We’ve all had those days when we wake up feeling just a bit heavier and looking slightly puffy. Your favourite pair of comfy jeans suddenly feels tighter. The belly bulge you’ve been trying to get rid of suddenly feels even bigger! Let’s not forget the feeling of discomfort that goes along with all of this.
Say hello to one of the most common digestive disorders we have all experienced at one time or another – Bloating.
Bloating is an extremely uncomfortable and annoying problem that is caused mainly due to the formation of intestinal gas. Gas may form in the intestine due to the scarcity of fibre in foods, lack of fluids or reduced physical activity.
Fortunately, you don’t just have to suck it up when it comes to bloating (even if you are sucking it in). Here are some of our favourite tips that you can try to ease your bloating woes:
1. Green or Herbal Tea
Green tea is a natural diuretic that helps in flushing out excess fluid from the body. Warm green tea with a dash of lemon is a healthy and refreshing way of reducing bloating and gas. Other diuretics like black tea and coffee also work wonders in cutting out the puffy feeling. In addition, the natural anti-oxidants present in certain types of herbal teas keep you refreshed and vitalised throughout the day.
Eating around 20 to 40 gms of fibre every day is an essential part of a healthy diet. But if you are starting to eat more fibre, you may be experiencing some digestive distress. Gas and bloating can be a common byproduct of upping your fibre intake too quickly. Making healthy changes takes time, and symptoms like gas and bloating could initially be part of your healing process. In fact, flatulence and bloating can be caused by too much or too little fibre.
Moderate your intake of gas causing fibre-rich foods. Beans and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower contain fibre and sugars that are harder for your body to digest. This can lead to excess bloating and gas. Eat only a 1/2-cup serving of one of these foods at a time.
Instead, sprinkle or mix some Nutriplus Fibrefit into your food to get your daily-recommended usage of dietary fibre, to ensure you don’t miss out of the benefits while keeping the discomfort away.
Most of us reduce our water intake when we feel bloated because we do not want to bloat our belly any further. That would be a mistake! Our body tries to retain water to avoid the risk of dehydration. In the case of a bloating problem, you should try to flush out liquids from the body instead of storing them.
Drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Soluble fibre from fruits, vegetables, oats and other foods absorbs water in the intestines. This forms a gel-like mass that eases the movement of food in the digestive tract. It is important to be sufficiently hydrated for healthy digestion.
Add a few slices of lemon to your drinking water bottle/jug. Lemon, when added to warm water acts as a natural, mild laxative that also helps clear out the intestine and provides relief from that uneasy bloaty feeling.
You probably hear a lot about exercise in your quest for healthy living, and there’s a reason for that: regular exercise makes a big difference. There is no substitute.
Sure, exercise can help you tone your muscles, increase your energy, and help you slim down. It can also do things for your digestive system—like stimulate your metabolism, promote healthy gut microflora, and keep your bowels functioning optimally. Cardio exercises can also activate sweat glands, which then expel fluids, rather than retain them. When you’re taking care of your digestive system, bloating becomes a lot less likely.
5. Don’t Overeat
Eating too much won’t just leave you feeling unwell; it also leaves you looking a little, well, bloated. Eating large meals, especially those full of starches and sodium, will leave your belly bulging. Combat overeating by paying attention to your portions, eating slowly, and stopping when you’re no longer hungry. You can also try eating six small meals a day, rather than three large ones, to help resist the urge to overeat.
6. Watch What You Eat
Just as important as how much you eat, is what you are eating. Foods that are more difficult to digest leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. These foods tend to create gas in your intestine, which creates that “full” look and feel. Other foods may promote fluid retention, which also leads to bloating.
It’s likely that last night’s over-salty dinner is the culprit behind your bloat this morning. Just like sodium (from the salt), aerated drinks, processed foods and certain vegetables can also lead to bloating.
You can combat the effects of sodium by increasing your potassium intake. Good sources of potassium include bananas, melons, avocado, white beans, and spinach. Starches, including bread, rice, and pasta, also create bloating, because they’re difficult for the stomach to digest. Instead, eat more protein.
It may take some time to figure out what solution works best for your body. So, don’t give up, and keep at it and you should be able to beat the bloat!