Prevent Bloating with These Plant-Based Foods
Bloating is one of the most common symptoms related to the digestive system with many potential culprits. There are several ways to prevent bloating. But there are some strategies we can consider reducing excess bloating and distension when enjoying plant-based foods.
Try eating these plant-based foods to prevent from bloating:
1. Gradually Introduce Fiber
Fiber is great for our gut health and can ease bloating, especially if you’re constipated. However, introducing fiber too quickly might worsen the symptoms. Start by adding fiber-rich foods one at a time and increase your intake slowly. Some options to try are ground flaxseeds in your oatmeal or snacks like veggies with hummus or fruits. Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, millet, or buckwheat are also excellent choices.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough fluids is essential for good digestion. It’s especially important when you consume fibre-rich foods to avoid dehydration and discomfort. Aim for 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid daily, and pay attention to signs of dehydration like feeling thirsty or having darker-coloured urine.
3. Go Easy on Gas-Promoting Foods
Foods like legumes (beans and lentils) and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) are packed with nutrients but can also cause gas. You don’t need to cut them out entirely but ease into them slowly. Here are some strategies:
Legumes: Start with small portions and gradually increase intake to give your body time to adjust. Try gentler legumes like lentils first, and make sure to stay hydrated. Rinsing canned legumes or soaking dried legumes can also help reduce gas.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and red or green cabbage contain oligosaccharides. Like legumes and other fibre-rich foods, we can aim to enjoy cruciferous vegetables in smaller portions first and gradually increase our intake over time as tolerated. Cooking them through steaming, roasting, boiling, or baking can make them easier to digest.
4. Watch Out for FODMAPs
Apart from oligosaccharides, another group of troublemakers is known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols). These can cause discomfort, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Foods like onions and garlic are higher in FODMAPs and might cause issues in some.
A helpful tool for managing IBS is the low FODMAP approach. It involves temporarily cutting back on foods high in FODMAPs and then reintroducing them slowly to figure out which ones are better tolerated. It’s important to note that the low FODMAP approach is not a permanent restrictive diet and should be done with guidance from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a dietitian.
Aside from the foods we eat, there are other tips to consider in promoting comfort.