If you suffer from digestive issues - think bloating and gas - a large part of the problem could be the foods you're eating. And while there are certain things you can change in your daily food intake that may help reduce the severity of your tummy troubles, it's important to know what caused your bloating in the first place.
Here are a list of foods that have been commonly linked to bloating.
Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes like lentils are very high in nutrients, containing a generous serving of plant-based protein, slow-releasing carbohydrates and fibre.
However, these high amounts of fibre can actually cause digestive issues for individuals who don't usually consume fibre, or have a sensitive gut. This can result in excess gas being formed in the digestive track, leading to painful bloating.
Beans and legumes also contain alpha-galactosides, a strain of carbohydrates that are difficult to digest, and are often left to ferment in our bowels, leading to painful gas, bloating, flatulence and sometimes diarrhea.
The best way to reduce this harsh impact of beans is soak them for several hours to sprout them and help the digestion process. Or, some particularly sensitive individuals may benefit from cutting them out entirely.
Most of us love to indulge in a cool glass of cola or lemonade from time to time, especially when socialising with friends during the summer. But sipping these colourful, carbonated beverages are not only bad for your teeth - they contribute to bloating in the gut.
These drinks are made fizzy from large levels of carbon dioxide gas, which gets trapped in your digestive system with every glass, leading to bloating.
Instead, try to stick to glasses of water, natural fruit juices or herbal tea.
Broccoli and cauliflower
They're delicious when roasted and tossed through a salad, but these tree-like vegies play a big part in bloating. Both broccoli and cauliflower are members of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes cabbage, brussels sprouts and radishes, amongst others.
And while they're all super healthy foods that are packed full of fibre and essential nutrients and vitamins, they also contain high levels of sulfur compounds and oligosaccharides (a strain of carbohydrate that is not easily digested). This can lead to bloating and flatuence in many gut-sensitive individuals.
If you find yourself affected after eating broccoli or one of its siblings, try swapping it out with other tummy-friendly vegetables like spinach, cucumbers or zucchini.
Onions and garlic
They're both responsible for making our food taste amazing, and are most peoples' go-to vegetables for flavouring their meals quickly. Unfortunately, they're also a huge source of bloating and digestive issues for many people.
Both root vegetables contain high levels of fructans, soluble fibres that can cause bloating, belching and gas in sensitive individuals.
For some people, cooking their garlic and onions reduces the symptoms, but you might benefit more from cutting them out altogether and replacing them with fresh herbs and spices to add flavour to your meals.
Wheat and rye
For those of us who love indulging in a big bowl of spaghetti bolognese or a piece of buttery toast for breakfast, it might be hard hearing that wheat products could be the cause of your bloating.
Wheat and rye products contain high levels of gluten, a protein found in cereal grains that is responsible for the 'elastic' texture of dough. Unfortunately, many people find digesting gluten difficult, causing it to ferment in the gut and product high levels of gas.
Luckily, gluten-free alternatives to wheat are becoming increasingly more available, with seeds and nuts like quinoa, buckwheat, ground almonds and coconut flour making fantastic alternatives to gluten-laden bread and pasta.
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