Stomach bloating can be caused by a range of things, but certain foods are a common culprit. Beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower are all foods listed by the NHS which have become known to cause bloating. But another, experts have found, may surprise you. Almonds are favoured for their high fibre, protein, calcium, vitamin E and unsaturated fat content.
Almonds could be the reason behind your cramps, bloating, wind and even diarrhoea
But raw or roasted, they could be the reason behind your cramps, bloating, wind and even diarrhoea, according to food intolerance testing experts.
Dr Gill Hart, a biochemist and scientific director at YorkTest Laboratories, says those with an intolerance to almonds may experience negative reactions when they consume them – or other almond-based products, like almond milk.
And they are found in many of the foods loved by Brits – like cakes, biscuits, muesli, sweets and ice-cream.
Dr Hart explained: “Among the most common reactions almond intolerance sufferers may experience is bloating, wind, stomach pain and cramps and diarrhoea – all of which can be associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“However almonds are presented, whether chopped, roasted or toasted, they can still be problematic for some people”.
Almond intolerance symptoms vary from person to person, and Dr Hart says there isn’t one sign alone that tells a person they can’t eat almonds.
Other common reactions sufferers can experience include eczema, itchy skin, acne, tiredness, a runny nose and sinusitis, and nausea.
But it’s important to note that having an intolerance to almonds, or any other foods, is different to being allergic to them.
Dr Hart adds: “There is a stark difference between both a food allergy and food intolerance.
“If you have an intolerance, you will likely develop symptoms over a few hours, possibly even days, as your body tries to process the problem food.
“But if you have an allergy, your symptoms will be immediate and much more serious – people should seek help immediately in these instances.
“The majority of people who suffer from an almond intolerance will also react to other foods too, and that’s why it’s important to get tested.
“At YorkTest, we believe everyone has their own ‘food fingerprint’.
“For those that have positive reactions, we find the average person reacts to four or five ingredients. So it can be virtually impossible to determine the exact combination of foods that individuals are reacting to without a food intolerance test.”
Almonds are part of a group of nuts called tree nuts, which include hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and pistachios. Almonds are used to make marzipan, frangipani and praline, and cost around 50p for a pack of 20 nuts from most supermarkets.
They have been found to lower blood sugar levels, blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
Many people use almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk, in their cereal or coffee, or make almond butter for use in breakfast and brunch dishes like pancakes.
Dr Hart says anyone experiencing any problems should seek medical advice – as symptoms of IBS, like bloating, could be a sign or a more serious problem.
She adds: “We would always advise people to visit their GPs if they’re experiencing any difficulties.
“But these symptoms could also be signs of a food intolerance.
“IgG reactions are mostly linked with gut imbalances and inflammation.
“By testing which foods cause these reactions in each person, we can advise them which foods to cut from their diets, and help to ensure any trigger foods are replaced with equally nutritious alternatives.”
One drink could help reduce a bloated belly and relieve flatulence.
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