Feeling bloated?… There are foods that can trigger your gut into “bloat mode”. Some are on all the “bad-food” lists, however, some of these foods are actually healthy and nutrient-dense. Many women can have sensitivities to certain healthy foods when it comes to their gut.
Every gal is unique! What works for one person, may not work for another.
Here are some foods that have been shown to throw many guts into disorder. Your challenge is to determine which foods may be affecting you and decide, for yourself, which should be avoided, minimized, or just eaten in moderation.
Processed food – the big bad wolf.
Processed foods can be quite sneaky. Obviously, the sweet roll in the vending machine is processed food. But is an organic nutrition bar in the vending a processed food too?
How do you know it’s processed? Typically, anything packaged, boxed, wrapped, or frozen, has at least some processing done to it.
However, just because it has been processed, doesn’t mean it’s to be avoided. Reading labels is your best defense against processed foods that contain preservatives, allowing the food item to exist in their package for years.
If there are ingredients that you need a science degree to understand or there is no “best by date”, then the food most likely has preservatives that are not beneficial to your health.
Tip – Read the labels of any bagged, boxed, or frozen food that you eat for the next week. If there is an ingredient that you have a question about, look it up and read about it. You might be surprised about the things that go into food (even food that says natural or healthy on the package).
Fried and fatty foods can also be really hard on your stomach. Many people don’t have an easy time digesting them, leading to gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. If you have medical conditions like gastritis or acid reflux, these high-fat foods can cause a lot more discomfort for you.
Tip – Save your fried foods for the occasional treat, not as a regular occurrence.
If you have ever eaten something that claimed to be “sugar-free” chances are high that it used artificial sweeteners. Even “natural” lemonade in the healthy section of the grocery store, may contain un-natural or artificial sweeteners.
Some alternative sweeteners are more natural, like Stevia and Monk Fruit, and might be very gentle on your stomach. But, it is important to avoid sweeteners like sucralose, sorbitol, maltitol, and aspartame.
Tip – Choose the versions of sweets with real sugar or natural sweeteners, instead of “diet” or “sugar-free”.
Wait…I thought cruciferous vegetables were good for me?….
You might be wondering why cruciferous vegetables are on the “naughty list” in terms of bloating and digestion…
Even though these vegetables are a genre of food that is nutrient-dense and usually good for you, they may not always kind to your gut.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it… these veggies may give you gas, make you bloated, and cause abdominal pain, especially if consumed raw. However, this is the puzzle that you need to figure out for your own body. Do what works for you.
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress, and radishes.
These veggies contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which can produce gas and make you bloat.
The other day a friend of mine was telling me she didn’t understand why after she ate raw veggies – “a healthy food” – she became super bloated and felt yucky. If a cruciferous veggie was in the mix, then it was most likely the culprit.
If you have a lot of gas and bloating, monitor to see if there is a relationship between eating these types of vegetables and bloating. If you see a connection, try eating cruciferous vegetables in moderation.
Every gal is unique, so do what is right for you and your digestion. If a certain food makes you bloated, avoid it. There are a lot of foods out there that can take the place of the food that are causing you digestion issues.
Just because you may have been raised with an adult telling you to “Eat your broccoli!” doesn’t mean you have to now. Carve your own path, mama.
Lastly, let’s chat about spicy foods.
Again, spicy foods aren’t necessarily bad for you, but if you have gut issues and cannot figure out the cause, notice how you feel after eating something spicy (especially at night).
Capsaicin is an ingredient in hot chili peppers which has its pros and cons.
Studies have found that capsaicin can increase your metabolism, which increases the rate at which you burn fat stores. It has also been shown to promote heart health.
However, it is also linked with digestive issues. Ingesting too much capsaicin can lead to irritation of the mouth, stomach, and intestines.
Tip – Try lowering the spice in your food slowly, gradually moving from hot to medium, then mild.
Not only does following this list of good and bad foods for your gut help your digestive health, but it can help you have a more balanced diet.
Ready for some short-cuts to help you beat the bloat?…
Get my Free BEAT THE BLOAT Cheat Sheet HERE
This free (and highly detailed) cheat sheet will give you 6 smart strategies to help you beat the bloat, reduce gas, lose weight, and regain energy fast!