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image – EatLocalGrown.com
Here’s an interesting report, courtesy of our friends over at Eat Local Grown about a very common problem that is not always reported: Bloating. Bloating is when your belly feels swollen or enlarged after eating. It is usually caused by gas or other digestive issues.
Bloating is very common. About 16–30% of people say they experience it regularly. Although bloating may be a symptom of a serious medical condition, it is usually caused by something in the diet. For example did you know that around 75% of the world’s population cannot properly digest lactose, the sugar found in milk? This condition is known as lactose intolerance. If you’re lactose intolerant, dairy can cause major digestive symptoms, including bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea.
ELG has provided a list of 13 foods that can cause bloating, along with suggestions on what to eat instead. What’s interesting is that quite a few of these are considered to be healthy foods.
One of the important “takeaways” on this topic is that different foods can cause different symptoms in different people. Many people are afflicted with what I would call “unpredictable belly issues” – where sometimes they feel just fine and sometimes they don’t. With so many ingredients in our food supply, it can be difficult to find out which ones you are having trouble with.
Another interesting point is that the balance of bacteria in the stomach affects how foods affect us. Some foods, when being digested, release sugars that are food for stomach bacteria. If you have a good balance of bacteria, these will not cause problems – however less beneficial bacteria can be more likely to react with food and cause gas, bloating etc. If you have taken antibiotics (who hasn’t?) you may wish to consider probiotics to restore the balance to your belly.
If your belly is playing havoc, a great tip is to start a “food diary”. It’s a bit of work, but worthwhile. Simple record everything that you eat and drink, including the amount – and how you feel. You may need to do this for a few weeks in order to really track what is going on with you – and you may need to copy / cut out / photograph lists of ingredients.
Ok, here’s the link to the full list:
Note – if you have significant or persistent symptoms, pls seek a doctor’s advice to rule out any potentially serious medical condition.
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