There’s nothing worse than suffering from a bloated belly – especially if you’re about to go out. Abdominal bloating is a really common issue amongst females that can cause physical discomfort at the worst of times. That’s why we’ve made the ultimate guide to beating the bloat with these top tips to reduce bloating.
1. Cut Our Fizzy Drinks & Artificial Sweeteners
Fizzy drinks are great for quenching thirst and may make you feel fuller but carbonated drinks are acidic and could be contributing to your bloating. Fizzy drinks not only contain carbon dioxide but they can also cause you to swallow air. This causes air to become strapped and gas when it hits your stomach. Not only that, but the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks can also be pretty tough for many of us to digest. So to avoid the bloat, be sure to limit your fizzy drink intake.
2. Beware of Sugar Free
Sugar free options might seem like a good way to avoid sugar but the substitutes in these foods can be our own worst enemy when it comes to bloating. Sugar free foods and diabetic foods are made to be sweet using artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols such as xylitol and sorbitol. These sweeteners can be hard to digest and when they reach our intestine and gut can release gas and cause bloating when we consume too much!
3. Don’t Chew Too Much Chewing Gum
Sugar free gum is used by most of us to curb cravings and to get fresh breath after meals, but consuming too much gum can be a sin when it comes to beating the bloat! Not only does sugar free gum contain sweeteners but chewing gum also causes us to swallow air which can become trapped causing a bloated belly.
4. Watch Your Fibre
Fibre is a great addition to add to your diet found in fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, porridge oats and grains. Too little fibre may cause constipation which causes an unwanted and uncomfortable bloated abdomen. However, too much fibre or consuming too much fibre too soon can also have the same bloating effects. Crusciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussel sprouts can be a great source of insoluble fibre and provide lots of vitamins and minerals. But too much of this is hard for the body to digest and can make bloating worse. Make sure you’re getting enough fibre but be sure to increase your fibre slowly!
5. Eat Smaller Meals More Often & Eat More Slowly
Eating too much too fast is likely to make us feel pretty full, bloated and uncomfortable. Chewing food fast and overeating not only leads to feeling bloated but may also mean you’re swallowing a lot more air! A key habit we see amongst females is to eat very little through the day and then enjoying very large meals in the evening. By doing this, you are not fuelling your body at the right times and likely to suffer from poor digestion and bloating as our digestive system slows down when we go to sleep. To reduce bloating try consuming smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and small evening meals 2-3 hours before bedtime. Chewing your food more slowly will also reduce the amount of air swallowed and make you less likely to overeat!
6. Reduce Bloating with Probiotics & Take Digestive Enzymes
Probitoics are great for promoting healthy gut bacteria which can aid digestion and reduce gas and bloating. There are tons of supplements but some of the best probiotics come from fermented foods. Okay so you might not want to go out and by sauerkraut but did you know one of the most common probiotic is actually natural yogurt?! Which contains the probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Digestive enzymes can also be useful for reducing bloating and promoting better digestion. In terms of some common enzymes, Lactase is an enzyme used to break down lactase sugars we find in dairy products, amylase is used to digest starches, alpha-galactosidase is used to help digested carbohydrates we find in legumes, lipase is used to digest fats and protease to digest proteins!
7. Drink Peppermint & Ginger Tea
Peppermint and ginger tea have been renowned for aiding digestion, settling the stomach and acting as great anti bloating drinks. Try drinking tea after your meals or when the bloat hits!
8. Could You Have Lactose Intolerance or Food Allergies
Food allergies and common food intolerance’s can cause gas and bloating but these conditions need to be confirmed by a doctor. Some common food intolerance’s include lactose – the main carbohydrate in milk, eggs, fructose and wheat and gluten. If your bloating seems to happen after most meals its worth getting everything checked with your doctor to rule out any allergies.
9. Drink More Water and Watch Your Salt Intake
Salt can be a sneaky offender when it comes to bloating! Eating too much salt causes water retention which can cause us to feel bloated, puffy and uncomfortable. Similarly drinking too little water can also cause fluid retention issues. Make sure you watch your salt intake and consume plenty of water throughout the day.
10. Exercise & Reduce Stress
Now we’re not just saying this! Exercise is a great way to beat that bloat and also aid your digestive system. Even a small walk after eating can help push along your digestion and reduce bloating.
Exercise can also help reduce stress – a big contributor to bloating. Many people’s body’s react to stress in different ways but poor digestion and gastrointestinal issues is a common reaction to being stressed. Try relaxing and taking more time for you – and if you’re still looking to stay active, yoga is a great way to reduce stress.