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Why do you feel bloated after eating salad — and what to do about it

Even eating something as healthy as salad can cause bloating. Know how to prevent salad bloat with some easy-to-follow tips!
Bloating after eating salad
Eating salad can also cause bloating. Image courtesy: Freepik
Purvi Kalra Published: 1 Apr 2024, 10:30 am IST
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Eat your greens, we have always heard! And what better way to have your meal served than as a fresh bowl of colourful salad? Salads are great for our health. They are a powerhouse of essential nutrients and are packed with gut-loving fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. However, that pleasant feeling after eating salad is not always the same for everyone. Some people experience the downsides of consuming raw salad, and bloating could be a common concern. At times, eating raw food can lead to digestive issues like bloating. If that’s you, find out how to prevent salad bloat.

Why does bloating happen after eating a salad?

Feeling bloated after eating salad or veggies by themselves could be caused by several factors, explains nutritionist Nupuur Patil.

1. High fiber content

Vegetables high in fibre, particularly cruciferous ones like broccoli and cauliflower, might make you feel bloated and gassy if you eat them in large amounts or if your body isn’t used to them, tells the expert.

2. Raw veggies

Compared to cooked vegetables, some people may find it more difficult to digest raw veggies, which can cause bloating or gas.

how to prevent salad bloat
Bloating due to stress and anxiety is common. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Swallowing air

Bloating may result from swallowing air, which can happen while eating rapidly or without fully chewing food.

4. Food intolerances

Some persons are sensitive to or intolerant of some regularly used veggies or substances.

How to avoid gas or bloating after eating a salad?

There are many ways in which you can manage the salad bloat, and here are some of those:

1. Level up on your water intake

Our body is full of digestive juices, and drinking ample water helps maintain their optimal amounts in the body. Also, any form of soluble fibre (mainly found in grains, nuts, seeds, and some fruits and veggies) attracts water. This means that if you are not drinking adequate water, things won’t flow in your body, and you’ll end up with issues like bloating, gas, or pain.

Word of caution: This doesn’t mean that you start drinking a lot of water while having your meals. When you drink water with food, you dilute the effect of your digestive juices in the body, meaning they lose their digestive power. Instead, you can consume minimal liquids with your meals, and drink freely having some time gap after your meals.

how to prevent salad bloat
Good hydration can help keep salad bloating at bay. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Make it a point to chew your food a lot

Often, we are in a hurry to gobble down our breakfast or lunch on the go. Take your full time to properly chew your food until it reaches an almost-liquid consistency. Digestion starts in your mouth. So, if you don’t start breaking down your food in the mouth, it’ll get harder to digest when it reaches your gut.

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3. Change the way you eat

Swap those on-the-go meals for the ones where you are comfortably sitting down and feeling calmer. Stress hinders the digestive processes. So, if you are eating when your body isn’t prepared for food, it will lead to poor digestion and uneasy feelings.

Also read: 7 spices for bloating: Ward off your digestive issues with these kitchen ingredients

4. Feed your body good bacteria

We all are aware that our gut has a lot of healthy bacteria, and they contribute a lot to the process of breaking down fibre. Kombucha, curd, or kimchi are some good quality probiotics, meaning they are excellent sources of good bacteria. Having them in your daily life will accelerate the digestion process for you, helping curb issues like bloating after having salads.

5. Go for a short walk

After having your salad, you can go for a short walk, or indulge in some mild stretching. Doing any form of mild workout after having salad can help loosen up the gut muscles and will aid in releasing any trapped gas.

6. Cook some of the vegetables in your salad

When you apply temperature or heat to some of the vegetables in your salad, you help break them down, making them easier to digest in your digestive tract.

7. Massage your abdomen

Try massaging your abdomen if making dietary adjustments doesn’t relieve your bloating. By doing this, you may ease the passage of food through your intestines and lessen pain, shares nutritionist Nupuur Patil.

Explaining the way to do it, she says, “Begin on your right side close to your pelvis, rubbing in a circular motion upward until you come to your ribs. Proceed directly to your upper left side, then descend to your left hip. Then move in the direction of your belly button once. Then, continue doing this in a clockwise manner for a maximum of ten minutes. Rotating in a counterclockwise direction may exacerbate your issue”.

Practising these tips will help you reduce bloating after eating salads and help you eat healthy every day!

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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