A number of pregnant women complain about bloating and gas, which leaves them with an uncomfortable feeling. During the first trimester of pregnancy, you find visible signs of the baby and there can be an increase in the progesterone hormone levels. This increase in the hormone levels relaxes the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn slows down the process of digestion. Due to this, pregnant women often face gas, bloating or burping and often experience very uncomfortable sensations in the gut as well.
If you are very uncomfortable, you can change your diet by eliminating the foods that normally cause gas and bloating. But do have a word with your doctor before you start a new diet. Let us have a look at the foods that you must avoid during pregnancy to avoid bloating.
Bloating During Pregnancy: Causes And Remedies
Vegetables can be culprits too
Yes, you heard it right. There are certain vegetables that cause gas, and this means that it is good to either avoid them or eat them in moderation. Some of such vegetables include cabbage, radish, cauliflower, beans, broccoli and asparagus. You also need to keep a tab of what vegetables are causing bloating and can avoid them as well.
Eating beans and Greens
Vegetables like broccoli or beans have a high content of raffinose, which happens to be a kind of a sugar. Bloating in pregnant women can also occur due to high intake of raffinose and it also makes few pregnant women gassy.
Pregnant women who often suffer with bloating can also avoid vegetables that slow the digestion. However, instead of completely stopping the intake of the same, one can also add herbs like ginger, rosemary or bay leaf as they help to break down the sugars in the body. Pregnant women can also soak dry beans in water overnight, just rinse them so that the raffinose gets reduced and later consume the same.
Do you like Fiber?
Fiber is considered to be good for pregnant women as well as the baby. Some of the examples of fiber foods are beans, peas and it is also present in various fruits. But, the problem with such fiber rich foods is that it gets broken down in the large intestines and this can also cause bloating and gas in pregnant women.
On the other hand, it is not healthy to avoid fiber food altogether, as it helps get rid of another common pregnancy issue which is constipation.
If you feel bloated by having fiber rich food you can gradually increase the fiber intake so that the body gets time to get adjusted and not much gas is produced. You can as well try wheat Bran instead of oat Bran as it goes through the digestive system directly without undergoing the process of breaking down. This way you will no longer feel bloated. Grains too cause a lot of digestive issues in pregnant women and it is advised to avoid the intake of the same. You can replace grains with spiralized zucchini or even try soaked quinoa.
Choose proper beverages
Soda or even certain fruit juices can also cause gas and bloat in women who are pregnant. Beverages like fruit juices, or soda are often sweetened with high contents of fructose corn syrup. Also, Fructose in its natural form is found in onions, apples, honey, pears, leeks and wheat. So, if you are one of those who experience gas or bloating when consuming fruits that are rich in fructose it is good to avoid the same.
Women can also experience bloating by consuming soda due to the carbonation in it. So, it is best you avoid carbonated drinks as well.
It is always healthy to consume fresh juices and a lot of water instead of canned juices or soda.
Retention of water
There are times when pregnant women tend to crave for salty foods. The reason for the same can be the excess amount of sodium present in your diet. Sodium is the main cause as to why more water is retained in your body and the best way to avoid this is not to add in table salt to the food you are consuming and completely avoid canned foods. Also, foods that are rich in carbohydrates like rice, pasta and bread also store more water when compared to the regular protein foods. Event starches like wheat, potatoes or corn can also cause the problem of gas in women who are highly sensitive.
Avoid Dairy Foods
It is a well-known fact that dairy is very nutritious and it also acts as a good source of calcium and protein. Some of the most popular dairy products are milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and butter. And, as per a recent survey more than 75% of people find it hard to break down lactose, which is the natural sugar found in milk. This condition is termed as lactose intolerance.
If you are suffering from lactose intolerance, use of dairy products in your everyday diet can cause if your digestive problems and some of the symptoms also include bloating and severe gas.
Pregnant women can also try having skim milk instead of whole or toned milk as it does not cause much bloated when compared to the others. Also, the regular dairy milk can be replaced with coconut milk or nut milk.
Time to Keep the Apple Away
We all know the most popular saying that an apple a day certainly keeps the doctor away and this is what makes apples the most popular fruit in the world. Though apples have good contents of fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin C and they provide a wide range of health benefits, they are also known to cause digestive issues in sensitive people. And one such issue can be bloating. If you really crave for the fruit, you can try having a boiled Apple instead of a fresh one.
Garlic is popular around the world and is used for flavoring of the food and also as a health remedy. Garlic also causes bloating due to the fructans that are present in them and to avoid such effects pregnant women can have cooked garlic instead of a raw one. You can as well try replacing garlic with other spices or herbs like chives, thyme or basil.
Avoid Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are often used instead of sugar in a number of sugar-free foods and in chewing gums as well. If you are trying to replace regular sugar with sugar-free contents, it is time you look out for a replacement. Consuming foods that have high amounts of sugar alcohols can also cause a number of digestive issues of which gas, diarrhea and bloating are the most common. You can instead use honey or jaggery to sweeten the food. Remember that maple syrup too makes for a good substitute.
Mushrooms are loved by one and all and they can fill any paleo recipe with taste in no time. Mushrooms can also cause bloating as they have polyols and this is what makes them a FODMAP food.
Mushrooms also contain a type of fungi which can also aggravate a number of digestive issues in pregnant women who already are suffering from a yeast overgrowth. So, if you love mushrooms, you can try replacing them with other vegetables or avoid them until the birth of the baby.
Some of the best replacements for mushrooms are sautéed zucchini, or you can as well enjoy a hot bone broth.
Pregnant women should strictly stay away from the intake of alcohol, as it can prove to be harmful to both the mother and the baby. It is also important to stay away from food or drinks that have a high alcoholic content as they often leave you with a bloated feeling. A number of over the counter syrups too have alcohol content in them and can cause severe gastric issues. So, do not take any medication without consulting your doctor.
As a conclusion, it can be said that pregnant women who are suffering from bloating and gas can stay away from high FODMAP foods and from all those foods that have high levels of phytic acid. Also, food bloating can occur due to a number of other factors changes in your lifestyle or eating while you are distracted or not chewing the food properly.
So, if are suffering from bloating and gas try and bring in a few changes in your lifestyle and your diet as well. You can even make a list of foods that are making you feel uncomfortable and avoid eating them if possible. Additionally, you can as well check with a dietician who can guide you through the best pregnancy diet plan. If you still experience the same symptoms or if the symptoms worsen do consult your doctor immediately.