In my opinion, belly bloat is an instant confidence killer and one of the most uncomfortable sensations you can experience. Menstrual cycle aside, certain unassuming foods containing short-chain carbohydrates can lead to bloating and discomfort, according to Kate Scarlata, a registered dietitian and nutritionist.
Fortunately, here's a handy acronym for all of these bloating foods: FODMAPs. This stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, and there's an entire diet built around avoiding them. In short, these foods "pull water inside the small intestine and are fermented by gut bacteria, the combination of which creates this bloating sensation," Scarlata told Well+Good.
Unfortunately, FODMAPs include over 200 different foods, many of which are as innocuous as apples or red peppers. For this reason, health experts do not recommend avoiding all foods containing short-chain carbohydrates, but merely figuring out which ones upset your stomach by process of elimination. Oftentimes, there are just a few triggers per person. While your personal FODMAP diet should be curated with the help of a nutritionist, these seven foods are some of the main bloat culprits:
- Legumes, including lentils, beans, and chickpeas
- Apples, bananas, and pears due to the high fructose
- Different cheeses, including Brie, cheddar, and feta
- Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
- Milk, including hemp, almond, and rice milk
- High-starch foods like potatoes, pasta, and rice
- Wheat and white bread
Before starting the FODMAPs diet, be sure to speak with your doctor or nutritionist. If you're looking for a faster solution to belly bloat, try filling up on soothing foods, like cucumbers, papaya, ginger, fennel seeds, and yogurt with probiotics.
What's your go-to bloating cure? Share your experience with us below!