Have you ever had that uncomfortable feeling around your waist after a meal? The one where your pants are straining against your stomach, and you feel really, really uncomfortable. It may even feel like a football is stuck in your abdomen.
Though bloating rarely signals something serious and typically goes away after several hours, if it is becoming a common occurrence in your life, it can affect your quality of life, making you feel lethargic and unfocused.
What causes bloating?
Learning the causes of bloating is the first step in relieving the uncomfortable feelings of pressure and fullness. These are the leading causes:
- Diets rich in fatty foods: Foods high in fat travel slower through the intestines, resulting in more gas
- Processed foods
- Lack of fibre in the diet
- Eating too fast
- Gas build-up in the abdomen
- Imbalanced Gut: The human gut is home to more than 100 trillion microorganisms, and an imbalance can occur when the “good” bacteria become outnumbered by the “bad” microorganisms.
If your bloat is caused by an imbalance in your gut, then that’s the one you need to worry about as it’s not going away in a few hours.
One of the best ways to help bring back the delicate balance of your gut, which is responsible for your immune system, is Probiotics.
Probiotics help to replenish the body’s friendly microorganisms. These active cultures help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora. Probiotics help us absorb nutrients from the foods we eat, and they produce B vitamins we can use; they support our immune system and work to prevent harmful bacteria from making us sick.
To beat the bloating, you need to increase these good bacteria in your gut. This is what happens to your body when your probiotics levels are where they need to be.
- Improved digestion: The influx of good bacteria helps to digest food left behind in the digestive tract.
- Improved metabolism: Probiotics help relieve bloating and gas by improving the metabolism.
- Normal gas does not build up in one spot: Gas is a normal and healthy part of digestion but can be uncomfortable if too much builds up in one spot. When food and gas move quickly through the intestines, there is less incidence of accumulated gas or bloating.
Some of the best sources of Probiotics are found in your everyday meals:
- Plain yoghurt
- Idlis and Dosas (steamed food preparations)
- Homemade Pickles (achar)
Basically, any fermented food can be a great source of probiotics for your body.
But it’s not enough to just get the beneficial bacteria into your body. To make sure these good guys stay and thrive, you’ve got to feed them. And their preferred meal is prebiotics.
Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible soluble fibres that are linked to promoting the growth of the good bacteria in your gut. While prebiotics can be found in many daily staples such as garlic, onion, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats etc, the fibre content in them is very little.
Taking a prebiotic fibre supplement such as QNet’s Nutriplus Fibrefit can help you feed your good bacteria, who can then go about their business of keeping your digestive system healthy, and beat that bloat.
Note: While probiotics can help relieve temporary bloating, please consult your physician if your bloating continues, is unchanged by probiotic usage, or is accompanied by severe pain.