaccharides (a type of sugar that is difficult to digest).
The carbohydrates contained in some fruits and vegetables can produce intestinal gas and bloating. This includes:
- Cabbage and sauerkraut
- Green peppers
- Legumes (Anasazi beans, black-eyed peas, bogbeans, black turtle beans, broad beans, field beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, mung beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, baked beans, bean salads, chickpeas, chili, great northern, lentils, lentil soup, lima beans, peanuts, peanut butter, peas, pink beans, pinto beans, dried peas, small white beans, split-pea soup, soybeans, soy milk, bean curd, and other soybean products)
- Sweet peppers
Bread, grains, cereals, and nuts
Wheat and wheat-products can cause some people to have gas build-up. Try to minimize your consumption of these wheat items:
- Breakfast cereals
- Whole grain breads
- Whole wheat flour
Other Gas-Producing Vegetables
Other gas-producing vegetables include:
Acidic Foods Should Be Avoided to Prevent Gas and Bloating
You should definitely to avoid acidic foods, such as:
- Tomatoes and tomato products (spaghetti sauce, ketchup, salsa, etc.)
- White/red vinegar
- Citrus fruits such as apples, cherries, grapes, pomelos, orange, lemon, lime, and pineapple
Spicy Foods Can Cause Acid Reflux and Bloating
Limit your consumption of hot/spicy foods and hot spices. Spices may very well be the spice of life, delivering a flavorful boost to our favorite dishes. They also provide important minerals and vitamins. However, unfortunately, hot and spicy foods can also act as a catalyst for the secretion of more digestive acid, increasing indications of acid reflux and bloating.
Some Dairy Products May Cause Gas
Dairy products can cause gas for many, as well, especially those who are lactose intolerant.
Typically though, aged cheeses, as well as yogurt products don't yield a stomach upset.
Just in case you are lactose intolerant, avoid all dairy foods from your diet for a 10-15 day period. Keep track of your body’s reaction to observe whether or not there is a gas reduction in the stomach. If there is, reduce or stop your dairy intake, or use lactase natural supplements before eating to help your digestive process break down dairy components.
High-Fat Foods May Produce Gas
Here are some foods high in fat that have potential to produce gas after finishing a serving.
- Fried food—pan or deep-fried
- Fatty meats
- Foods with gravy
- Creamy soups
- Rich sauces
- Rich desserts
Other Food Items That Make You Gassy and Bloated
- Sugar-free candies. The artificial sweeteners in sugar-free candies, including sugar-free chocolate, can cause digestive problems. Often labeled as sugar alcohols in the ingredients list, they’re used in a variety of food products and drinks from sugarless gums and hard candy to sports beverages.
- Sugar-free products in general. Avoid products that claim to be “sugar-free" or contain "less sugar,” as there’s a good chance that sugar alcohols are used to substitute the sugar. Other examples of sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners that you may see in the ingredients list are cornstarch, erythritol, glycerol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol.
- Soft drinks. Soft drinks contain carbon dioxide bubbles, which can cause gassy and bloated tummies.
- Some alcohol. Beer, red wine, and other types of wine made from natural ingredients such as jungle juice and tuba can cause excessive gas in the stomach.
Gas Levels May Vary Depending on Individual
We all emit gas but still, situations may vary by individual. Other people have more gassy problems eating certain foods and drinks compare to others. According to studies, the average person emits intestinal gas 14-16 times a day and produces about 1 to 4 pints of digestive gas. That could be definitely more than you expect.
Most people who consider themselves extremely gassy usually have only fairly normal amounts. But, it could be that it's pretty much more uncomfortable both physically and emotionally to quite a few people than it is to others. Exactly what causes intestinal-gas? The two main causes are 1. From the air that you swallow 2. As a secondary result of food digestion.
Air Swallowing (Aerophagia)
Typically, burping is the result of air that you swallow. Many of us don't swallow air intentionally. You may not be aware that you are swallowing air by doing/consuming some stuff. These habits can likely increase gas and bloating:
- If you are smoking
- Chewing gum
- Drinking using a straw
- Sucking on solid candies
- Drinking a lot of soda or other carbonated drinks
- Consuming food or drinking very quickly
- Wearing sloppy dentures
Additionally, any specific health problem that may cause you to swallow air regularly can inflate your stomach. For example, allergic reactions or sinus problems that cause upper airway cough syndrome will make you swallow more air often. These health conditions could build up swelling in the abdominal area.
Those suffering from serious heartburn are likewise vulnerable to swallow air. The common thing most people do to clear the esophagus of stomach acid is to swallow air. By swallowing more air eventually, you'll get an inflated stomach that causes cramps and rumbling sounds.
Keep Track of the Foods You Eat
Keep a food journal, write down the foods you have eaten, and record your body's initial reaction(s). If you observe an increase in intestinal gas and bloating after eating certain food items, reduce or stop consuming them. If you’re getting gas problems and having a hard time finding the foods that cause bloating, try to list all the foods that are tummy-friendly, and then add different food every two days to try to identify the foods that cause gas.
Understand that other people can digest food easily compare to others. Some peoples’ systems are unable to digest certain foods while some can eat them without having complications.
Remember: Many foods high in carbohydrates produce gas and bloating (as opposed to those containing more fats and proteins, which generate a small amount of gas). Starch-containing foods like rice, maize, noodles, pasta, potatoes, pulses, and wheat, usually produce gas.
Hope this article helped! Remember, gas is nothing to be ashamed of—every human experiences and has it. By being smart about your diet and more informed, you can easily control it. Good luck!
Home Remedy to Reduce Intestinal Gas
Harvard Health Publishing. (2007, October). Preventing gas and flatulence. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/gas-flatulence
Harvard Health Publishing. (2013, September). Relief from intestinal gas. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/relief-from-intestinal-gas
Center for Integrated HealthCare. (2013, July). Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.mirecc.va.gov/cih-visn2/Documents/Provider_Education_Handouts/Irritable_Bowel_Syndrome_Information_Sheet_for_BHPs_Version_3.pdf
Better Health Channel. (2013, April). Milk. Retrieved from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/milk
Greger, M. (2011, December 5). Beans & Gas: Clearing the Air. Retrieved from https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/12/05/beans-and-gas-clearing-the-air/
National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2011 Nov). Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Bloating. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264926/
LiveScience. (2010, August 16). Can Chewing Gum Give You Gas?. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/6880-chewing-gum-give-gas.html
W. Steven Pray,. (2009, December 17). Strategies for the Relief of Bloating and Gas. Retrieved from https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/strategies-for-the-relief-of-bloating-and-gas
University of Michigan Health System. (2007, March 23). Helpful hints for controlling gas (flatus). Retrieved from https://www.med.umich.edu/fbd/docs/Gas%20reduction%20diet.pdf