Beating the Bloating
Heading to the gym, about to go out or you’re putting on an outfit you love but you’ve got an uneasy and upsetting pressure in your lower abdominals? Bloating! It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant and can really knock your self-esteem.
Bloating is something many people deal with on the daily. So below are a few tips and tricks to help beat that bloat!
What is Bloating?
To understand how to beat the bloat, we must recognise what is the cause. In simple terms, bloating is the build-up of gas in the digestive tract, causing a temporary and forced expansion on your lower abdominal region, also known as a ‘food baby’.
There are numerous reasons as to why this is happening. Generally, it’s an issue with digestion.
However, other common causes include:
Hormones, periods and some forms of birth control, such as the Pill
Food intolerances, allergies or deficiencies.
Inadequate protein digestion- causing fermenting of some foods.
Inability to break down sugar and carbohydrate properly- some people lack the enzymes needed to completely digest complex sugar compounds.
Imbalances in gut bacteria – greater amounts of bad bacteria than good bacteria in the digestive tract, resulting in bloating and gas.
Sleep problems and stress
As individuals, our response to various foods differ. Although there are some common foods that cause issues and provoke gas/bloating.
Foods to look out for are:
Refined grains/ grain products
Sugar and sweetened snacks
Certain fruit and veggies
Beans and legumes
Carbonated (fizzy) drinks
How to beat the bloat?
Hormones, periods and the Pill
During your period cycle, there is a lot of things going on in your body that can trigger bloating. During this time bloating can be a result of water retention and rises in oestrogen.
To reduce bloating during this time of the month perhaps try:
- Limiting your salt intake- fluid retention can occur through excess salt.
- Exercise - Reduces PMS symptoms- including bloat.
Avoid build-up of gas
Having gas is completely normal. Although, eating trigger foods and swallowing too much air can cause an increase in gas production which can be upsetting and uncomfortable. Gas build up is a frequent cause of bloating amongst many.
Things you can do are:
- Consume natural digestives - fennel, peppermint and dandelion aid in digestion and sooth gas and bloating.
- Avoid drinking quickly through straws -can cause excess air to be swallowed.
- Consume smaller portions more often and eat slowly
Dehydration can cause bloating. When the body becomes dehydrated it holds onto water for survival, causing bloat. Your body operates better and is happier when hydrated so keep up your fluid levels. Staying hydrated also helps to break down food. Aim for 2L minimum per day.
Consuming food you’re intolerant or allergic to can put stress on the digestive system. Common symptoms of intolerances or allergies to food are bloating, gas and even diarrhea.
Try to avoid consuming the particular foods that make you upset; perhaps try an alternative instead.
Probiotics and Fermented foods
Help restore gut health by restoring balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotics promote nutrient absorption and a healthy gut, resulting in less bloating.
Keep track of what your consuming to determine any potential trigger foods that you can rule out or avoid.
Bloating can really knock your self-esteem and confidence, and it’s something that can affect all of us. Identifying those triggers and finding treatments/remedies that best suit you will be the best way to beating the bloat. So, give some of these tips a go to regain your confidence and beat that bloat for good!