We’ve all experienced it—that sensation of fullness and swelling in the abdomen. This feeling is not only physically uncomfortable but also may affect our mood and self-esteem. So why does it happen and how can we stop it?
We all will experience bloating from time to time. Often caused by natural processes during digestion, bloating is typically triggered by the accumulation of fluid or production of gas in the body. However, bloating is not always caused by too much gas, but rather, how the body handles that gas.
Now for the good news: The occasional puff up can be reduced through some wise food choices and lifestyle changes. To ward off the inflation, these quick tips to feel lighter:
1. Rice (fully digested carbohydrates): Some foods, especially certain carbohydrates, are either indigestible or only partially digested in the gut. These foods can cause gas buildup and therefore bloating. According to American College of Gastroenterology, rice and rice flour make a good substitute for starches such as wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. Rice is fully digested in the small intestines, giving it the least potential to form gases in the gut.
2. Banana (potassium): Bloating is not always gas-related. High sodium intake could be the culprit. Hiding in most of today’s processed foods and restaurant items, sodium attracts and retains water in the body. Potassium on the other hand, can help counter sodium’s role. Maintaining your overall potassium-sodium level is important for water balance. If your bloat is a result of yesterday’s salty dinner, try adding sliced banana to your morning oatmeal for some balance.
3. Yogurt (probiotics): The basics of beating the bloat with yogurt is to first make sure you’re choosing a yogurt that has active cultures. Regularly consuming yogurt with active cultures increases lactobacillus and bifidobacterium—the “good” bacteria—in the digestive tract, which facilitate efficient digestion and prevention of belly bloat. The best source is plain, non-fat or low-fat yogurt. If you need a bit of sweetness, mix in fresh fruit at home rather than grabbing flavored yogurts.
When you’re suffering from belly bloat, probably the last thing on your mind is to drink more H20 to fill up your tummy—but that’s exactly what you need to do! When your body is feeling parched, it goes on emergency mode and retains water so you don’t dehydrate. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to regulate your system, wash away toxins, and flatten that tummy!
5. Load up on fiber
Feeling constipated? Reach for fiber-rich cereal or fruit (apples, pears, bananas), or mix yourself a psyllium drink to help move things along.
6.Find out your “windy” triggers
Some tummies are tougher than others, and your bestie might be able to gorge on all kinds of food without feeling the least bit puffy. Keep a diary to keep track of your reaction to food, and if you notice an intolerance for anything, cut down on your consumption, or eliminate it from your diet. Notorious gassy foods include: fizzy drinks, beans, broccoli, cabbage, and camote (the “magical fruit”!)—but don’t make bloating an excuse to cut down on nutritious veggies! Meanwhile, some people exhibit an intolerance for dairy, wheat, gluten, and sugar substitutes/sugar alcohols (so take note if you get a flatulence attack after that “sugar-free” snack!).
7. Lemon water
There’s a reason why lemon water is turning out to be everyone’s wonder remedy. Lemon juice squeezed into a glass of warm water every morning helps cleanse the system and reduce salt retention; it’s also great in aiding digestion after a particularly heavy meal. Another trick is to add slices of lemon and toxin-busting cucumber into your pitcher of drinking water before popping it in the fridge.
8. Cut back on salt
Salt is the number one culprit when it comes to bloating, and most of our sodium intake is from preservative-laden canned food, restaurant meals, and junk food. Go for fresher, unprocessed, home-cooked options, and hold the salt. Eat more fruits and veggies, but make sure to choose a low-sodium salad dressing!
9. Resist the hot stuff
Ever feel like a whale after dousing a meal with hot sauce or chili powder? Spicy foods trigger the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation and make your middle feel instantly puffy. Season your food with fresh herbs like basil, mint, tarragon, and rosemary instead.
10. Break these habits
They seem innocent enough, but chewing gum or sipping liquids through a straw makes you end up swallowing more air than normal, which gets trapped in your gut and gives you that bloated feeling. Proper posture also aids in digestion, so be sure you don’t slouch, especially during meal times!
Source: Beauty Talk Your Guide to the Good Life