No matter how many crunches you do, you’ll never achieve the flat stomach of your dreams if you’re eating the wrong foods.
That’s because certain foods and beverages can bring on the dreaded post dinner bloat, making you feel all uncomfortable and fumbling to undo the button of your jeans.
“I am not sure of the exact statistic but it would be my guess that virtually every woman you speak to will have some experience of a bloated belly,” explains Lisa Roukin from
“And that bloated feeling – when you’re stomach feels stretched, puffy and uncomfortable – is no fun for anyone.”
Stress and too much gas have a role to play in causing our stomachs to inflate, but the foods we’re eating can be a huge contributor to the post-lunch swell.
But while we know some foods are guaranteed to leave you feeling bloated (we’re looking at you fizzy drinks), other bloat boosting foods might take you by surprise.
So if you want to give Beyonce a run for her money in the flat tummy stakes, here are the foods you really need to swerve.
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They may be super good for you, but broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can cause bloating and excess wind. “For some people these vegetables are not digested completely in the small intestines maybe due to a lack of enzymes,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com), author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
“It means that when they reach the large intestines, bacteria in that part of the gut can cause gas and bloating when breaking down those foods.” [Photo: Getty]
“The ingestion of certain foods are associated with exacerbating bloating and IBS symptoms, typically those which are considered highly refined such as white flour products (bread, pasta and rice) and those high in digestive resistant starches such as lentils, beans and pulses, foods high in fibre (e.g. wholegrain cereals and grains) and cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale) and therefore should be avoided.” says Elizabeth Wall, nutritionist for Holland & Barrett.
[Photo: Josh Sorenson via Pexels]
According to Dr Glenville, stone fruits like plums are packed with sugar alcohols, which can ferment causing bloating and gas. [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]
Beans, beans good for the heart, the more you eat, the more you…yeah you know the rest. “Beans like soya, lentils chickpeas contain oligosaccharides, a type of naturally occurring sugar in the beans, which are normally digested by bacteria in the large intestines,” warns Dr Glenville. “This digestion of beans can cause bloating and flatulence.” [Photo: Ela Haney via Pexels]
For obvious reasons. “Air bubbles from sparkling water or fizzy drinks can you make you bloat and cause excess wind,” says Dr Glenville. Instead, Lisa Roukin recommends trying peppermint tea or water flavoured with lemon or cucumber. [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]
You might think you’re doing your body a favour swapping sugar for a substitute but your bloated belly won’t thank you for it. “Sugar alcohols, known a polyols, such as xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol can cause bloating and flatulence and IBS symptoms in people who are sensitive to them,” says Dr Glenville. [Photo: Mali Maeder via Pexels]
Overdoing it on the salt, can cause you to retain water which could lead to bloating, says Dr Glenville. [Photo: Kaboom Pics // Karolina via Pexels]
According to Dr Glenville some people don’t produce the enzyme lactase which helps them breaks down lactose, a sugar found in milk. “You need the enzyme lactase in your body in order to break down the lactose, otherwise it ferments in the gut causing pain, gas and bloating,” she continues. [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]
OK not technically a food as such but chewing gum makes you swallow air too much air, which gets trapped in your digestive system causing pressure, bloating and gas. “The same thing can happen if you gulp air when snacking on the run, eating too quickly, talking while eating or drinking from a straw,” explains Dr Glenville.[Photo: Getty]
Tempted by an end of the week Indian? But beware the post-bhaji bloat. “Some spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation and others can ferment in the digestive system causing bloating,” says Dr Glenville. [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]