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What are gas and bloating?

Gas and bloating are normal functions of your digestive system and in most cases they are harmless. Gas and bloating can be caused by certain foods, eating habits, and lifestyle factors. Both can be uncomfortable feelings that can be managed through diet and lifestyle changes. If you have changed something in your diet, it is normal to feel some changes that might resolve as your body adjusts.

Why am I experiencing gas and bloating?

  • If you are not used to eating Portfolio Diet foods, your body might be adjusting to new eating patterns.
  • Fibre is good for digestion, but adding a lot too quickly without drinking enough water* can lead to discomfort.
  • High fibre foods include:
    • Legumes
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Dietary supplements like psyllium husk
  • Beans are high in fibre and in fermentable sugars, which can result in gas and bloating.
  • You may find that you are eating more in order to reach the recommended amount of Portfolio points. Try planning your meals ahead of time to figure out the best meals for your body.

*Daily water intake recommendations are 9 cups per day for females and 12 cups per day for males (1 cup = 250mL).

Tips for Reducing Gas and Bloating

  • Drink more water when adding fibre rich foods to your diet.
  • Slowly add high fibre foods to your diet. For example, add one serving of fibre (such as an apple) to your diet for a week and increase it to 2 servings the next week.
  • Pre-soak dried legumes in water for 4 hours before use. Drain and rinse them before cooking.
  • Introduce new foods slowly and keep track of how they make you feel.
  • Eat slowly, chew each bite well and relax while eating.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Regular physical activity can keep your digestive system working properly.
    • Walking, bike riding, dancing, yoga, swimming, etc. after meals
  • Try removing peels and skins from fruits or vegetables, this reduces the fibre content and makes them easier to digest. Reintroduce peels and skins as tolerated.

Keep a food diary to determine what exact food are causing discomfort and then limit or avoid those foods. There are lots of options to choose from within the Portfolio Diet to meet your needs while meeting the checklist requirements. Everyone reacts differently to different foods.

*If your gas and bloating will not go away or worsens, please contact your family doctor, dietitian, or health care provider to understand why.

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