We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives, whether we had a large meal or ate broccoli and other leafy greens. What are we talking about exactly? Well, stomach bloat, of course. Bloating can occur at any time, but if it happens too often, the discomfort can really take a toll on your life.
One in 10 Americans experience bloating on a regular basis, regardless of how big or small their meal was. If severe enough, bloating can lead to swelling of the abdomen, or distention. Because bloating is so largely associated with what and how we eat, here are 10 tips you can implement in order to reduce your risk of bloating and ensure your pants don’t get too tight after your next meal.
1. Drink plenty of water
Bloating can often be caused by water retention, and the best way to stop retaining water is to consume more of it in order to flush it out. Water is essential to keep things moving along in the digestive tract, so drink plenty of water to prevent the bloat.
2. Reduce stress
When we’re stressed out, blood flow leaves our digestive tract to go elsewhere. And when there is lack of blood flow to an organ, its function tends to become reduced as well. If you’re pretty stressed, you may find you’re more bloated, so reducing stress is a simple way to ease bloating, too.
Furthermore, when you’re stressed, there’s more cortisol released, which is known to store fat. That is why you may be finding it difficult to shed those extra pounds. Therefore, reducing stress can also aid in weight loss.
3. Reduce alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, which in turn causes water retention, thus contributing to bloating. Keep your drinking down to a minimum and be sure to consume plenty of water in-between.
Eating fermented foods or taking a regular probiotic can help boost your gut flora, aiding in digestion and reduction of bloating and gas.
5. Eat more fiber
Fiber helps bulk up stool and ensures that everything you consume exits the body. Just remember to consume plenty of water, or else fiber will have the opposite effect.
6. Eat more nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds help to increase absorbency of nutrients that are digested, giving you the most out of your meal.
7. Partake in mindful eating
Instead of gulping down your food or trying to complete more than one task during your mealtime, opt for mindful eating where you focus on your dish and your bites in order to promote proper digestion. Furthermore, avoid eating on a full stomach as that can cause bloating as well.
8. Stimulate digestive juices
Consuming a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water activates digestive juices, helping the food you eat break down properly so that it doesn’t cause bloating or gas.
9. Become aware of your sensitivities
If you have a food intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity, it can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Becoming aware of your food sensitivities can help make you aware of foods to avoid so that you don’t have to feel bloated any longer.
10. Reduce your salt intake
Going back to the first point, water retention causes bloating and salt is a known culprit to cause water retention. Stick to homemade foods so you can monitor salt in your meals and read food labels to determine the salt content in order to keep your intake to the minimum.
If you stick with these tips, you may find your days of bloating and gas are long behind you.