How to Reduce Bloating
Bloating is one of the most uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms stemming from a compromised digestive system. The unwavering rise of a swollen belly after even the barest meal affects 10-30% of patients who visit doctors, according to a population-based study sampled in Olmsted County Minnesota. Those percentages are more likely to be higher because many people do not visit the doctor for their bloating issues since they assume it is not a serious medical condition or do not report it because they are simply too embarrassed. No matter your personal feelings towards a post meal engorged stomach, there are steps to take to manage your bloating and get back to normal.
Enjoy Small And Slow Meals – Eating smaller meals slowly and throughout the day is a great way of helping your body break down foods into easy to absorb particles that reduces irritating bloating. Plus, you get the added benefit of allowing your body time to feel full, which in turn helps curb your appetite and bad overeating habits.
Stay Hydrated – Hydration tackles bloating on two fronts: proper hydration is vital to digestion and elimination and when you are dehydrated, your body will attempt to retain water as a protection mechanism. Aim for half your body weight in ounces every day (for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for 75 ounces of water daily.)
Exercise Regularly – Exercise improves bowel function and reduces inflammation. Ensure that you are moving throughout your workday as well. Long periods of sitting or little movement may make bloating worse. Making time for short walks during the workday may help reduce or prevent bloating.
Hot Water and Lemon – “Hot Water and Lemon”: Some celebrities have been known to swear by this trick and for good reason. The lemon quickly acts as a diuretic, providing a steady flow of bathroom trips after ingesting and the hot water soothes your irritated gut. Other anti-inflammatory goods that may provide bloating relief are: pineapple, bananas, berries, nuts, papaya, mint, licorice, ginger, and peppermint.
Some Factors Do Make It Worse
Many food intolerances slide by, unseen to those suffering from bloating and one of the only ways to identify which allergies you might have is an elimination diet. Intolerances with foods like glucose, lactose, sorbitol (corn syrup) and the rarely diagnosed fructose are all backed by this small study .
More Strange Facts About Bloating
- Carbonated Drinks Are Not Your Friend
The bubbly beverages dotting your tongue with pricks of carbonation are common causes of bloating because when you drink these liquids the tiny air bubbles are stored in the bottom of your bowels. Champagne, sodas, sparkling water… all of these common drinks are brimming with air bubbles and while the sensation on your tongue might feel as if they are popping once inside your mouth, the majority make it all the way down to your lower intestine where they sit and wait to ruin your evening with stinging pains and a ballooning belly. Carbonated drinks aren’t the only oxygen vessels that might be causing your painful digestion. Drinking from a straw is another common cause that often leads to bloating because you imbibe way more 02 when gulping up beverages.
- Healthy Foods Don’t Always Mean Flat Tummies
Some of the healthiest vegetables out there are the biggest causes of stomach puff. You know those cancer-fighting nutritious veggies? The ones your doctor probably told you time and time again to hit your dinner plate at least three times a week? Well these cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are loaded with a particularly hard to break down carbohydrate that routinely billows up bellies faster than a frightened pufferfish. Add the fact that vegetables are packed with insoluble fiber, a nutrient that draws water into your intestines and these leafy side dishes are a recipe for a gassy disaster.
- Diet Foods? More Like Riot Foods…
All of the sugar-free or fat-free options are filled with synthetic sugar substitutes. Your body has no idea how to digest them which leaves them hanging out in your bowels sucking in water and blowing up your gut. Even if your body does manage to absorb some of these fake sweeteners, you’re going to end up with a deflating tummy paired with an onslaught of embarrassing gas.
- Prescription Meds Are No Joke
Anything containing a steroid can cause bloating especially medications. When your doctor is assigning your prescriptions make sure you mention you are suffering from bloating and want to keep water weight to a minimum.
Every person will have a different experience with bloating. For some, incorporating some or all of the tips in this guide will significantly improve their symptoms and overall quality of life. However, if these tips do not give you the results you were hoping for, or if you desire to learn more about your body’s functioning, talking to your doctor or nutritionist about participating in an elimination diet. Be sure to check out our recipes on our recipe page for more inspiration and download the free food guide found on our home page, perfect those serious about enhancing their gut health.