Do you eat healthily but end up with a bloated belly within an hour after eating? It might be due to any of these 5 things.
- Food sensitivities: Foods like dairy, refined carbohydrates, nightshades, gluten-containing grains, eggs, nuts, soy and FODMAP carbs are high on the list when it comes to digestive issues. If you suspect that any of these could be causing you discomfort, simply remove it from your diet for a minimum of 6 weeks. Reintroduce the food at one meal and wait 3 days before re-introducing another food that you removed. Watch for any symptoms like bloating, joint pain, skin rashes, headaches, constipation, or brain fog to return. If you don’t have any symptoms, it’s safe to say you can add that food back into your diet.
2. Lack of digestive enzymes: We need enzymes to digest protein, fats, and carbohydrates. If you are not producing enough, your food will not be properly digested and absorbed. You could have either low or high stomach acid and there are tests you can do to rule out which one. You might also benefit from taking a digestive enzyme and a B complex vitamin to help support the breakdown of the macronutrient you are suspecting is causing your digestive upset. It’s also helpful to not drink too much water or other beverages during your meal. This can dilute your digestive enzymes. I also often recommend taking a sip of diluted apple cider vinegar or lemon water prior to meals, which helps to stimulate those digestive juices.
3. Poor food combining: Not all food digests at the same rate. Pork, beef and fattier proteins can take hours to digest, where fruit, carbs and starches digest quickly. If you eat a steak with potato, then top it with fruit for dessert, you could be in for a long night. Because everything you just ate would normally digest quickly, but the steak is holding everything up for hours, those other foods start to ferment. This causes bloating, gas and discomfort. It’s always good practice to avoid starches, including pasta and breads, when eating meat. Salads, soup or veggies pair best with meat for best digestion if you’re having trouble.
4. Impaired gut health: If your microbiome is imbalanced with more bad bacteria than good, your food will not be properly broken down and nutrients cannot be absorbed through your small intestine. I did a Facebook Live recently on gut health, probiotics, and how to get balanced If you missed it, head over to watch the replay in our private Facebook group.
5. Too many raw veggies: When we’re on a mission to eat better, we usually overload on the salads and smoothies, packing in as much as we can in each meal. The fruit and veggies are wonderful, keep doing this! However, if you’re not used to eating this way, you have to ease into it. Try adding one plant-based meal a day, or one extra cup of veggies at dinner. You might also want to consider that cooking, lightly steaming, roasting or pureeing your veggies can make them much easier to digest. By doing this, you’re breaking them down a bit, which gives your digestion a bit of a break. Once you start to tolerate more fibre in your diet, then you can implement a raw salad a couple of times a week and see how that goes.
If you want to take the guesswork out of which foods are best for your digestion, metabolism and hormone balance, you can have IgG/IgE food sensitivity testing done through a Naturopath, or start an application for the Metabolic Balance program, which takes your 35 blood values and generates a list of prescribed foods to help lower your inflammation, balance blood sugar, and kickstart metabolism. Click below to read more about it.