8 Ways To Beat Belly Bloat

Bloating, we all know the feeling, a tight distended stomach, that’s clearly not too happy about something we’ve just eaten. For most people bloating is something that occurs from time to time, usually after a period of indulgence, but for others it can happen on a more regular basis, leaving them uncomfortable and embarrassed. Whether you’re feeling bloated right now or know are just waiting for your next bloating flare up then here are 8 things that you could try.

Keep a food diary

If you find yourself regularly boating after a meal then this could be a sign of food intolerance. Food intolerances can lead to bloating by causing a build-up of uncomfortable gases in the stomach or preventing the bowel from emptying properly which both result in that all too familiar painful, distended stomach and feeling of general nausea. If you suspect that your bloating could be due to a food intolerance then it’s time to start keeping a food diary, this will help you to pinpoint what food it is that is triggering your bloating symptoms. If you find the connection then you will be able to start removing the culprit from your diet. To make sure you aren’t removing an ingredient or food group unnecessarily, it is also wise to get a food intolerance test.

Eat more fiber

One of the leading causes of bloating in adults is actually constipation. Constipation in adults can occur for a number of reasons including lack of exercise and lack of fibre. If you have irregular bowel movements or find yourself unable to go to the bathroom for extended periods of time then constipation could be the lead cause of your bloating discomfort. To get things moving again try to eat a diet filled with plenty of fibre, drink plenty of fluids and try to move your body at least a little every day, even if it’s just for a walk. If you still find your constipation to be a problem then you may need a little more of a boost, which is where constipation medications come in. Constipation medications can help to provide a fast-acting relief but they shouldn’t be relied upon long term and if despite eating plenty of fibre and drinking plenty of water you find your constipation issues continue then you may need to seek professional medical advice.

Say goodbye to bubbles

Another of the leading causes of bloating is excess gas which we inadvertently put into our bodies when we consume carbonated beverages. By drinking drinks such as Cola, beer, Champagne or even fizzy water we are swallowing thousands of tiny gas bubbles which, once in our stomachs, need to find a way to escape. Try laying off the fizzy drinks to see if this improves your bloating and instead swap them for still alternatives.

Cut down on gassy foods

As well as drinking bubbles you may also find that you’re eating a variety of gas-producing foods such as beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These foods are a little more tricky to digest than other vegetables which can lead to a degree of undigested plant protein in the lower intestine, which leads to the production of gas. In your food diary try noting when you consume these foods and if they give you any bloating side effects. If they do, then try eliminating them one at a time to see if you notice any improvement. In some instances, people find it easier to digest these kinds of plant proteins when they have been fermented first, though this is often a bit of trial and error and if you are struggling with bloating discomfort then elimination and reintroduction is often best. Just remember to still eat your recommended five a day from other plant sources.

Chew and swallow more slowly

The third and final most common way that we consume excess gas is by gulping it down as we swallow. To try and reduce the amount of gas you swallow chew more slowly and swallow more deliberately. Don’t eat while on the go or rushing and make sure that mealtimes are relaxed with plenty of time for you to properly chew and consume your food. One way to make yourself eat more slowly is to count the number of chews you do, or alternatively, eat off a smaller fork.

Be active

There are lots of twists and turns in our digestive system in which gas and food can get a little stuck. To help things move along, try to be active at least a little every day. A brisk walk or jog is an easy way to up your activity levels or alternatively try something such as yoga which even has a dedicated ‘wind relieving pose’ or Pavanamuktasana (pah-van-ah-mook-TAHS-uh-nuh), which gently massages the lower abdomen to release tension and encourage gases to escape. Wind relieving pose is a great way to relieve the painful symptoms of bloating as it happens but also to keep your digestive system free-flowing to prevent it from happening again.

Drink more water

Is there really anything that drinking more water can’t solve? Ok, maybe there is, but bloating isn’t one of them. Being sufficiently hydrated helps to provide your digestive system with the lubrication it needs to keep food moving along through the intestines. Without enough water you will become dehydrated, food will struggle to move through your bowel and you may end up constipated. Try to sip on water throughout the day to maintain a constant state of hydration and drink a larger glass before bed and then when you get up to get things moving again.

Take a probiotic

Millions of healthy gut bacteria work tirelessly to digest the food we consume but sometimes, due to stress or antibiotic medication, their numbers can become depleted, leaving our stomachs struggling to digest the food we eat. To give them a helping hand and replenish their numbers, try taking a probiotic. Probiotics can be taken in capsule form, in dairy products such as yoghurt, or even through fermented products such as Kimchi or Sauerkraut.

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