Tomatoes, fish and quinoa: What foods to eat for a FLATTER tummy (and what to avoid to beat the bloat)

Chewing gum makes you swallow too much air, which gets trapped

The air bubbles from sparkling water can cause excess wind

Sugar alcohols in stone fruits can ferment in your tummy

Certain foods such as stone fruits, cruciferous vegetables and even spice-packed curries can all cause abominable distention and over-production of gas.

FEMAIL spoke to nutritionist, and author of Natural Solutions to IBS, Dr Marilyn Glenville to identify the common foods which can make us feel bloated.

Chewing gum
Dr Glenville told FEMAIL: ‘Chewing gum makes you swallow air too much air which gets trapped in your digestive system causing pressure, bloating and gas.
‘The same thing can happen if you gulp air when snacking on the run, eating too quickly, talking while eating or drinking from a straw.’

Trying to beat the bloat? Steer clear of stone fruits, don’t chew gum and banish fizzy water from your diet.
If it’s a flat tummy you’re after, you should be loading up on grains, fish and meat, soft cheeses and eggs.
Bloating, defined as a general swelling or feeling of tightness in the tummy area, can make us feel ‘very full’ after eating, even when we haven’t over indulged.

Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage may cause bloating and excess wind.
‘For some people these vegetables are not digested completely in the small intestines, which maybe due to a lack of enzymes,’ she said.
‘It means that when they reach the large intestines, bacteria in that part of the gut can cause gas and bloating when breaking down those foods.‘

Stone fruits
Stone fruits like peaches and plums are packed with sugar alcohols which can ferment causing bloating and gas.

Legumes
‘Beans like soya, lentils chickpeas contain oligosaccharides, a type of naturally occurring sugar in the beans which are normally digested by bacteria in the large intestines,’ Dr Glenville explained.
‘This digestion of beans can cause bloating and flatulence.’

Sparkling water
Air bubbles from sparkling water or fizzy drinks can you make you bloat and cause excess wind.
Sugar substitutes Sugar alcohols, known a polyols, such as xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol can cause bloating and flatulence and IBS symptoms in people who are sensitive to them.

Salt
Steer clear of anything too salty. Overdoing the salt can cause you to retain water and you end up bloating.

Dairy
Dr Glenville said: ‘Some people don’t produce the enzyme lactase which helps them breaks down lactose, a sugar found in milk.’
‘You need the enzyme lactase in your body in order to break down the lactose, otherwise it ferments in the gut causing pain, gas and bloating.’

Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates will have a higher glycemic index (GI) than unrefined carbs so they are broken down into glucose (sugar) more quickly which can cause bloating and gas.

‘They can also often contain wheat which can be a problem for people with IBS symptoms and wheat is one of the grains excluded on the FODMAP diet which aims to reduce the amount of fermentation happening in the digestive system,’ Dr Glenville explained.

Spices
‘Some spicy foods such as hot curries can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation and can ferment in the digestive system, causing bloating,’ Dr Glenville said.

WHAT CAUSES BLOATING?
Food Doctor Ian Marber said: ‘Good bacteria live in the gut alongside many other types of bacteria and yeasts that are benign in low concentrations but when allowed to multiply can encourage bloating and poor digestion.
‘If there are low levels of certain bacteria in the gut, food can sometimes not be fully broken down and digested, causing it to ferment and release gas, causing discomfort.

‘Yeasts that live in the gut thrive in the presence of refined sugars, fermented products such as alcohol and food containing yeast – notably bread. Yeasts also release gas which, in turn, causes bloating.
‘This may explain why, when people avoid wheat, they inevitably consume less yeast and in turn feel better. This leads them to mistakenly believe they have a wheat intolerance when, in fact, it was the yeast causing the problem.’

CUT THE BLOAT: FOODS TO AVOID AND FOODS TO ENJOY

Avoid
Sugar of all kinds, including cakes. Check labels for added sugars.
Yeast and anything containing it: bread, beer, wine, Marmite.
Malted products, such as those found in breakfast cereals.
Alcohol, vinegar, especially balsamic, pickled onions and gherkins, soy sauce.
All fruits, except green apples (a maximum of two a day), dried fruits, fruit juices.
Moulds, such as mushrooms, hard and blue cheese.

Enjoy
All grains, including rice and quinoa, fresh nuts, but not salted or honeyed.
Fish and meat, including smoked or cured, but not salami.
Rice and oat cakes, plain Ryvita.
Puffed rice, oats and wholegrain wheat cereals that have no added malt.
Natural bio yogurt, soft cheese.
Eggs.
Fresh vegetables in abundance; potatoes, both regular and sweet, and tomatoes.

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