To Bloat or Not to Bloat: Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat


Nobody wants an uncomfortable stomach and a swollen belly. Whether it’s water or gas that’s keeping you bloated, here are some foods to avoid and some to eat for a healthier digestive system.

5 Foods to Avoid

Yogurt: Although plain yogurt is on our healthy food radar, some types of yogurt, such as low-fat ones, may cause bloating due to their high level of sugar.

Broccoli and Cauliflower: These vegetables contain a sugar called raffinose, which the body can’t digest until it reaches the large intestine where it is fermented by methane-producing bacteria. Eat these in moderation and preferably cooked to decrease their bloating effect.

Legumes: Lentils, beans, and peas contain sugars and fibers that our bodies can’t break down, which cause gas and bloating. Try to avoid legumes altogether, or soak them in water the night before, which will break some of the starch down and help with digestion.

Salty Foods: Foods that are high in sodium causes your body to retain water thereby bloating you. Most processed and packaged foods are high in sodium so go for fresh foods instead.

Artificial sweeteners: Most gums and soda drinks have artificial sweeteners in them, which cause bloating, gas, and even cramps. Avoid them as much as possible.  

5 Foods that Fight Bloating

Cucumber: Cucumber is mostly water and it contains an antioxidant called quercetin that helps reduce swelling. Add it to your salad, eat it as a snack, or add it to water to flavor it.

Potassium-rich foods: Bananas, pistachios, avocados and oranges are some of the best potassium-rich foods that regulate sodium levels in the body and therefore can reduce bloating caused by salt.

Chamomile tea: Chamomile improves digestion and helps relax gastrointestinal muscles, which in turn helps dissipate the gas that is causing you to bloat and relieve discomfort in the stomach.

Water with Lemon: You might think that drinking water to prevent water retention is not a good idea but in fact it’s the opposite. Your body retains water so that you don’t dehydrate. Drinking warm water with lemon helps your body get rid of excess salt and push fluids out.

Berries: High in fiber and antioxidants, berries help rid your body of toxins.