Excuse Me: 8 Surprising Foods That Cause Gas | Reader's Digest

Excuse Me: 8 Surprising Foods That Cause Gas

You might think these healthy foods are good to eat, but for many they create too much gas buildup in the stomach or small intestine, causing bloating and a puffy belly. To remedy that, see The 7 Best Foods for Your Diet.

By Liz Vaccariello from 21-Day Tummy (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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    Watermelon

    This summer treat is sweet and refreshing, but it could be the sneaky cause of stomach bloat. Watermelon is high in fructose, a naturally occurring sugar that is often incompletely absorbed by our GI system, leading to gas. Experts estimate one in three people suffer from fructose malabsorption. 

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    Scallions (and other aromatics)

    Veggies with strong flavors, like scallions (just the white part), garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks (just the white bottom) are high in fructans, a type of fiber made up mostly of fructose molecules. Humans lack the enzymes to break down fructans, so no one is able to fully digest them, leading to gut problems like gas and bloating. 

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    Blackberries

    Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, but they're also packed with polyols, the main component in sugar substitutes (which are often blamed for abdominal distress). Polyols tend to hang around our digestive system for a long time and usually aren't completely absorbed, which can lead to bloating or excessive flatulence. 

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    Artichokes

    Beware of this veggie if you're trying to battle bloat. It's high in fructans, a fiber that is undigestible and can cause gas and bloating problems.

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    Mangoes

    Mango is one fruit that contains more fructose than glucose, an imbalance that makes it harder for the fructose to be absorbed by our body. When this happens, bloating or other stomach problems can arise. 

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    Snow peas

    The snap of a snow pea is refreshing, but it can leave your belly feeling anything but. Snow peas contain galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), a chain of sugars that are hard to digest and end up feeding gut bacteria, a cause of bloating. Snow peas also contain fructans and are high in polyols, which are often only partially absorbed by the body, another cause of stomach problems. 

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    Plums

    Plums are packed with polyols, often called sugar alcohols because of their structure (they look like both sugar and alcohol) and because they're fermented by gut bacteria, which leads to stomach problems like bloating. 

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    Apples

    Apples can be a trigger for those who suffer from fructose malabsorption, which occurs when the natural sugar is unable to be absorbed by the body. Fructose malabsorption leads to bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. 

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