There are few things that can make you feel more uncomfortable and self-conscious than a bloated stomach.
It’s something that can catch us all unaware and can appear in seconds and stay for far too long.
There’s no one reason for why we can become bloated but there are a few ways to reduce the risks, and if you do suffer from it a few changes to your diet and lifestyle may just lead you to a bloat-free future
Cut out the junk food
Our bodies are much more sensitive than we sometimes think, when we introduce uncommon foods such as processed junk food that have high fat and sugar levels, it can take our digestive system a while to really understand how to process and absorb them. As this happens the food sits longer in our stomach than it should, which inevitably leads to a build-up in stomach acid and gases. Cutting out these processed meals and carbonated drinks, which also add unneeded stress to out digestive systems, is a great start to beating the bloat.
Watch the vegetables
When you cut out the junk food, you have to replace it with something. Natural food-stuffs contain enzymes that help our bodies breakdown and process the healthy parts and nutrients, and absorb them into our systems and nothing does this better than vegetables.
Peas and broccoli are also full of fibre which will help ease constipation but some vegetables can create gas all on their own. The main culprits are cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts but all of these vegetables are great for you so you shouldn’t rule them out completely. Smaller portions will help and they are far more likely to create gas if eaten raw, so cooking the veggies, especially steaming, will remove some of the gassy enzymes and make them much easier for you to digest.
So now you know what to eat but how you eat it is just as important. Our lives can be hectic and rushing through meals can happen, but by taking your time and eating small manageable bites you will reduce the chance of you swallowing air as you eat, which can become trapped in our bodies and lead to bloating.
Also rushing out after meals can unsettle our bodies too, which can bring more air into our systems than we can handle. So take your time during meals and give the food a little while to settle before you rush off.
Consider food allergies
With over 20% of the population of the United Kingdom believing they have a food allergy, if you feel that you do all the things listed above and still find yourself with that uncomfortable bloated feeling, you may want to consider that you have an intolerance or allergy.
It’s possible to be allergic to almost anything, with the most common being gluten, nut, wheat and dairy. The easiest way for you to investigate if you are suffering from anything yourself is to keep a record of when you do feel blotted and what you have had to eat that day. This should give you enough information to cross-reference your findings and discover with food is commonly present when you feel bloated.
You can contact your local GP, who will be able to work with you and help structure a balanced diet, allowing you to remove and substitute the food that may be causing you a problem.
But if all this is too much don’t panic because stress levels can also have a huge impact on bloating. Cortisol, the hormone we create when we are stressed, encourages our body to hold on to fat across our stomach and can increase bloating. Regular exercise can lower cortisol and increase dopamine levels which can calm us and instead of our bodies prioritising creating cortisol, we can focus its attention on managing our stomach acid and enzyme levels, insuring the gases stay away.
Do you have any tips to beat the bloat?