Belly Enemies: Belly Fat and Belly Bloat
Belly bloat – that distended stomach look that not only makes your belly look bigger than it actually is, but gives you that uncomfortable “full” feeling. For people with celiac disease, or a gluten or lactose intolerance, certain foods can cause them bloating. However if you do not have any of these conditions, then your bloating could be water retention caused by ingesting too much sodium and not enough potassium.
When you eat foods high in salt (sodium chloride) your body tends to retain water. Much of that water can show up in your belly region making you look fat. To cut back on water retention, stay away from processed and fast foods. When you read nutritional labels on a product, if it is high in sodium, look to see if it has a high amount of potassium to offset the sodium.
If salt is not causing your bloating, then these foods could be the cause:
Cruciferous Vegetables Can Cause Belly Bloat
Cabbage, asparagus and broccoli cause gas due to bacteria in the large intestine eating the undigested sugar raffinose from these vegetables. To minimize their effect on bloating, eat them in moderation.
Beans Can Cause Belly Bloat
Gas produced by eating this vegetable is also caused by an indigestible sugar – oligosaccaride. Eat beans in moderation and with easily digestible foods, such as whole grains, rice or quinoa.
High Fiber Fruits Can Cause Belly Bloat
Fresh fruits with high fiber include apples and pears. With about 5 grams of fiber per fruit, they can produce bloating in some people. Peeling them first can help as well as only eating half of a fruit at a time.
Certain Drinks Can Cause Belly Bloating
Bubbly drinks can also cause bloating. Many soft drinks contain carbonation which is released in the stomach as carbon dioxide gas. The bubbles in beer may cause gas in some people.
Controlling Belly Bloat
Certain foods – especially ones high in water content or potassium – are good at either preventing bloating in the first place or helping to reduce it:
- banana – eat one a day to keep your potassium level up and negate the effects of salt.
- watermelon – high in potassium and 92% water, this melon neutralizes the bloating effect of salt and gets things moving in your digestive tract.
- celery – not only does celery have a lot of water in it, it also has chemicals that act as a detox, helping to purge your digestive tract of toxins.
Certain foods cause more bloating in some people than in others. By watching what you eat, and identifying the foods that cause bloating, you can minimize its effects, and if it does happen, know how to counteract its effects.
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