Being bloated after a meal is a feeling that most people experience occasionally. It can cause the stomach to feel swollen and uncomfortable, which may be accompanied by flatulence or burping.

While bloating after eating is not unusual, there are several ways to avoid it. In this article, we look at 10 ways to prevent bloating.

What causes bloating after eating?

Bloating occurs in the abdominal area. It happens when large amounts of air or gas build up in the gastrointestinal tract.

Eating is a common cause of bloating because when the body digests food, it produces gas. People also swallow air when eating or drinking, which then enters the gastrointestinal tract. Flatulence and burping usually help to relieve buildups of gas and air in the gut.

Bloating is a symptom of many health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or a food intolerance. However, most cases of bloating are avoidable.

Ten ways to avoid bloating after eating

The following tips can help reduce or prevent bloating after eating:

1. Do not eat too much fiber

Fiber is a carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that the body cannot digest. It has some important functions within the body, such as helping to regulate blood sugar levels and sugar consumption.

However, high-fiber foods can cause some people to produce excessive amounts of gas. One study found that a reduced-fiber diet helped relieve bloating in people with idiopathic constipation.

Examples of high-fiber foods include:

  • beans
  • lentils
  • fruits, such as apples and oranges
  • whole grain oats
  • split peas
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

Drinking or eating too quickly increases the amount of air a person swallows, which can lead to more gas building up in the gastrointestinal tract.

For people who eat or drink quickly, this may be a cause of bloating; slowing down the rate at which they eat might help to reduce the problem.

5. Avoid carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide, a gas that can build up in the gastrointestinal tract and cause bloating. This can also occur with diet versions of fizzy drinks.

Still water is the best alternative to carbonated drinks for lowering the risk of bloating.

6. Ginger

Ginger is a traditional remedy for digestive issues. It contains carminative, which is helpful for reducing excessive gas in the gastrointestinal tract.

A 2013 review suggested that ginger has some health benefits, including alleviating gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating.

7. Avoid chewing gum

Chewing gum causes a person to swallow more air. This air can build up in the gastrointestinal tract and cause bloating in some people.

Bloating after eating is a widespread experience and usually not a cause for concern. People with bloating can often treat their symptoms at home, such as by using one of the methods highlighted in this article.

However, bloating can sometimes also be a symptom of an underlying health condition that may require medical attention.

Anyone with bloating accompanied by other symptoms should see a doctor. These symptoms might include:

  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • unexpected weight-loss
  • skin irritation

People who are experiencing bloating after most meals should also speak to a doctor.

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