News

Always Bloated? Here’s What To Do About It.


Stomach bloating is an increasingly common symptom - most people experience some sort of bloating at some point in their lives, if not regularly. Bloating is characterized by the abdomen distending outwards and is often vaguely or sometimes more seriously uncomfortable. It sometimes is accompanied by feeling gassy, full, or having pain in the abdomen.


Bloating is different from actual fat gain around the stomach. Bloating is temporary and is usually caused by air in the abdomen.


For most people, bloating is uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing. Some people joke about looking pregnant when they are feeling particularly bloated! If you have severe bloating that is accompanied by any other symptoms in the body, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor.


After ruling out more serious causes of bloat, here are 5 things you can do to help reduce bloating:


  • Chew food well. Chewing your food is one of the most important but often overlooked steps for good digestion. When we take time to properly chew our food, not only is it broken down into small pieces that are easier for our bodies to digest, the food also mixes with enzymes in our saliva. These enzymes do an incredible job of chemically digesting carbohydrates - all on their own! Many people do not realize how quickly they swallow their food. Practising mindfulness while you eat by avoiding distractions such as T.V. and computers is a very important place to start. Chew each bite of food 20 times. This will feel like a lot but it’s a good way to allow this positive habit to form.

  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration and consequential electrolyte imbalances can hamper digestion and often will cause constipation. The digestive tract needs water to keep things moving smoothly. The more water your drink and the better hydrated you are, the less likely you are to become bloated. Focus on hydrating in between meals. Begin your morning by drinking a tall glass of room temperature water as soon as you wake up. Buy a reusable water bottle to carry with you throughout your day.

  • Eat water-rich fruits and veggies. Not only can fruits and veggies boost your hydration throughout the day, they also contain electrolytes and enzymes that aid digestion and are an excellent source of fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet is key for ensuring good digestion and preventing air and poop from getting trapped in your digestive tract.

  • Consume probiotics. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that can populate your digestive tract and force out the “bad bacteria.” Bad bacteria can contribute to the gasses and excess air in the digestive tract that can cause bloating. Probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi are a great way to get probiotics in everyday and boost digestion. You can aso use a good quality probiotic supplement.

  • Identify food triggers. We all react differently to different foods. What causes bloating in one person may be totally different from another person. Keeping a food journal tracking your food intake and symptoms may help be helpful in identifying which foods are causing your bloat. Some common foods that may cause bloating in some individuals are:

    • Sugary and processed foods
    • Dairy products
    • Wheat and gluten containing products
    • Other grains/refined grains like corn and oats
    • Some vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and onion
    • Beans/legumes
    • Carbonated drinks
    • Chewing gum

    Taking on a few healthy habits can also help reduce bloating - stress management and regular exercise are important for good digestion and a happy belly.

     

     

    By: Ali MacBoudreau

    R.H.N.

    Ali is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Her mission is to help you discover just how vibrant and amazing you can feel, by giving you the tools you need to make lasting changes. (Hint, it involves delicious food!) To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about 

    Ali MacBoudreau, C.H.N.P.