8 Foods that Bloat Your Stomach

If you want to avoid abdominal inflammation it’s important that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding foods that cause gas and other related problems
8 Foods that Bloat Your Stomach
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Everyone longs to have a flatter stomach and a lot of people fight to achieve it using diet and exercise. But just when everything seems to be going well, suddenly you find you’re bloated, and all your clothes are too tight. There are certain foods that bloat your stomach and in today’s article we’ll be talking about them.

This can be very bothersome for some people as it makes them look fatter than they really are. It’s not only a matter of aesthetics. We should also be aware that this kind of inflammation is the result of an overworked digestive system. This happens when you eat too much food or food that irritates your body.

More importantly, in addition to that swelling and other uncomfortable symptoms like gas that you experience, it might also cause pain. This is why it’s a good idea to take note of the foods that bloat your stomach and avoid them in your diet.

1. Foods that bloat your stomach: High fat foods

Some chips on a plate
Foods that are high in fat are one of the main causes of abdominal inflammation. They not only cause you to gain weight, but also slow your digestion and increase cholesterol levels. One great example are those irresistible French fries, which are high in fat and starch. The truth is that they’re almost like a bomb to your gut.

Visit this article: 8 foods to treat inflammation

2. Carbonated beverages

Sodas and other carbonated soft drinks are favorites among many people thanks to their high sugar content. This, however, can eventually can lead to addictionThe bad news is that the carbon dioxide hits your stomach very hard, causing symptoms like heartburn and bloating.

3. Cruciferous vegetables

Small dish of broccoli florets
This class of vegetable contains, among other things, a polysaccharide known as raffinose that is difficult to digest. When it comes into contact with your intestinal bacteria it begins to ferment, causing symptoms like an upset stomach, gas, and belching.

This, coupled with their high content of fiber, makes these vegetables trigger stomach bloating that’s hard to treat. To avoid this, include them in your diet in moderation, combined with other foods that help reduce their effects on your body.

4. Salt

Excessive salt intake is one of the main causes of fluid retention, and it’s closely related to problems with inflammation and bloating. Reducing your salt intake is not just good for your abdominal region – it has positive effects on the overall health of many of your major organs.

5. Refined carbohydrates

Another of the foods that bloat your stomach are refined carbohydrates. The reason is that they have been subjected to a process that removes the fiber they contained, turning them into empty calories that are low in nutrients. One of the worst culprits is white flour, which is found in very common foods like pizza, breads, pastries, and more.

In fact, some people are intolerant to these foods and can have allergic reactions when they eat them.

6. Spicy foods

Small dishes of spices
Spices can have many benefits for your health, but they can also cause inflammation when not consumed appropriately. This occurs when excess acid production irritates the lining of your stomach, triggering an inflammatory response.

That’s why it’s better to consume these in moderation. They include:

  • Black pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Chili powder
  • Mustard
  • Vinegar

7. Dairy products

People who suffer from lactose intolerance should avoid consuming dairy products, even though they might seem so appetizing. It can impede their digestion, causing bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.

8. Beans

A plate of beans and pulses
Beans are so common in our diet, but are also among the most difficult foods to digest thanks to their high polysaccharide content, among other compounds. They also cause a build up of intestinal gases, generating inflammation and other troubling gastrointestinal symptoms.

While you shouldn’t eliminate them from your diet completely, try to reduce your intake and make sure to cook them thoroughly before eating. You can get as much protein content from substituting fish, chicken, and soy products.

Because all 8 of these foods can lead to bloating, it’s best to avoid eating them in excess to avoid any of these distressing symptoms. If the problems persist, however, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor because it could be a sign of a more serious disorder.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Agrawal A, Whorwell PJ. Review article: abdominal bloating and distension in functional gastrointestinal disorders–epidemiology and exploration of possible mechanisms. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2008; 27: 2-10.
  • Azpiroz F, Malagelada JR. Abdominal bloating. Gastroenterology 2005; 129: 1060-78.
  • Manichanh C, Eck A, Varela E, Roca J, Clemente JC, González A, et al. Anal gas evacuation and colonic microbiota in patients with flatulence: effect of diet. Gut 2014; 63: 401-8.
  • Salvioli B, Serra J, Azpiroz F, Lorenzo C, Aguade S, Castell J, et al. Origin of gas retention and symptoms in patients with bloating. Gastroenterology 2005; 128: 574-9.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.