The Healthy Foods You Didn't Know Cause Bloating

Being healthy and looking skinny don't necessarily go together.
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1. Yogurt

Some types of yogurt can make you bloat, while others don’t. A dairy product, yogurt contains the sugar lactose; but different varieties have different levels of lactose. If your body happens to have difficulty digesting the milk sugar and you happen to eat yogurt high in it, you’ll most likely experience some intestinal distress and bloating.

Apart from lactose, store-bought yogurt often contains sweeteners like fructose, especially the ones that have fruit bits mixed in them. These sweeteners—even fructose, the natural sugar found in fruits—can cause bloating. Many people actually have difficulty digesting fructose.

So when you’re planning to buy yourself some yogurt, make sure to check the label to know the lactose and fructose content. Instead of picking yogurt with high-fructose fruits like mangoes, go for yogurt with berries, or just the plain one you can top with banana slices on your own.

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2. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage

These vegetables have the carbohydrate raffinose, which our bodies only digest when our gut bacteria ferment it. When the fermentation happens, gas is produced and it builds up in the colon, causing bloating.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid eating these greens for good! (You can skip them though if you need to look really trim for an occasion.) They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, and consistently eating them leads to a healthier digestive system.

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To reduce chances of bloating, check your portions.

3. Beans, lentils, and peas

These legumes are healthy for containing protein and fiber, an indigestible carbohydrate that aids in digestion and defecation. However, like in the case of #2, fiber needs to be broken down by our gut bacteria. The process releases gas and can make you bloated.

Precisely because of their protein and fiber content, these legumes are hard to pass if you’re health conscious. If you don’t want to feel gassy and bloated, you can soak them overnight. That can break down some of the starch so less of it will go to your colon. Also, don’t overeat!

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4. Apples, cherries, mangoes, and pineapples

Apples are high in fiber, and they have the sugars fructose and sorbitol. Since fiber can be difficult for the body to process and some people can’t tolerate sugar, eating an apple is bound to make you feel gassy and heavy. You do not want to feel this when you need to be active.

Since apples are a healthy snack—one apple has 4.5 grams of protein and is rich in vitamin C—you don’t have to do away with them entirely. Just eat them in moderation: Have only half an apple or a few thin slices in one sitting, and chew the apple well. That way, you lessen the amount of sugar you consume and you help your body easily break the food down.

Cherries, grapes, mangoes, and pineapples also have a lot of bloat-causing sugar, so eat only small portions of them.

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5. Raisins and prunes

These dried fruits aid in bowel movement, so you wouldn’t think they cause bloating. But those who aren’t used to consuming a lot of fiber will feel bloated after quickly snacking up on a lot of raisins. A cup of raisins has about 30 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for fiber. That’s a lot!

To alleviate bloat, don’t gobble up raisins. Drink a lot of water when you eat them too. Water, which the fiber absorbs, will help fiber move through your digestive system.

6. Whole grains

Whole grains are good for you because they’re packed with nutrients like protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. A diet rich in them reduces the risk of heart disease and obesity, and it improves bowel movement. But if you don’t eat a lot of whole grains, consuming them all of a sudden can make you bloated. That happens when you increase your consumption of fiber; your body isn’t used to breaking it down yet and will need time to adjust.

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Drink a lot of water to help your body flush out the fiber. You’re also better off slowly increasing your fiber intake and chewing your whole grains more thoroughly.

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