Has your belly ever felt bloated? When this happens, what should you do? Finding the answer isn't easy, since this problem hasn't seemed important enough to the medical community to study it. Fortunately, a dietitian, Tamara Duker Freuman, working with a gastroenterologist took the problem seriously and wrote a comprehensive book called the Bloated Belly Whisperer. She starts her book by including a questionnaire to help you decide where in your gut your problem originates. Is it the stomach, the intestine, or the colon? After you answer this questionnaire she directs you to the right chapter or chapters you need to read. Although a standard recommendation for the problem is to "eat more fiber", the type of fiber you are eating may be the culprit. Some fibers are more gut friendly than others. Quinoa includes this type of fiber. It is easy to cook and is gentle to your gut. Click on Quinoa Primavera (pictured below) for a tasty recipe using this versatile food. Click here for a website with lots of other wonderful quinoa recipes.
Of course it's not possible to summarize all of Freuman's findings in this blog. However, I can tell you that many bloated belly issues come from fermenting carbohydrates that your gut does not handle well. A trial elimination diet called the FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Australia and has been used for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and related issues. There is a lot of information about this diet on the web as well as wonderful free apps. After the elimination period, foods are reintroduced to find the triggers. Working with a dietitian knowledgeable about the FODMAP diet is the best way to design your personalized plan.
Tricia Gregory, MA,RD/N
A dietitian who is a foodie and loves a great dinner party with wonderful food and terrific friends.