Bloating from Brown Rice

Organic Rice, brown rice
A large bowl of dry brown rice. (Image: Hobbypix/iStock/Getty Images)

With its nutty taste and chewy texture, brown rice has become a staple in many American kitchens; it's not just for health-food aficionados anymore. Also known as whole-grain rice, brown rice is not milled, so the bran and the germ of the grain are retained. It has more nutrients and dietary fiber than refined white rice, and the fiber can be one of the causes of bloating.

Dietary Fiber Content

Brown rice, as a whole grain, is naturally high in dietary fiber. A 1-cup serving of cooked brown rice has 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, which is 9.2 percent to 14 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake of 25 to 38 grams. Dietary fiber can cause gas, especially if you eat a lot in a short period of time, or if you suddenly increase your fiber intake. To reduce the risk of gas from increased fiber consumption, add brown rice to your diet gradually.

Carbs May Produce Gas

Gas is produced naturally during the digestive process, especially with foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as brown rice and other whole grains. A 1-cup serving of cooked brown rice has almost 45 grams of carbohydrates. If you are not used to eating brown rice and other whole grains, your digestive system may be unprepared to digest such a large quantity of carbohydrates.

Watch How You Eat

Swallowing air is common during the eating and chewing process. But if you take in too much air as you eat, this can cause extra gas to develop in your digestive system, leading to a bloated feeling. By chewing brown rice thoroughly, you will encourage healthy digestion, as well as reduce the amount of air you swallow while eating.

Other Causes of Bloating

According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, bloating may be a sign of other digestive complications that are not related to producing too much gas. Bloating can result from how gas passes through your digestive system, but it can also be caused by more serious conditions, such as an intestinal obstruction or colon cancer. Bloating is also a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome, a functional disorder that results from how your digestive system works. If you experience bloating when you eat brown rice, talk to your doctor to make sure that a medical condition isn't the cause.

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