The surprise everyday foods causing your bloating… from ketchup to herbal tea

Bloating is a common problem that can make daily life uncomfortable.

And if it comes with wind, it can get embarrassing.

Often it comes down to the foods we eat, with some more sensitive than others.

Working out why you experience bloating using a food diary is a great place to start. What causes bloating in someone else may not be a problem for you at all.

But experts say there are some typical culprits, some of them everyday items like ketchup.

And sadly, even the healthiest foods can play havoc with the gut, including vegetables we are told to pile our plate high with.

Sometimes bloating is also a symptom of a medical condition such as gluten intolerance or IBS, so it’s worth considering a trip to the GP. Bloating and a persistent feeling of fullness are key signs of ovarian cancer.

KETCHUP 

It’s the condiment many people couldn’t live without.

In small quantities, it’s unlikely to do too much harm.

But too much could lead to “gas and bloating”, Rachel Clarkson, who runs the DNA Dietitian, told MailOnline.

She explained: “Some ketchup contains high fructose corn syrup which is poorly absorbed and in large quantities causes gas and bloating.”

The good news is some brands have lower levels of fructose corn syrup, which will you can read on the label.

ONIONS

We throw it in almost every dinner. But onions could be the root of your bloating problem.

That’s because it contains fructose, which can fester in the lower bowel providing food for bacteria that live there.

As this happens, gas is produced which can make your stomach swell and cause excessive farting.

GARLIC

Some people really struggle with garlic, one of the most unavoidable foods in restaurant meals.

Although garlic is a great antibacterial, it contains fructans, which are soluble fibers that promote bloating.

Generally garlic can improve the gut over a period of time.

Dietician Helen Bond told the Sun if there is a lack of fibre in the diet, it wipes out the “good” gut bacteria.

Garlic as well as onions, chicory and bananas can help feed the good bacteria, allowing them to flourish and improving gut health.

She said: "We can’t digest these [prebiotics], so they arrive in our gut intact and provide a feast for the billions of friendly little helpers living in our gut – feeding, stimulating and supporting their growth.

"This in turn, may help to keep our digestive tract in good health."

CAMOMILE TEA

Camomile tea has a go-to remedy for anxiety, sleep problems and stress for zonks.

It’s even advised by some to settle a stomach.

But for some people, it could go completely the opposite way because it contains fructan.

Fructans are natural carbohydrates found in many fruits, vegetables and legumes like kidney beans.

Too much of the ingredient can leave your stomach feeling uncomfortable if there are not enough enzymes to digest them.

Rachel said a better herbal tea for those prone to bloating is peppermint tea.

DIET DRINKS

Diet drinks are great for reducing sugar consumption, considering a singular can of Coke contains more than an adult’s daily allowance.

But the alternative – artificial sweeteners in diet drinks as well as some diet foods – don’t come with a health halo.

Artificial sweeteners can be a struggle for some people to digest, increasing the likelihood of gas and bloating.

Sucralose is the most common culprit alongside aspartame. 

And in fizzy diet drinks, and any other carbonated drinks, the bubbles can also cause an upset stomach.

NUTS

A handful of nuts is considered an excellent choice of snack because they are full of nutrients and healthy fats. 

But you may notice bloating afterwards because of fructans, particularly after pistachios, cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts.

If the stomach cannot break the fructans down, they ferment in the stomach, causing digestive problems.

Rachel said: “Thinking about foods that are so healthy that people are adding to their diet but not understanding they may also be causing bloating.”

AVOCADO

Avocado is the superfruit that many rave about topped on toast or salads.

Although it is undeniably a great addition to the diet, too much could leave your stomach in agony.

Nutritionist Ishika Sharma, who runs Ishika S Nutrition, said this is down to the polyols, also known as sugar alcohols.

Polyols are poorly absorbed in the gut.

“Additionally avocados are particularly high in fibre, and high fibre foods are known to cause bloating”, Ishika said. 

She suggested portioning your avocado wisely, never having more than half of one fruit in a serving, so you get the good stuff without the bad.

BRANFLAKES

Bran flakes are the holy grail of fibre-full cereals.

Fibre is essential for health, and the NHS says as well as lowering the risk of disease, it can prevent constipation and help digestion.

However, too much fibre can cause more upset for some people, including those with IBS.

Nicola Moore, a nutritional therapist, said: “Bran fibre used to be routinely recommended to help manage symptoms of IBS, but for many people eating bran can be an actual cause of bloating. 

“The fibres in bran provide a fuel source of our gut bacteria that can end up resulting in higher levels of gas production, and therefore more bloating.”

BROCCOLI

Vegetables, for all their benefits, can come at a cost.

Some types can leave you feeling puffy and gassy, including broccoli. 

Known as cruciferous greens, they are hard for the stomach to break down due to their high fibre content.

Cabbage and superfood kale also fall into this category and are worth being wary of if you are prone to bloating. 

Asparagus is typically seen as a great alternative to those harder vegetables, as well as carrots, courgettes and spinach.But even too much of that is never a good idea, as Rachel said: “It seems one of those really healthy superfoods, which it is really good.

"But if you're having asparagus every night and you're bloating, maybe consider reducing that and monitoring whether you're bloating gets better.”

BLACKBERRIES

Delicious but dangerous for some, blackberries are packed with those polyols seen in avocados.

They are difficult to break down and therefore may not be absorbed by the body.

The result is bloating.

Similarly some high-sugar fruits like pineapple and mangoes can be taxing on the digestive system.

If this is a problem for you, stick to grapes, blueberries or strawberries, which are lighter on the stomach.

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