Foods that cause bloating

Identifying trigger foods and adapting what you eat is one way of keeping the bloat at bay during this time of the month. Here we’ll break down some of the common foods that make bloating worse - and suggest some that can help.
Adam Hamdi
Written by

Coni Longden-Jefferson


Did you know that 75% of people struggle with bloating before and during their period? Whilst this is a common symptom, it’s not one you should have to put up with.

Identifying trigger foods and adapting what you eat is one way of keeping the bloat at bay during this time of the month. Here we’ll break down some of the common foods that make bloating worse - and suggest some that can help. 

Key Takeaways  

  • Not all boating is food-related, some of it is connected to the hormonal fluctuations of our menstrual cycle 
  • However, some foods can trigger bloating - but these can be unique to you and your dietary sensitivities
  • Keeping a food diary can help you identify your trigger foods 
  • Some common foods that cause bloating include dairy and salty foods 
  • Some foods can help with bloating -  including ginger and yoghurt


Foods vs Hormones


It’s first important to realise that bloating isn’t always simply caused by what we eat. Our fluctuating hormones can play a big role in our bloat - especially at key points of our cycle like menstruation, PMS and ovulation. As our oestrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall, this can trigger water retention and painful bloating. 

Changes in hormones can also cause us some digestive distress. For example, in the second half of the cycle when progesterone is dominant, you might find that your digestive system is working a little slower than usual, which can lead to constipation. You can read more about period poo problems and how to solve them here!  


Unique Trigger Foods

However, it is true that certain foods can trigger or exacerbate bloating. There are a few key food groups that are common culprits (we’ll come on to them shortly!) but it’s important to remember that everyone’s digestive system is different. What causes bloating and gut health problems for one person, may not be the same for another. 

One of the best ways to identify your unique trigger foods is to keep a food diary. This will involve writing down everything you eat and drink over a month and then keeping a note of any symptoms you experience. You might find you can spot some patterns ie. ‘Every time I eat dairy I struggle with bloating’ and this can help you identify any intolerances and adapt your diet accordingly.


Foods that can cause bloating

If you want to get a head start on beating the bloat, here are a few foods that are known to cause havoc in your gut. 



Dairy is an important food group for many of us - a great source of protein and calcium. However, around 65% of the population struggles to digest dairy (aka they are lactose intolerant). This means when they eat dairy products - including milk and cheese - they can struggle with symptoms including gas, cramping and - you guessed it - bloating.  


Fizzy Drinks

Carbonated drinks are another very common cause of bloating - and it makes sense. Bloating is often a build-up of gas in the stomach and these drinks contain high amounts of carbon dioxide, that’s what makes them fizzy! When you drink them you end up swallowing a lot of gas, which can get trapped and cause uncomfortable bloating (as well as making you burp!) 


Spicy Foods

We love hot wings and curries but spicy foods can unfortunately cause bloating. In some people, spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation, gas, and inflammation. In particular, spices like chilli, garlic, onion and cloves can disrupt digestion and encourage gas buildup.


Salty Foods

When you eat foods that are high in salt (aka sodium) your body holds on to the fluids you consume to try and balance things out. This can lead to water retention and painful bloating. You might think that simply not adding salt to your meals will help with this - but the truth is there is hidden sodium in many of the foods we eat. Processed foods like ready meals, pizzas and canned soup, all have sneaky salt content, which is why cooking your own, fresh meals is a great idea. 


Foods that can ease bloating


Just as there are foods that can cause bloating, there are some that can help you out! 



Now, obviously, if you’re lactose intolerant, you’re going to want to give yoghurt a miss. However, if you can cope with dairy, yoghurt has lots of benefits for your gut health. It’s packed with probiotics, which are good bacteria that help your digestive system function. 

Research shows that probiotics can help to reduce painful bloating and cramps, even in people with IBS.  



Ginger is known for various soothing properties - and it’s great at relieving digestive distress (which is why we included it in our MyDebloat supplement!) The anti-inflammatory superfood also helps to encourage efficient digestion, so your food doesn’t hang out in your gut for too long causing havoc and bloating.


Green Tea

Green tea helps to relieve bloating in a couple of ways. Firstly it helps to reduce inflammation which is always great news, especially if your bloating is connected to endometriosis (read more about endo belly here). It’s also a natural laxative and helps to stimulate the digestive system so things keep moving and you’re not stuck feeling constipated! 



If you’re struggling with bloating, you want to make sure you have enough fibre in your diet - as this will help with your digestion. Bananas are a great source of fibre and they also have the added benefit of being rich in potassium. This nutrient is great for fluid balance and can help to prevent water retention. 



You can also take supplements to help ease bloating. Our MyDebloat supplement has been created with your hormonal health in mind and includes natural ingredients like ginger and magnesium to help you beat the bloat once and for all!