A bloated tummy is most often caused by trapped or excess wind.
This can happen when consuming food and drinks which are hard to digest or are gassy.
Junk food and stodgy food are common culprits of food which is hard to digest.
Some vegetables can also be difficult for the digestive system to break down, such as cabbage, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and onions.
Gassy drinks, meanwhile, include soft drinks and beer.
On the other hand, fruit can be good for the digestive system due to its high fibre content.
This is because fibre helps to bulk up the stools in the large intestine and move them along the digestive tract more quickly.
Fibre also makes the stools softer, making them easier to pass.
“Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps to keep your digestive system in good working order, and has many other important health benefits,” said Bupa.
While fruit in general is high in fibre, some fruits are better than others at aiding the digestive process due to the different vitamins and enzymes they contain.
One fruit which is particularly beneficial to digestion, is the kiwifruit.
As well as being high in fibre, kiwis contain a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin.
Proteolytic enzymes are enzymes that digest protein.
According to Mike Boland and Paul Moughan in their book ‘Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 68: Nutritional Benefits of Kiwifruit’, actinidin can provide enhanced upper-tract digestion of a variety of food proteins and protein-rich foods.
These can include milk, meat, fish, eggs, legumes and cereal proteins.
“Clear evidence is provided that green kiwifruit, and the enzyme actinidin itself, can provide enhanced upper-tract digestion (particularly gastric) of a variety of food proteins, which lends support to a role for dietary kiwifruit as a digestive aid,” said Boland and Moughan.
“Kiwifruit extract alone (in the absence of other digestive enzymes) has been observed to be capable of digesting some proteins present in foods, particularly those in yoghurt, cheese, fish, and raw eggs.”
Kiwis are also high in potassium, which helps prevent water retention, as are bananas and oranges.
Pineapples and papayas are other fruits which can help ease a bloated stomach.
Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme which helps reduce swelling, while papayas contain the proteolytic enzyme papain.
Published at Sat, 20 Oct 2018 14:38:00 +0000