How to Beat the Bloat

If you notice bloating after meals, it could be the foods you're eating

Credit: iStock / estima

Instead of focusing on your waisline, pay attention to what you’re eating when you notice bloating

If you’re feeling bloaty, a variety of factors could be contributing to your discomfort

Feeling bloated after eating? Many factors can contribute to that uncomfortable feeling. Non-serious causes include swallowing excess air when eating too fast or sipping from a straw. Sugar alcohols, like sorbitol and xylitol in gum, are not broken down by the body and can contribute to bloating and gas.

Healthy, but common gas-producing foods include garlic, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and raw carrots. Potential lactose or gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other digestive system ailments are bigger causes for concern with bloating and if suspected, should be explored with a doctor.

Monthly hormonal fluctuations in women can also be a cause. To beat bloating, don’t chew gum, eat slowly, chew food thoroughly and avoid using a straw. Drink water at the end of meals, not on an empty stomach. Eat small meals and snack frequently to keep stomach acid reflux at bay.