Foods That Commonly Cause Bloating

Abdominal bloating is that puffy, swollen feeling you can get due to excess gas. It often happens as a result of eating quickly, eating beyond fullness, or eating foods high in fiber that can cause gas to build up in your digestive tract. Other causes include constipation and menstruation.

Usually bloating isn't serious and is completely normal, but it can make you uncomfortable and bring unpleasant awareness to your body. It's possible that bloating can be a symptom of a health problem, so if it occurs frequently, please speak with your health care provider.

Foods that cause gas can cause bloating. They aren't necessarily bad for you – in fact, many of them are healthy high-fiber foods that belong in a healthy diet. There are some things you can do to help reduce the discomfort. But first, here's a look at foods that might be making your belly feel bloated.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Dry beans and lentils are high in a fiber called raffinose and eating them in large amounts can result in a lot of gas formation. Legumes are nutrient rich, so they are a great addition to a balanced diet. Avoid excess gas by starting with small portions and slowly build up the amounts you eat. Or try a digestive aid such as Beano.


Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables can cause bloating.
Joy/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale are also high in raffinose so they can cause gas and bloating. But they're also high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and can add a variety of nutrients to any meal plan. Steaming your cruciferous veggies might help reduce some of the bloating.

Your digestive system will adjust to high-fiber foods over time, so start with smaller portions and increase them gradually.


Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated beverages cause bloating.
Jesus Ayala/Getty Images

Carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks and beer can make you feel bloated because you're essentially swallowing air. You'll probably get some relief by belching, but you might still feel some bloating for a while after. Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy and eating or drinking too fast may have a similar effect.


Greasy Foods

Greasy foods cause bloating.
Westend61/Getty Images

Eating a meal that's high in fat can also make you feel bloated. Fats slow down the rate at which your stomach empties into the small intestine. So while eating some fat is fine, eating a higher-fat meal might contribute to some uncomfortable abdominal distention and bloating. Be sure to pay attention to how your body responds to foods that cause discomfort in order to make an informed decision the next time around.


Foods Sweetened With Alcohol Sugars

Foods sweetened with alcohol sugars cause bloating.
Juanmonino/Getty Images

Foods sweetened with alcohol sugars, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol can cause you to feel bloated because you don't digest them well so they're fermented by bacteria in your digestive tract. Alcohol sugars are used in sugar-free gum and candy as well as some "low-carb" foods.


Dairy Products

Cream cheese

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Milk and dairy products can cause discomfort and bloat for people who have lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest milk sugar (lactose). It's especially common in Native Americans, African-Americans, Asians, and Latinos. Drinking lactose-free milk or taking lactase pills with your dairy products can help alleviate the symptoms, but please speak with your health care provider first.


Whole Grains

Whole grains may cause bloating.
Michael Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Whole grains are a great addition to most diets because they're rich in fiber and nutrients. But the fiber, along with the starch, can make you feel a bit bloated depending on the amount you eat or how accustomed your body is to it. The good news is that your digestive system will adapt to the extra fiber and the gas and bloating should decrease over time.

Was this page helpful?