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The Best and Worst Foods for Bloating

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nicole Alexine Florendo · Updated Jan 18, 2023

The Best and Worst Foods for Bloating

What are the foods that cause bloating? We’ve all had those “I feel so bloated” days. Maybe after a big meal washed down with our favorite soda, or a healthy salad with milk; both can cause a swollen, tight feeling in our belly.  Bloating can leave us with pain and discomfort. Moreover, it can also make us feel lethargic and self-conscious.

Don’t fret—we can do something about this condition simply by being mindful of what we eat. Knowing what foods that cause bloating is the first step. Try making a list of the best and worst foods for bloating, and use it as your guide.

Bloating after meals is normal. When food is hard to digest, like some fruits and vegetables, it stays in the stomach longer. There, it ferments and causes gas to form. The gas will usually pass, so there’s no need to swear off healthy vegetables. Just eat these kinds of food at dinner instead of before a big presentation.

Here’s a list of bloat-causing food so that you can plan your meals around your day. 

Foods That Cause Bloating

1. Beans 

There are many benefits to eating beans. For example, do you know that beans are high in fiber? The not-so-good thing is, this causes bloating and formation of gas. Fortunately, your body can adapt to digesting beans if you eat a serving of it every day. But it takes time for your body to adjust, so if you have a big event this weekend, we suggest you skip the beans for now.

2. Canned Vegetables, Sauces, and Soups

Do you know what makes canned goods taste so good and last for so long? Salt.

High sodium food makes your body retain water so you’ll swell not just in your belly but possibly your face, hands and feet as well. Additionally, the liquid levels and high sodium and canned foods can overfill that sensitive stomach of yours, making you feel full and bloated. One way to get around this is to wash your canned food before cooking or eating it to lessen its sodium content.

3. Anything Sugar-Free

Sweets made without sugar uses an alternative sweetener. This can be sorbitol, mannitol, or xylitol. These sugar alcohols aren’t digested well by our bodies. Hence, these cause fermentation in the intestinal tract. The gas formed by this process can lead to bloating, cramps, or even diarrhea. If you must eat sugar-free gum, choose the one with xylitol, which is tolerated most by our system.

4. Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are full of air bubbles. The more you drink, the more air you ingest, leading to a distended belly.

5. Coffee With Milk

Coffee is acidic which can cause trouble with an already acidic stomach. Interestingly, many people are also lactose intolerant. And they choose adding milk to coffee. This practice can cause and actually promotes swelling and bloating.

What To Eat To Prevent Bloating

We promised to tell you the best and worst foods for bloating. Now you know what to avoid, it’s time to know what you should stock up on!

1. Artichokes

Aside from being really delicious, artichokes speed up digestion and help prevent constipation.

2. Ginger

Ginger helps decrease the time your food stays in your gut, which means there’s less chance it’ll have to go through fermentation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties so it calms down your system.

3. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds help relax your GI tract, making it more likely that the air you consume with your food will pass through with no trouble. Additionally, this is very easy to add to your diet—just sprinkle it on your food or drink it as a tea.

4. Salmon

If you’re one of those who can’t get enough of salmon, then good news for you. Salmon is full of fatty acids that help tame inflammation. For this reason alone, salmon already made it to this list. So yes to sushi, baked salmon, grilled salmon. And have a lot of it!

5. Asparagus 

Asparagus is a great source of prebiotics, which promotes proper digestion and keeps you from getting bloated.

6. Avocado

Magnesium is your best friend when it comes to combatting bloating, as it puts fluids into your intestines which will loosen-up your stool. Additionally, it helps make sure gas doesn’t build up in your stomach.

Things You Can Do To Avoid Bloating

Aside from knowing the best and worst foods for bloating, here are a few tricks to keep the bloat away.

1. Know what food to eat, avoid foods that cause bloating

As is the main point of this article, knowing what to eat and what to avoid is essential to avoid bloating.

2. Chew slowly

Chewing your food slowly and more thoroughly means the food that reaches your stomach is already partially digested by saliva. As a result, your meal takes up less space on your GI tract.

3. Get enough rest

When we lack sleep, our bodies release more stress hormones known as cortisol. When stress levels are high, our digestive systems become less efficient. This causes bloating and constipation.

4. Ditch the straw and skip the gum

Both drinking from a straw and chewing gum cause you to ingest air. The more air you have in your belly, the more bloated you’ll feel.

5. Cook your veggies

Raw food is harder to digest, making its time in your digestive tract longer and cause fermentation. 

6. Get moving

When you stay in one position for a significant amount of time, your digestion slows down dramatically. This can cause constipation, which will make you feel bloated. For this reason, we recommend that you make incremental lifestyle changes. And make sure you keep the best and worst foods for bloating in mind. Say goodbye to bloating!

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Nicole Alexine Florendo · Updated Jan 18, 2023

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