Many people experience bloating daily, and while you may think you’re eating right and staying healthy, you might not be aware of what is causing the persistent problem. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that over 20% of adults experience bloating regularly and have no idea what’s behind the issue. Discover simple rules to banishing your bloated belly by following these tips.
Avoid Bloating Foods
Foods that cause bloating—including those that are processed or organic—are everywhere. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and beans are often the culprits behind a gassy, uncomfortable stomach. Processed foods are also stomach destroyers, as they have fillers, sugar, and colorings that your body finds hard to digest.
It’s difficult to determine which foods may cause extreme sensitivity, but keeping a log will help you find the problem foods quickly. Write down what you eat and how it made you feel to discover any gas-related issues. You may find surprising which foods cause bloating, but common intolerances include dairy, fructose, and wheat.
Part of avoiding bloating foods is trying to create a balanced diet. With more fiber and protein, as well as less sugar and salt, your stomach will feel better. Fiber in particular is beneficial to your digestion because it keeps food flowing smoothly through your digestive tract. It is also a great source of a bacterial cultures that protect the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Without this lining, sugar and salt can have a detrimental effect on your stomach and put you at risk for inflammatory illnesses such as colitis, IBS, or Crohn’s disease.
Since artificial sweeteners are difficult for your body to digest, they remain in your gut and cause gas. Additionally, according to Harvard School of Public Health, salt and sodium result in excess fluids that not only cause discomfort, but also force your heart to work harder. Staying hydrated and avoiding sodas and energy drinks will help your body to flush out toxins, excess sugars, and salt.
How Do You Eat?
You may not have thought the style and speed of your chewing would make a difference to your digestion, but eating too fast and chewing too little can be harmful to your gut. With haphazard chewing, you can swallow chunks that are too large and ingest additional air that your body doesn’t need. Chewing more slowly also has the added benefit of preventing overeating—another cause of stomach bloating and discomfort.
Cook Your Food
While there are currently plenty of trends that advocate eating raw foods, the side effects to your digestive system may outweigh the benefits. You can still get all of the necessary vitamins and minerals from your vegetables and meat if you steam or boil them before eating. Cooked food is easier for your body to digest; and often, cooking vegetables can break down the enzymes that cause you to bloat.
Stand Up Straight
Sitting in a slumped position at your desk bends your internal organs, including your digestive tract. Straighten up and better your oxygen and blood flow, which will improve circulation and ease digestion. Not only does proper posture enhance your digestion, it helps in many different areas of your life as well, including fitness, focus, and confidence.
Probiotics are one of the most popular treatments to bloating that help people suffering from bloating, gas, IBS, and other bowel problems. Probiotics work by increasing the amount of good bacteria in your stomach, which help you break down nutrients and digest food. Some foods naturally contain probiotics—like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut—but these have only one or two strains of beneficial bacteria. For the best results, find a supplement with at least six unique strains and several billion colony-forming units.
Bust Up Bloating
Using some or all of these rules during your everyday routine will make a huge difference to your gut health. Try them out and see which ones work best for you! Let bloating be a problem of the past and seek new, healthy ways to get in shape today.