Stomach bloating affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. But you could avoid feeling bloated by simply cutting back on the amount of lentils in your diet, it’s been claimed.
Bloating can make the stomach feel swollen, hard, and it’s generally quite uncomfortable.
Your bloating pain may be caused by eating certain gassy foods, or by eating too fast or too much.
But, one of the best and easiest ways to limit your risk of bloating is to avoid eating onions, it’s been revealed.
Lentils may be causing your bloating pain after a big meal, as they’re rich in fibre.
Some people are more sensitive to eating fibre, which may lead to trapped wind.
Those that aren’t used to eating large amounts of fibre are more at risk of bloating.
Lentils also contain a type of short-chain carbohydrates that aren’t easily digested.
As a result, bacteria in the gut feed on the carbohydrates, which are known as FODMAPs, producing gas as a by-product.
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“Although bloating may be a symptom of a serious medical condition, it is usually caused by something in the diet,” said dietitian Adda Bjarnadottir.
She wrote on the medical website Healthline: “Lentils contain high amounts of protein, fibre and healthy carbs, as well as minerals such as iron, copper and manganese.
“Because of their high fibre content, they can cause bloating in sensitive individuals. This is especially true for people who are not used to eating a lot of fibre.
“Like beans, lentils also contain FODMAPs. These sugars may contribute to excessive gas production and bloating.”
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You could lower your risk of bloating by soaking the lentils before eating them, however.
Lighter-coloured lentils are also less likely to cause trapped wind, as they’re generally lower in fibre than dark lentils.
Meanwhile, you could also be at risk of bloating if you regularly eat onions, it’s been claimed.
Onions contain a soluble fibre, called fructans, that also sit in the stomach and provide food for bacteria.
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Stomach bloating may also be caused by constipation, trapped wind, irritable bowel syndrome, or even by swallowing too much air.
You could swallow air by drinking through a straw, or by talking with your mouth full of food.
Speak to a doctor if your bloating symptoms don’t go away, said the NHS. It could be caused by something more serious, including ovarian or bowel cancer.
While stomach pain is unlikely to be caused by a type of cancer, it’s always worth getting it checked by a medical professional.
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