Many people suffer from regular bloating. It can make the stomach appear swollen and can be incredibly uncomfortable. Trapped gas and constipation can be two of the biggest causes of bloating, which themselves can be the result of various factors.
Here are some way to repair your digestive system and beat bloating.
Take care with gluten and lactose
It’s worth ruling out food allergies first as a cause of bloating. Gluten and lactose are just two common triggers worth looking into.
In the case gluten intolerance, gut inflammation and digestive problems are a common symptom. Going gluten-free for a week could help to test for this allergy – foods like pasta and bread are likely to be the main culprits. There are plenty of gluten free substitutes that you can use.
Lactose intolerance can similarly cause bloating and stomach pain and could also be worth looking into. Milk and cheese may be some of the biggest causes. Whilst giving these up is no easy feat, you may want to try a week without these foods to check that they’re not to blame.
Avoid gassy foods and drinks
Consuming too many gassy foods and drinks can also cause bloating. Beans are a famous example of foods that cause gas due to their content of oligosaccharides. Cabbage, sprouts and asparagus are a few others that contain similarly complex sugars. Whilst these foods many be ordinarily health, they may be worth avoiding if you’re already bloated, as they could make things worse
Fizzy soft drinks and beer are two other foods that could also cause bloating. As a result, you may want to keep these drinks to a minimum too. Fizzy soft drinks can be particularly bad for the gut – as well being carbonated, many of these drinks contain high levels of sugar that can fuel inflammation in the gut and promote growth of the wrong type of gut bacteria.
Drinking more water could also help to rid your bloated belly. By staying hydrated, you can flush out your gut, which could help to get rid of any gas and trigger foods. If you’re constipated meanwhile, drinking lots of water could help to get things flowing freely again. We should all be drinking 8 glasses of water per day.
Up your fibre
Foods that are high in fibre may be able to also help beat bloating. Unfortunately, many of these are also typically gassy foods as well as being food allergy triggers. For instance, bread is a high fibre food, but it could also be the cause of an intolerance. As a result, you should be very careful with high fibre foods – it could be worth sticking to safe options like potatoes, apples and pepper. Consume these foods with lots of water and you’ll help flush out your gut.
Chew your food more thoroughly
Not chewing your food thoroughly enough can also lead to gut problems. Because the food is entering the gut in larger chunks, the stomach has to work twice as hard to digest it. This results in more gas and more bloating.
The average healthy amount of chews per mouthful of food is 32. For tougher foods like steaks and nuts, 40 chews are recommended.
Consume more probiotics
The gut is made up of good and bad bacteria. Amongst this good bacteria are probiotics, which can help to fight off stomach bugs and improve digestive comfort. This includes bloating.
Probiotics appear in several fermented foods including yoghurts, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. They can also be bought from pharmacies as a supplement if you’re not into these foods.
Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when bloated, however it can be an effective way of beating the bloat. When we’re physically active, our digestive system becomes more active, potentially helping you to clear up constipation and pass gas. This could be anything from a workout at the gym to a brisk walk.
Consider your medication
Sometimes medication for other conditions can have the side effect of bloating. This has been noted with everything from opioid painkillers to iron supplements.
Such medication could be essential to coping with other far worse illnesses. As a result, you may want to speak to your doctor about what they recommend. Some may be able to offer a counter-medicine that can help fight the bloating.
Get a good night’s sleep
The body does a lot of its healing at night and also gets round to doing a lot more digestive work. Encouraging a good night’s sleep could be an easy way to easing your bloated belly. Getting less than six hours could prevent your body from getting the chance to debloat and may even make the problem worse. Aim for a healthy 7 to 8 hours of sleep.