Your stomach sticks out…way out. Your pants are too tight. People even ask you when you’re expecting. You eat right and watch your weight, and yet you still look fat. You weigh the same, so what gives?
If your stomach is swollen but feels firm it might not be fat — it could be gas and fluid that are trapped in your stomach and guts. It doesn’t feel good but you can’t get it out, no matter how long you sit on the toilet. Wouldn’t it be great to deflate?
A slice of pizza won’t hurt, will it? Unfortunately, it will — pizza is packed full of fat and salt, the two things that have been proven to bloat your belly. Just look at this: Pizza Hut’s Meat Lovers has 17 grams of fat and 750 milligrams of sodium. That’s a third of your recommended intake for the day!
Salty food makes you hold on to water, and fat slows down your digestion so that the food you eat doesn’t pass through your stomach at the normal rate.
29. Soup in a Can
Soup is so nutritious and filling, but only if you make it yourself. Buy the canned stuff, and all you’re getting is a load of sodium—anywhere from 750 to 1,100 milligrams of sodium!
All that sodium sits in your bloodstream, where it forces your body to retain water.
28. Apples and Pears
Apples and pears are great sources of fiber to help you stay regular, but that’s why they also contribute to belly bloat. Because they have so much, it can be disastrous if you have a more sensitive constitution and can’t process all that fiber as well.
Don’t cut out these fruits, though, just reduce the amount you eat at one time so your body can handle it better.
When you drink a lot of alcohol, your stomach slows down the rate at which it empties. That means whatever you eat or drink will stay in your stomach for a longer time, making you bloated.
It also makes you retain water, which leads to that puffy feeling.
This staple is a carb that is notoriously difficult to digest, because it contains a kind of carbohydrate that is very hard for your body to break down.
That leads to the fermentation of gastrointestinal bacteria, leaving you with an embarrassingly bloated belly full of gas.
25. Broccoli and Other Cruciferous Veggies
Broccoli, kale, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are important sources of vitamin C and fiber, but unfortunately, they’re also sources of gas and bloating. Blame it on their raffinose and fructan content.
Raffinose is a complex sugar that can’t be broken down by our bodies. Once it reaches the lower intestine, it just sits there getting fermented by bacteria. This process produces methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, the formula for gas. Yuck!
Love those fizzy, carbonated drinks that are considered healthier alternatives to plain ol’ soda? Full of bubbles, they quench your thirst.
But beware — one you drink all those bubbles, where do you they they’ll go? They just get trapped in your stomach, causing you to blow up like a balloon.
23. Diet Soda
Like seltzers and spritzes, diet sodas also have all those bloating bubbles, with one added evil: artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners are known to wreak havoc on sensitive constitutions.
22. Raw Spinach
Spinach is a great filler for sandwiches and salads, but their high soluble-fiber content is what also makes it a source of bloating.
On top of that, this leafy green’s oligosaccharides also gas build up. Try blending it into your smoothies or cooking it instead, since it’ll be easier to digest that way.
White, yellow or red, onions don’t just make your breath stink — they also make your belly bulge.
Blame it on their high fructan content, a type of complex sugar that can’t be broken down by the small intestine.
20. Protein Bars
Did you know that most protein bars have beans in them? They may not have beans listed on the ingredients, but you will see protein isolate, which is derived from soybeans.
This can be just as gas-inducing! Once again, oligosaccharides are to blame.
19. Dried Fruit
Who knew dried fruit could be causing you that bloat? If your body has difficulty absorbing the natural sugars present in dried fruit, then you have a condition known as fructose malabsorption.
So where does all that sugar go? Into your intestines, where it ferments and causes gas.
18. Button Mushrooms
Button mushrooms are delicious, but watch out for their polyols! Polyols are sugar alcohols that can’t be digested by the small intestine because they’re just too large to digest.
That means bloating, and on top of that, you better make sure you’re close to a washroom when you eat these: they also have a strong laxative effect.
17. Beans and Lentils
This one, we’re sure, comes as no surprise. Once again, the bloat-inducing oligosaccharides are to blame.
Oligosaccharides are a class of indigestible sugars that ferment in your stomach, leading to gas that can come out from both ends.
16. Dairy Products
Anyone who has lactose sensitivities will be all too familiar with what happens when they eat or drink milk products.
Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products that doesn’t get properly absorbed in the small intestine. This travels to the large intestine, and that’s where it gets fermented by gut bacteria. Hello gas and bloating!
15. Milk Alternatives
You can’t drink or eat milk products because of your lactose intolerance, so you opt for alternatives: soy and almond milk products. But you still get bloating and gas. Why?
Many of these products have a thickening agent known as carrageenan, a substance derived from seaweed. Carrageenan has been linked to several health conditions, including gastrointestinal problems.
14. Bad Habits
Food isn’t the only thing that can bloat you. Poor lifestyle habits, particularly smoking and being super lazy, can lead to a belly bulge that isn’t fat-related.
Time to quit and get off the couch…
13. Not Drinking Enough Water
We know you definitely don’t want to drink more water when you’re feeling bloated, but that’s exactly what you should be doing. When you’re dehydrated, your body will fight to hold to any water as a survival measure, and that’s why you get bloated.
Drink enough water throughout the day, and you’ll tell your body it doesn’t need to hold on to every drop. Plus, it’ll help speed up digestion so food won’t sit in your stomach as long.
11. Eating Too Fast
When you gobble food down, you’re not just swallowing your food, you’re also swallowing more air. All that air has nowhere to go, except sit in your stomach and wait to get out.
Aim to take about 30 minutes to eat your meal, and chew well.
10. Using a Straw
When you’re drinking on the go, a straw makes it so much easier.
Unfortunately, along with your morning protein shake, you’re also guzzling air. The result: a distended belly and gas.
9. Eating Too Much Fiber Too Fast
You thought you were doing your body good by loading up on the fiber, but instead all you got was serious belly bloat.
We applaud you for your efforts, but you need to slow it down a bit. Your body has to get used to eating more fiber, since it can be harder to digest. To help you out, drink a large glass of water whenever you eat a high-fiber meal. The water will help push that fiber through your digestive tract, so you won’t get the bloat.
We all know that smoking can be seriously bad for your heart and lungs, but did you know that this habit can also slow your digestive tract and cause issues like GERD and liver disease.
Both of which cause bloating?
Overeating is one of the most common causes of bloating. That’s because your stomach needs time to break down all that food you’ve eaten so it can move through you.
It does this by secreting enzymes and acids, but the more you have in your stomach, the longer it takes to do this. All the while, that food is just sitting in there, pushing out your belly.
Very few people talk about this because they may not think that it’s as important, but you should know this, too: diabetes causes bloating.
But don’t blame it on the actual disease — it’s the medication, like acarbose. These meds are coated with synthetic sugars, and that’s what causes bloating and digestive distress.
5. Chronic Stress
Stress is so bad for you. You already know that. But it doesn’t just cause tense shoulders and headaches — it also causes bloating.
When you’re stressed out, hormones are released that aggravate your digestive tract, leading to bloating and gas.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a serious disorder that affects your large intestine. Symptoms include bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
You might have felt these symptoms, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have IBS. But if you were affected by them for at least 12 weeks in the past 12 months, you might have it.
3. Sleep Apnea
Feeling bloated first thing in the morning, even before you’ve even eaten or drunk anything? It might be due to sleep apnea.
If you have sleep apnea or are snoring throughout the night, then consider checking it out with your doctor. Nobody needs to feel bloated as soon as they wake up!
2. Losing Teeth
Do you have missing teeth? Are your dentures not properly fitted?
Any gaps in your teeth can cause you to swallow excess air whenever you eat and drink…and we all know what that does!
Women around the world are already all too familiar with this one. After all, bloating is one of the most common symptom of PMS.
It’s all because of your fluctuating hormone levels. As estrogen levels increase and progesterone levels decrease, your body holds on to more water, and that’s why you end up with the belly bloat.
Disclaimer: Everythinghealthrelated.com does not advise on personal health and wellness. Nor does Everythinghealthrelated.com treat, cure or advise on any medical conditions or diseases. All posts are purely for informational purposes and/or entertainment. Always consult with your doctor when it comes to your personal health.