Want to beat the bloat? Here are the top ten foods to avoid:
It might be good for a quick minty breath-boost, but did you know that chewing gum causes belly bloating? We didn't, either! But, according to Liz: 'When you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract, and causes pressure, bloating and belly expansion.'
'Foods seasoned with black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chilli powder, hot sauces, onions, garlic, mustard, barbecue sauce, horseradish, tomato sauce or vinegar can all stimulate the release of stomach acids, which can cause irritation,'
'Water is attracted to sodium, so when you take in higher than usual amounts of sodium, you'll temporarily retain more fluid - which contributes to a sluggish feeling, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight, cutting back on salt will help you beat bloat and reduce risks of hypertension and osteoporsosis.' As well as avoiding adding salt to your food when cooking and eating, don't forget to check salt levels on pre-packaged food you buy in the supermarket for a healthier diet.
Doughnuts? Ditch 'em. Fried breakfasts? Say goodbye. Chips? Forget it - even the obligatory splash of tomato ketchup can cause bloating. Liz warns: 'Fatty foods, especially the fried variety, are digested more slowly, causing you to feel heavy and bloated.'
Some foods simply create more gas ? equals bloat - in your GI tract than others. The culprits? 'Legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers and citrus fruits,'
Firstly. What are they? They're sugar substitutes, which often go by the name of xylitol or maltilol, that are often found in low-calorie or low-carb products like cookies, cakes, sweets and energy bars. Basically, your GI tract can't absorb them, therefore, they are not your belly's best friend. 'Sugar alcohols cause gas, abdominal distention, bloating and diarrhoea, avoid them.'
Raw FoodsSome raw foods can be bulky, which takes up room in your gastrointestinal tract (GI) tract - the digestive organ that extracts nutrients from your food ? expanding it unnecessarily. The result? A swollen tummy. 'Three cooked carrots delivers the same nutrition as three raw carrots, but it takes up less room in your GI tract, only eat cooked vegetables, or smaller portions of unsweetened dried fruit and canned fruits in natural juice. Then you can get your nutrient needs without expanding your GI tract - and bloating.'
Fizzy DrinksThis isn't brain science - all those bubbles make your tummy bloat! Cut out all cans of Coke - including that Diet Coke break - and its assorted friends, and you're tum will definitely feel the flatter.
Ditch high-carbohydrate foods like bagels, bananas and pasta. Your body stores a type of carbohydrate called glycogen; every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water. But, unless you're running a marathon tomorrow, you're body doesn't need this power pile-up. By decreasing carb intake, you can train your body to access the stored fuel - and burn it off. At the same time, you'll be getting rid of excess stored fluid.