A handful of almonds is a healthy snack rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Almonds are also high in vitamin E and magnesium, as well as a good source of fiber, which can help keep your digestion healthy. For some people, however, almonds can cause gastrointestinal problems, including the feeling of being bloated. The high-fiber content in almonds is a common cause, but feeling bloated could also be because of an allergy to almonds. If you experience severe bloating, or if the bloating is accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms, it could be the sign of a digestive disorder.
Children and adults should consume between 20 and 30 grams of fiber per day to maintain healthy digestion and prevent constipation, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. One cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fiber, which is one reason it makes a healthy snack. However, the fiber can also cause intestinal gas in some people, particularly if you eat a lot of almonds at once, which can subsequently produce other symptoms including bloating and abdominal cramps. Adding too much fiber to your diet too quickly is a common cause of gas if you don't typically eat a lot of fiber.
Almonds are part of a group of nuts called "tree nuts," which also includes walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews and pistachios. Tree nut allergies are one of the most common food allergies in children and adults, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. Although an allergic reaction is triggered by the immune system, gastrointestinal symptoms including stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Other allergy-related symptoms, such as itching or a tingling sensation around the mouth, can also be present. An allergy to nuts is serious and requires medical treatment.
Experiencing bloating after eating almonds could also potentially be because of a digestive disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a common problem, with approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population experiencing IBS at some point in their lives, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. IBS is a mild disorder, but can have problematic symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation. Fiber is a common trigger for some people with IBS. Bloating could also be the sign of a more serious disease in rare cases.
Mild bloating because of fiber may be prevented by reducing the amount of almonds you consume. If you don't consume much fiber, gradually increasing the amount of almonds you eat slowly over a period of several weeks can give your body time to adjust, possibly eliminating bloating because of gas. Taking a supplement, such as simethicone, can also reduce the amount of gas in your intestines, which may also eliminate the feeling of being bloated. If you suspect an allergy or digestive disorder, consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nuts, Almonds
- Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: Gas in the Digestive Tract
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Fiber
- MedlinePlus: Fiber
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber
- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Food Allergy Symptoms
- Food Allergy Research & Education: Tree Nut Allergy
- MedlinePlus: Abdominal Bloating
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Irritable Bowel Syndrome