It is summer which means laying by the pool, relaxing, hanging with friends and well, bearing it all. Including your tummy! We all know that ice cream and cupcakes can cause our bellies to expand but surprisingly some of the foods that are nutritionally great for you can cause you to bloat significantly. Check out this list of foods and reasons as to why you should avoid them before jumping into your swimsuit this summer!
Watermelon: Naturally, watermelon has a high content of water, surprising isn’t it?! And in addition to its extreme water content, the sweet fruit contains high levels of fructose or fruit sugar, a substance not easily absorbed by the body. In combination with each other, taking in large amounts of water and sugar can cause you to bloat and retain water.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Veggies such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower contain raffinose, a carbohydrate that our bodies do not have the enzyme to properly break down. This difficulty with digestion can result in a bloated appearance due to how rough the food is on your stomach. To help your body digest these veggies more easily, try roasting or steaming them first!
Onions: Onions are a gas-producing vegetable and a large source of the carbohydrate, fructan. Like cruciferous vegetables, it is a struggle for the body to break down onion. Cooking the vegetable can reduce bloating, gas, indigestion and other digestive discomforts but consider substituting with herbs and spices when possible.
Spinach: I know what you’re thinking, how can a “super food” make you bloat?! But, it is the high-fiber content of the raw veggie that makes it a culprit! As with the other veggies, sautéing or cooking it down can reduce digestion issues. In addition, a great way to get the nutrients from spinach is to blend it into a smoothie, breaking it down partially before eating helps the process along.
Apples & Pears: Apples and pears are packed with soluble fiber, making them difficult to break down. Consider cutting your serving in half and begin training your body to tolerate these filling fruits in smaller amounts before attempting to conquer a full serving. This will reduce feeling bloated as well.
It’s shocking that foods with enormous amounts of nutritional value can cause bloating and stomach discomfort but there are easy substitutions and modifications that can be made to help cut down on bloating!