How to beat bloating
Summer is fast approaching and it’s at this time of year that many people start to worry about having to expose parts of their body, which have been kept under wraps for the last few months. Feeling body confident therefore is key, but if you are one of the millions of people who suffer from bloating, then feeling good about yourself can be difficult, especially if you are on the beach wearing beachwear! Nobody wants to feel uncomfortable and bloated, especially during holiday season, so if this is something you suffer with, read on and find out how to beat the bloat!
Feeling bloated is not the same for everyone. For some people, feeling bloated is more of a sensation of continual fullness, general uncomfortableness in the stomach or bowel area, or a feeling of tightness like a band around the stomach area. Other people can suffer more physical symptoms with their bloating and can experience swelling and distension of the abdomen, stomach pains and excess flatulence. Whether you suffer some, or all of these symptoms it can lead to miserableness, especially if symptoms are experienced daily. Do not despair however, as there are things that you can do, which can help ease these symptoms.
However, bloating is not always linked to overeating and some people may suffer from bloating on a regular basis – even when they haven’t had a large meal.
Bloating can be very uncomfortable but, thankfully, there are a number of ways you can change your diet and lifestyle to help tackle this unwelcome feeling.
Learn more about some simple ways to help you beat the bloat.
Boosting your water intake can work wonders. Water flushes waste out of your system and helps get things moving if you’re constipated—a frequent cause of bloating, especially in pregnant women and new moms. And don’t forget to eat lots of fruits and veggies, because they’re about 80 to 90 percent water. Oranges and watermelon are two great options.
Don’t eat too much in one sitting
That feeling of being overly full after a large meal is familiar to us all. To avoid this, rather than eating one large meal, eat less and more often.
Along with eating smaller meals, chewing your food correctly also has two key benefits – it helps reduce the amount of air you swallow with the food, and it also makes you eat a lot slower, reducing your intake of food.
Ensure you eat plenty of fibre
Constipation can often increase the symptoms of bloating, so ensure you are eating plenty of cereals and vegetables to keep yourself regular. Constipation is a common digestive problem and can be a result of a number of different causes such as not eating enough fibre. Other things that can cause constipation include:
- A change in eating habits
- A lack of exercise
- Avoiding going to the toilet
- Not drinking enough liquids
Check if you’re intolerant to certain foods
Eating foods that you’re intolerant to may lead to an excess of gas production, an unsettled stomach, and bloating.
If you think you may be intolerant to certain foods, consult with your doctor or a dietician who can advise you on changes to your diet.
Do dairy wisely
If milk, yogurt, and other dairy products give you gas, start with small servings and slowly up your intake over time, just as you would with other hard-to-digest foods. You may want to try taking lactase enzymes like Lactaid before indulging in foods such as ice cream and cheese, since this will help your body digest the dairy products more easily. If gas still gives you grief, try switching to soy or lactose-free foods.
Effects of Sugar
Foods high in sugar can also cause issues with bloating sensations, which again could be easily confused with an intolerance to food. Some foods which are high in sugar, when over-consumed can cause pressure to build up in the gut due to concentration differences in water/sugar between the gut wall and blood stream. This can lead to stomach cramps which are certainly not enjoyable. Consuming high sugar foods, in high volumes, can often cause this cramping sensation. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you experienced stomach cramping and thought of it as bloating. Some of you may also think this is an intolerance to lactose. However it may actually be the sheer volume of sugar entering your stomach at once, causing that pressure build up in the gut.
Make use of probiotics
Probiotic supplements can often help improve and reduce symptoms of gas and bloating in people with digestive problems. Probiotic bacteria is essential for a well-functioning intestine and consuming fermented foods should be a regular habit. However, this does depend on the individual as well as the type of probiotic strain used.
The magic of herbs and spices
Herbs and spices can be very potent and have, for thousands of years, offered therapeutic benefits for a variety of ailments, and bloating is no exception. There are three main ones that can be specifically helpful here: Fennel, cloves and cinnamon. Fennel is known for its anti-flatulent properties, so excellent in reducing gas and therefore definitely something to have after a long flight! Cloves, like fennel, have anti-flatulent properties too and is often thought of as the most effective herbal remedy to reduce bloating and gas, as well as being helpful in alleviating nausea. One reason that cloves are said to be effective in the battle of the bloat, is that some research suggests that cloves increase the activity of digestive enzymes. The spice cinnamon is helpful for speeding up a sluggish digestive system, so can help resolve bloating caused by this. All three of these can be consumed in a variety of ways, but one of the easiest ways is by making a drink with them or buying a herbal or spice tea bag containing any of the three herbs or spices mentioned above. Making a tea yourself though will ensure that it’s more potent, but using a tea bag is easier and is also a great thing to pack in your suitcase ready for your travels!
Exercise and keep moving
It may seem simple, but don’t forget to exercise and keep moving whether at home or travelling, as exercise is essential for bowel movements and reducing bloating. So if your holiday is more rest and relaxation rather than active adventure, then try and take some moderate exercise each day. Even a small walk can help bowel motility and can ease bloating.
If you regularly suffer from a bloated stomach, try to adopt these lifestyle and dietary changes to avoid the common symptoms of bloating.