5 Free & Easy Ways to Help Beat the Bloat
27 January 2021
Ever wondered why you seem to have a flat stomach in the morning (well flattish) and then come the evening you could be forgiven for being 5 months pregnant?
If so, join the growing number of people who experience abdominal bloating. I’m not referring to a few extra pounds of stomach fat which takes time to accumulate, but the temporary distention which affects almost everyone on occasion and some more than others. The good news is, although stomach bloating can cause discomfort and gets in the way of you and your slim fitting jeans, provided your expansion is not due to a medical condition, the likely cause is intestinal gas and there is much that can be done about that.
Here are 5 simple strategies to help you achieve a flatter stomach:
1. Practice Mindful Eating
Taking time to chew your food thoroughly stimulates the digestive processes required to adequately break down your food and absorb the nutrients within. By the time food leaves your mouth it should resemble gruel. If you eat too quickly you run the risk of swallowing air with each mouthful which can cause gas. Also, food that’s not broken down sufficiently can lead to fermentation in the small intestine and this can cause bloating.
2. Don’t Drink Too Much Liquid with Your Meal
Taking on too much fluid with your meals can reduce the potency of your digestive juices needed to adequately break down food. A small amount of water (approximately 200ml) should be fine.
3. Try Not to Eat If You Are Stressed
I know, easier said than done right. However, when we are stressed, the body goes from ‘rest and digest’ mode to ‘fight or flight’ and in simple terms this means that digestive processes are switched off. End result, poorly digested food able to ferment in the gut producing gas and bloating.
4. Eat Smaller Portions 4 Hours Apart
Eating too much food at one interval can overburden your digestive processes which again, may result in an unwelcome heavy feeling in your abdomen (think Christmas Day), gas and bloating. Eating smaller meals with approximately 4 hours between gives your digestive system a better chance of processing each meal adequately. Breaks between meals allows time to clean up the intestines, leaving fewer remnants behind which gut bacteria can feed off and create the gases which lead to bloating.
5. Take Steps to Avoid Constipation
Sorry but if you’re not eliminating on a daily basis, in the eyes of a Naturopath, you’re somewhat constipated, and constipation can result in bloating. To help avoid this, drink sufficient hydrating liquids (1.5 – 2 litres per day), consume adequate fibre in foods like whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and take part in some form of physical activity.
Hopefully, these simple strategies offer you some benefit. If not, you may like to consider whether you have a food intolerance or imbalance in good to bad gut bacteria.
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