How do I avoid bloating? Rob Hobson AMA
Our nutritionist Rob Hobson will be answering your most pressing nutrition-related questions each month. We'll host the Q&A on Instagram each month and then include Rob's answers in our newsletter! Your question this week was:
What are the best foods to prevent bloating? In particular, how do I avoid bloating on a plant-based diet?
Rob: Bloating is a really common occurrence as the body reacts to certain foods you include in your diet. Common reasons for bloating can include excess wind, constipation, food intolerances or conditions such as IBS. Unfortunately, many of the foods that cause bloating are plant-based such as beans, pulses, lentils and certain veggies such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Introducing these foods slowly into the diet is a good way to avoid bloating as the body does eventually become accustomed to the increase in fibre.
Make sure you drink plenty of water when you increase your fibre intake with these foods as it’s required to help fibre swell in the gut. If bloating continues then keep a food and symptom diary to help pinpoint the foods that are causing the biggest issue.
Skipping meals can also cause bloating as you go for long periods of time between meals. Fizzy drinks and excessive gum chewing can also exacerbate bloating.
An unhealthy gut can also lead to bloating so try taking a probiotic supplement containing strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Certain herbs and spices such as fresh mint or fennel and caraway seed can also help with bloating. Brew a tea using these ingredients to drink after eating as they help to relax the gut wall and expel excess gas.
If you suspect IBS to be an issue then seek the advice of a registered dietitian who can help guide you through the FODMAPS diet, which has been shown to help tackle the condition.