Does Cabbage Make You Bloated?………..Find Out
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Ever experienced that uncomfortable sensation of fullness after a meal? The one where your stomach seems to have its own expansion plan? Well, that’s bloating and it turns out it is a common experience – some people experience it regularly while others do once in a while. Bloating could be a result of several factors such as: eating too much, eating too fast, or the primary culprit – taking foods and drinks that contain lots of gas. And guess what often falls into this gas-producing category? Cabbage!
While occasional bloating might be an unavoidable aftereffect of food indulgence, dealing with it frequently can be more than just a minor inconvenience. The good news is, since our food choices are the primary offenders, knowing foods that cause bloating and the reason why they do so can help us reduce the regular occurrence of bloating.
Does Cabbage Make You Bloated?
Surprisingly, yes. Even foods as healthy as cabbage can cause bloating. Cabbage belongs to a family of vegetables known as cruciferous vegetables. Vegetables in this family include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, etc. They contain fibers and complex carbohydrates that can be challenging for the digestive system to break down completely and as such result in the production of gas which causes bloating.
In addition to complex carbohydrates and fibers, compounds known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) are also found in cabbage. These are short-chained carbohydrates and much like the fibers and complex carbohydrates, they tend to resist digestion in the small intestine and move to the large intestine mostly intact. The action of the gut bacteria on foods in the large intestine leads to fermentation and it is this fermentation process that produces gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. The accumulation of these gasses results in bloating.
Additionally, FODMAPs are osmotically active and can draw water into the intestines, further contributing to the bloating sensation.
It takes about 40 minutes for cabbage to digest when eaten raw. This means that you may experience gas about an hour after the meal, and the bloating could last the first 3 – 5 hours after the meal as the bacteria break down the leftover fiber.
The easiest way to eat cabbage and avoid bloating would be to opt for cooked cabbage instead because cooking makes it a lot easier on the digestive system by softening the fiber before consumption. However, we may still want to be able to enjoy the fresh flavor of our veggies without the discomfort of our bellies bloating. The best way to do this is to let your digestive system adjust over time. The trick is to start with smaller portions and gradually increase your intake. Also, eat them slowly, and make a habit of taking a walk after eating them. Moving helps to prevent gas buildup and reduce bloating.
When feeling bloated and gassy, certain foods and remedies can help alleviate the discomfort. Some options to consider include:
- Peppermint Tea
Foods To Reduce Bloating Quickly
Certain foods have a soothing effect on the digestive system and are effective in providing quick relief from bloating. Some popular options are:
- Peppermint tea or capsules can help to relax the muscles of the digestive tract.
- Ginger which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease digestive distress.
- Fruits such as pineapple and papaya contain enzymes that aid in digestion.
- Low FODMAP foods like bananas, cucumbers, carrots, etc.
- Vegetables like asparagus with diuretic properties can help reduce bloating by promoting urine production.
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Other Foods That Cause Bloating and Gas
One efficient way to avoid bloating and gas is to avoid or limit your intake of foods that cause bloating and gas. To do that, you need to know these foods. Here is a list of other foods that cause bloating and gas besides cabbage:
- Beans and Legumes
- Carbonated beverages
- Greasy foods
- Dairy products
Now that we have a better understanding of the factors that contribute to bloating when eating cabbage or other foods, we can make informed choices about our diet – what we eat and how we eat them – for a more comfortable and digestive-friendly lifestyle.
Yes, cabbage can cause increased gas production and flatulence.
Cabbage contains lots of fiber and complex carbohydrates as well as FODMAP compounds which are difficult to digest. They ferment in the large intestine to produce gas which results in bloating.
Yes, raw cabbage makes you bloated, cooked cabbage is easier to digest.
Yes, cabbage juice is also known to cause bloating and stomach discomfort.
Gas, abdominal pain and bloating are known side effects of the cabbage soup diet.
Every cabbage variety, including red cabbage, contains lots of fiber and complex carbohydrates that can cause bloating due to the difficulty with digestion.
Cooking cabbage helps to break down some of the fibers and this makes it easier to digest but it still has the potential to make you bloated. The effect will be less compared to raw cabbage.