- Food and diet
- Eating a balanced diet
- 8 tips for healthy eating
- The Eatwell Guide
- Food labels
- Food labelling terms
- Reference intakes on food labels
- Starchy foods and carbohydrates
- Dairy and alternatives
- Meat in your diet
- Fish and shellfish
- The healthy way to eat eggs
- Beans and pulses
- Water, drinks and your health
- Eating processed foods
- Why 5 A Day?
- What counts?
- 5 A Day portion sizes
- 5 A Day tips
- 5 A Day FAQs
- Fat: the facts
- Salt: the facts
- Sugar: the facts
- Top sources of added sugar
- What does 100 calories look like?
- Red meat and the risk of bowel cancer
- What is a Mediterranean diet?
- 20 tips to eat well for less
- How to prepare and cook food safely
- How to store food and leftovers
- 10 ways to prevent food poisoning
- Why you should never wash raw chicken
- Cooking turkey
- How to wash fruit and vegetables
- The truth about sweeteners
- Sprouted seeds safety advice
- The vegetarian diet
- The vegan diet
- Vegetarian and vegan mums-to-be
- Vegetarian and vegan diets Q&A
- Recipes and tips
- Healthy breakfasts
- Surprising 100-calorie snacks
- 8 healthy eating tips
- How to eat more fibre
- Healthy food swaps
- Healthy breakfast cereals
- How to eat less saturated fat
- Tips for a lower salt diet
- How to cut down on sugar
- Healthier takeaways
- Food and drinks for sport
- Healthy eating for teens
- Digestive health
Beat the bloat
Get rid of bloating by cutting out fizzy drinks and foods that cause wind. Sit down to eat and exercise regularly.
Most of us have experienced the feeling of being bloated, when your tummy is stretched, puffy and uncomfortable. It often happens after a big weekend or over a festive season.
But if you are experiencing persistent bloating, it may be caused by a digestive problem or issues with your diet.
If your tummy often feels bloated, it could be due to:
Excess wind and bloating
Cut down on foods known to cause wind and bloating, such as:
But make sure you still eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Constipation and bloating
If you get constipation, take steps to prevent it by adding more fibre to your diet, drinking lots of fluids and exercising regularly. Even a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk 4 times a week can improve your bowel function.
Find out more about how to eat more fibre.
Swallowing air and bloating
Try not to swallow too much air. Do not talk and eat at the same time, sit down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over), reduce the amount of fizzy drinks you consume, stop chewing gum and chew with your mouth closed so that you're not taking in excess air.
Food intolerance and bloating
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
Find out whether you should cut out bread to stop bloating.
Find out more about food intolerance.
Coeliac disease and bloating
Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where your intestine cannot absorb gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have Coeliac disease, eating foods containing gluten can also trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue.
See your GP if you suspect you may have Coeliac disease.
There is no cure for Coeliac disease but, once the condition has been diagnosed, switching to a gluten-free diet should help.
Find out more about Coeliac disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome and bloating
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often complain of bloating, especially in the evening.
The bloating of IBS does not seem to be linked with excess wind. It's thought to be down to erratic propulsion of contents through the bowel.
Find out more about IBS.
When to see a doctor
If your bloating symptoms persist, consult your GP to rule out a more serious condition. Bloating and a persistent feeling of fullness are key symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Find out more about what to eat to help your digestion.