Don’t most of us struggle with #bloating? I used to wake up, feel great, eat something and my belly would just grow and grow.
Bloating is usually caused by excess gas production, and/or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system.
Bloating correlates with how quickly the food you are eating can be digested. Food that sits in the stomach for too long can create a feeling of constant fullness and bloating.
Here are a few tips to reduce bloating and gas:
1) Mind your portions and chew your food well! Digestion starts in the mouth as saliva contains enzymes that start to breakdown foods. The better food is chewed the less work for the digestive system.
2) Try to relax especially your stomach and the muscles around your abdomen. Stress can cause all sorts of things as well as it can manipulate efficient digestion.
3) Eat the heaviest part of your meal first. This ensures that the digestive acid is first available for the hardest foods to breakdown. If all you have in your stomach is salad while you wait for the waiter to bring your steak, then you are going to have a large amount of acid working on small, easy to digest foods.
4) Try not to eat salt rich foods. It is a different kind of bloating that causes water retention and can cause puffiness because it leads to bulk in the skin.
5) Be careful with carbonated beverages! They get their bubbles from carbon dioxide. The drink will slowly release in your gut and supply gas directly to your digestive system.
6) Un-chlorinated water and herbal teas are great for digestion. Peppermint and ginger also provide a calming and soothing effect on the digestive system.
7) Listen to your body when it comes to dairy products. Lactose is hard to digest and is the main bloat causing component of dairy.
8) Eat “good” carbs like whole wheat products. For example, eat sweet potato instead of regular potatoes, brown rice instead of white rice or whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Carbs in general are a little tougher to digest. But they are essential and the main source of energy during activity. We want the feeling of fullness to be good.
There is a difference between eating a burger and feeling full and exhausted and eating e.g. sweet potato and feeling full but energized.
9) Avoid foods with a high fat or oil content such as fatty meats and fried foods. Fats can be difficult and slow to digest. Try for example unprocessed meats like chicken breast without the skin and fish.
10) Generally, lettuce, spinach, and kale and are healthy foods that can decrease acid indigestion. With that being said …
11) …. my most important tip: watch what you eat and how your body reacts to it. For example, I personally would not consider spinach as healthy for my body because every time I eat it my stomach gets insanely gassy and starts cramping.
The key factor in reducing bloating and gas pain is keeping food moving through the digestive process as quickly and efficiently as possible and listening to what YOUR body determines as “healthy”.