After eating and drinking, food and liquid take up space in the stomach and intestines causing them to expand. You can start by eating smaller portions, but there are also foods that trigger bloating more and make it difficult to fit into your jeans.
Greens: Broccoli & Cabbage
Greens contain raffinose, an undigested sugar. Raffinose passes from the stomach to the upper intestine undigested. In the lower intestine, bacteria break it down which produces gas and makes you feel bloated. However, that does not mean that greens should be avoided. Eating them regularly provides the body with fibre and nutrients which results in a healthier digestive system, making it less prone to bloating. Thus, you just need to control the quantity. Steam cooking can also reduce these effects as it softens fibre and extracts water from the greens, resulting in less space being taken up in the gastrointestinal area.
Beans including peas, lentils and soybeans are related to gas. They contain high levels of proteins, sugars and fibre that cannot be absorbed by the body. When they reach the large intestine, gut bacteria decompose them, generating gas and causing bloating. A good way to control this procedure is by combining legumes with whole-grain rice and quinoa, which will allow your body to accept them more easily.
If you are lactose intolerant, consuming cheese or milk in can result in bloating and increased gases. Intolerance to lactose occurs because the body lacks the enzymes that break down lactose. Even if you are not lactose intolerant excessive consumption of dairy can create similar effects in some people. Alternative products that can be consumed are lactose-free options such as coconut or almond milk.
Food that contains high sodium results in water retention, leading to bloating. However, avoiding sodium is not as simple as just cutting down or eliminating salt completely from your diet, as in fact our bodies do require a certain amount of salt. However, most processed and packaged foods such as breads, pastries and sandwiches contain very high levels of salt, so without even realising it you can consume high levels of salt. It is recommended to always read the labels on products you buy to help control the levels of salt you consume.
Apples contain fructose and sorbitol; sugars which quite often cannot be tolerated. They also contain fibre. Combining these two results in gas and feeling full. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they should not be consumed, as apples are a source of vitamin C and protein. They are linked to reducing heart disease and respiratory problems. Thus, eating them between meals and in moderation is recommended, to avoid any gastrointestinal related issues.