One minute, you’re waking up feeling light and toned (is that an ab?!) and the next, you’re feeling like you swallowed a bowling ball. Sometimes we know exactly what has caused our bloating, other times, we’re rubbing our rounded-bellies and wondering what we ate.
The reality is bloating isn’t always caused by food. It can be the result of many different lifestyle factors, not just dietary, but there are some simple things you can do to help relieve some discomfort caused by your distended belly.
I know it might seem like there’s simply no more room in your tummy, but it’s important to stay hydrated. When your body dehydrates, the kidneys sense a lack of hydration and as a result they retain water. Drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins and extra salt which is why you should aim for two litres of water a day (more if you exercise). Carbonated beverages can also cause bloating as they cause gas to get trapped in your stomach, so stick to the still stuff. You can also kickstart your digestive system in the morning with hot water and lemon and end the night with a peppermint tea to aid digestion.
2. Stretch it out
Bloating can often be caused by trapped gas, so if you think this could be the case then a few gentle stretches may do the trick. Yoga can help relieve the discomfort as it aids digestion and bloating by increasing circulation to your bowels.
3. Address your gut health
A healthy gut= a happy tummy. A balance of good and bad bacteria is needed for digestion and to prevent bloating. Eating an assortment of wholefoods helps to populate your gut flora but to promote good gut health even further then try to incorporate foods rich in probiotics. Our amazing 28 nutritionist, Steph Wearne, recommends sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, kombucha and yoghurt to help with this.
4. Avoid bloat inducing food
This might seem pointless if you’re already bloated but keeping clear of the following foods and beverages can help prevent further or prolonged bloating:Artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages, chewing gum, legumes and sugar-free foods.
5. Eat mindfully
Slowing down your eating makes it easier for your body to utilise nutrients and prevents discomfort. Drinking and eating too quickly causes you to swallow more air, leading to a gas build up in your gastrointestinal tract. I always recommend sitting down to eat and really being present, which means no scrolling and chewing!
I love the saying that prevention is better than a cure, so try to get to the root of your bloating to make sure it’s not a regular occurrence. Common culprits include food intolerances, overeating, dehydration, hormonal changes, constipation, digestive disorders and stress. More often than not though it’s the result of excess gas build up in the intestines, so try some of the steps above to relieve the discomfort and flatten that tummy.
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