Nutrition for the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Beat the Bloat!

Beat the Bloat!

If you have ever dealt with persistent, uncomfortable belly bloating after eating then this is the blog post for you! It’s time to beat the bloat for good!

What causes bloating and how to prevent it!

There are many contributing factors that trigger your belly to blow up like a balloon (at least that’s what it feels like) after your meals. Simply put, if you are aware of what it causing your bloating you will be better equipped to prevent it! Here are some probable causes of your bloating:

 

LOW STOMACH ACID: Sufficient stomach acid is necessary to properly breakdown and digest the food you eat. So naturally, when stomach acid is low (e.g excessive use of antacids) it inhibits proper digestion.

Solution: Drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water 15 minutes before a large meal.


FOOD SENSITIVITIES: Most people are sensitive to common foods and don’t even know it! Dairy, gluten, and soy are common allergens and also foods that many people are sensitive to because they can inflame the gut lining.

Solution: To see whether dairy, gluten and soy are triggering your bloating, try cutting them out for a few days and observe any changes in your digestion. You can test them one at a time to pin point which is affecting you the most.


SWALLOWING AIR: Breathing in through your mouth, using straws to drink, and chewing gum are ways in which excess air can enter the digestive tract and bloat up the belly.

Solution: Ditch the chewing gum and straws (it’s better for the environment anyways). Be conscious of your breathing pattern. If you tend to inhale mostly through your mouth make it a point to bring your attention to your breath and redirect it to inhale through your nose instead.


CARBONATED DRINKS: Although a crowd favourite sodas, beer, carbonated water, and fizzy drinks in general are notorious for triggering bloating, burping, and gas!

Solution: Opt for water, tea, or kombucha with your meal instead! Note: although kombucha is carbonated, it contains enzymes and probiotics to help beat the bloat, unlike sugary carbonated drinks!


DYSBIOSIS: This is a fancy word for gut imbalance. When your bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria in the gut it can cause bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation, and a whole array of other uncomfortable digestive symptoms.

Solution: Take a daily probiotic supplement to replenish your gut flora. A probiotic colonizes the gut with good bacteria to keep your gas and bloating at bay. Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh are great food sources of good bacteria for a happy gut.


INTESTINAL DISORDERS: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, and Crohn’s disease are examples of intestinal disorders that cause persistent bloating.

Solution: If you think that your persistent bloating may be due to a more serious intestinal issue it is important to get it checked out by a health care practitioner.


CONSTIPATION: If you are not having regular bowel movements (1-3 daily) to remove toxins from your body, then it is likely that bloating will be more frequent. What goes in must come out!

Solution: Make sure you are eating enough fibre (30-40g daily) and drinking plenty of water to stay regular. Exercise is another great way to prevent constipation.


EATING TOO FAST: Are you someone who eats on-the-go or in a rush? Eating too fast does not allow you to properly chew your food. The stomach has a harder time breaking down larger chunks of food that were not chewed properly and this causes bloated due to sluggish digestion.

Solution: Set aside enough time for meals where you can be mentally present as you nourish your body with delicious food. Chew and enjoy every bite of your food.


PMS: Hormonal fluctuation is unfortunately also a culprit for belly bloating.

Solution: Exercise is great way to ward of PMS bloating. Try going for brisk walk, dancing, jogging, or skipping rope. Also organic herbal teas are great for relief of PMS bloating. Some of my favourites are nettle, dandelion, ginger, and peppermint tea.


EATING TOO MUCH SALT: Next time you go to sprinkle an extra dash of salt on your food keep in mind that sodium promotes water retention in the body! Eating too much salt can make your skin look puffy and swollen, so take it easy on the salt.

Solution: By incorporating more raw foods into your diet (e.g ripe fruit, fresh vegetables) you can cut back on the amount of sodium you consume daily because raw foods do not require salting! Start your mornings with a big green smoothie instead of salty bacon, eggs, sausage etc. Avoid processed, canned, or packaged foods which are laden with added salt. Lastly, drink more water to flush out the water retention caused from eating salty foods!


 

*Do you know someone who could benefit from these Beat the Bloat tricks?! Share the love by sharing this blog post with them!*