A bloated stomach is not only visually unsightly, but also unpleasant. Often this simply has to do with the foods we eat. A Harvard doctor explains what you should definitely avoid – and what is good for the intestines.

Feelings of fullness, flatulence and a bubbling feeling in the stomach – one in ten suffers from regular digestive problems. The reasons for this can be diverse: from stress to medication, to intolerances and hormonal fluctuations. Researching the cause is therefore not always easy.

“Finding out what is causing it is not easy because there are many factors that influence our digestion,” writes gastroenterologist Jaqueline Wolf from the renowned Harvard University in the USA on “CNBC.com”. However, a very common cause is diet. This mainly concerns certain foods that are poorly absorbed by the intestines. According to Wolf, anyone who often suffers from flatulence and a feeling of fullness after eating should avoid the following foods:

Fruit sugar, i.e. fructose, is not only found in fruits and vegetables, but is often used to sweeten industrially manufactured foods. According to Wolf, about half of the population (based on the United States) suffers from fructose malabsorption. The fructose can only be absorbed to a limited extent or not at all from the small intestine into the blood and therefore ends up in the large intestine.

According to experts, one in three people in Germany is affected by this. You should therefore be careful not only with fruit, but also with industrially produced foods, which often contain fructose:

Fruit is healthy and tastes very tasty. But the sweeter the fruit, the higher the risk of getting a bloated stomach. Because of the high fructose content, they are not as digestible – especially if you suffer from fructose malabsorption. The following types of fruit contain a particularly high amount of fructose:

According to Wolf, if you still don’t want to go without fruit, you should choose the following types of fruit instead:

Vegetables are also healthy, but unfortunately they can also cause flatulence. The fructans and galactans contained in it are responsible for this, explains Wolf. These are polysaccharides, i.e. carbohydrates. According to Wolf, these are broken down in the intestines by intestinal bacteria, which can lead to flatulence.  Most common in the following vegetables:

However, the following varieties are much more tolerable and less bloating:

Grain like

contains gluten, which can cause bloating in people with intolerances. Much less stressful for the intestines are gluten-free grains such as

Beans are also among the foods that put a strain on the digestive system. According to Wolf, the reason for this is the so-called raffinose, which is also a type of sugar that the body has difficulty breaking down. The high amount of fiber contained in beans can also cause flatulence. The most flatulent are varieties like

Much better on the other hand:

Fermented foods are healthy and actually good for the intestines, as the fermentation process produces many bacteria that are healthy for the intestines as well as other vitamins and minerals. However, Wolf points out that fermented foods like

They can also cause severe flatulence and therefore should not be consumed in excess.

Lactose can also cause flatulence. According to the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZFE), 15 to 20 percent of people in Germany alone are affected by lactose intolerance. The body does not produce enough lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose in the small intestine. This is how lactose reaches the large intestine, where it is fermented by intestinal bacteria. This in turn leads to flatulence, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Lactose-free products can therefore provide relief.

However, certain dairy products such as yogurt or quark are often well tolerated because they contain lactic acid bacteria, which make it easier for the body to digest lactose. Some types of cheese that have been aged for a long time also contain little lactose, as this is converted into lactic acid over time. Low-lactose cheeses include:

Wolf also advises avoiding sugar substitutes such as

According to Wolf, they cause a bloated stomach because the body cannot break down the sugar. The better alternatives: