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I don’t believe there is any one adult that hasn’t experienced the uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing feeling of bloating. There can be a myriad of reasons behind bloated bellies such as overeating; eating too fast; eating rich, fatty foods, food allergies or, because of the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome; and other food sensitivities.
Here's the 24-hour go-to plan I practice myself and recommend to my patients for speedy relief when that unwanted balloon belly comes along:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
We often think that, if we're drinking a lot of water, we're contributing to the bloat but that quite incorrect. Your body is more likely to retain fluid if you are dehydrated and what’s more, is being dehydrated may lead to lead to constipation, which in turn adds to bloating. Water keeps lubricates the digestive tract and helps flush waste away.
Something many people don’t know is that parsley is a diuretic that also helps flush and strengthen the kidneys. By drinking it, you are allowing your body to naturally flush out toxins which will reduce swelling and bloating. Combine two cups water with a bunch of parsley, a teaspoon of raw honey, squeeze of lime or lemon and infuse with several strawberries.
2. Cut out Dairy, Grains, and Sugar for the day.
Any food can be a source of intestinal distress if you have trouble digesting dairy, grains and sugars which can be notorious for being hard on the digestive system, and since we eat them regularly, many people with dairy, gluten, or even fructose sensitivities don't know it.
Grains are very high in fibre so read on, and let me tell you more about avoiding fibre when feeling bloated.
3. Eat Probiotics and Not More Fibre
Eating probiotics and keeping the billions of bacteria in your gut happy not only helps regulate your digestive system, but it can help reduce bloating.
It would be natural to think adding fibre to your daily diet would assist the bloat, but too much fibre will create painful gas.
So look for foods containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, like Greek yogurt, miso, and tempeh. Or, take the bacteria in supplement form. (Just be sure to talk to your doctor first.)
4. Steer Clear of Artificial Sweeteners, Fizzy Drinks, and Processed Foods
Many people have a hard time digesting artificial sweeteners. What isn’t said is that they contain sugar alcohols that are brutal on the gut.
Carbonated drinks are not only adding more air to your already effervescent gut but they also contain sodium, and too much sodium leads to bloating. Sodium causes fluid build-up that increases your blood volume and makes your heart work harder.
For these same reasons, avoid processed foods that are more often than not laden with excess fat, preservatives, sodium, and sugar or sugar alcohols.
5. Exercise, Including Yoga.
A minimum 15 to 20 minutes of activity each day will help fight constipation and keep things moving smoothly through your digestive tract, which prevents bloating. Many people swear by yoga because it offers movements like forward folds, twists, and belly breath which can literally move things along in your
stomach and intestines.
The best thing to do if you're bloated is to rest your gut and give it the time, movement, and healing process it requires. For one day, try these tips for quick relief.