I’m one of those people that expects a flat stomach after eating a healthy, vegetable-filled meal. I go through the trouble of chopping, prepping, seasoning, roasting, and sauteing all for the sake of maintaining my body and my health — to look good and feel good, am I right ladies?
Recently I’ve noticed that even with my efforts to cook healthy, drink a shit ton of water, and partake in the occasional spin class or few miles run, I still maintain a bloated stomach after I eat. It’s uncomfortable, causes the extra effort of *sucking it in*, and is a downright bummer especially with the effort I put into meal prep and eating healthy.
Please join me on this quick journey of discovery into these 5 plant-based foods that cause bloat:
1 – Kale
My favorite leafy green. Not only is it filling, it’s also packed with protein, vitamins A, C, and K and omega-3’s.
On the flipside, kale is a cruciferous vegetable and cruciferous veggies are notorious for taking a toll on your digestive system. Kale is high in insoluble fiber which is straight up difficult for your body to digest. If you don’t want to give up your favorite salad base, try marinating in lemon or steaming the leaves to make it a little easier on your GI tract.
2 – White Onion
Solely used as a flavoring agent or as a salad or poke topping. Do not eat before an important meeting or date!
White onion contains fructans which are a type of complex sugar that your small intestine has a hard time breaking down. Fructans are part of the FODMAP group of carbohydrates that are known to cause bloat because of digestive difficulty. Bottom line, avoid fructans at all costs if you’re trying to put an end to bloat.
3 – Garlic
I use garlic in everything. Chopped up and sprinkled about pre-roasted vegetables, used in salad dressings, amongst other methods. Garlic is my favorite flavor when it comes to savory foods.
Garlic is sadly another fructan culprit (gosh darn FODMAPs!). But some good news, as long as you’re not consistently eating raw garlic, you should be fine. Cooked garlic is safe and dependent on the amount you use in cooking, your stomach will be safe.
4 – Beans
Part of the legume family and another source of protein. While beans are a yummy addition to a warm grain bowl or taco salad, they are notorious for causing gas and guess what, bloat is a part of that!
Beans are another food that contain FODMAPs. Many sources say that by soaking raw beans in water you can reduce those pesky FODMAPs — take an extra step and soak them twice if you really want to see results.
5 – Mushrooms
Shrooms are the lowkey queen of roasted vegetables. Not all mushrooms are created equal so your biggest concern at this point are button, shiitake and portobello mushrooms when it comes to decreasing the amount of bloat you experience.
Mushrooms contain polyols which are part of – you guessed it! – FODMAPs. Polyols are not fully digested by the small intestine which is the reason behind gas production and bloat.