I recently wrote an article on how to improve digestion with natural remedies and had a great response. The more women I talk in my F.I.T. community, the more I realise how many of us suffer from digestive issues and that dreaded bloated belly. I’ve had tummy issues for years now and it can be so frustrating at times. It’s taken years of trial and error to figure out what causes these problems in my body and how I can remedy them. Whilst everyone is different there are some common triggers that cause bloating, tummy upset and bad digestion. Here are just a few:
1. Food intolerance.
More and more people these days are finding they are developing food intolerances. That’s because there are so many things put in our food, that can put our bodies into digestive distress. There are so many different types of food intolerances too, from your common culprits like dairy, gluten, eggs to some not so obvious ones like preservatives, certain fruits, nightshade vegetables and more. I got a blood test to find out what I couldn’t eat and noticed a huge improvement once I cut those foods out. Everybody responds differently to different foods, so if the doctor can’t find anything then consider starting a food journal and writing down how you feel after you eat certain foods. From that, you may be able to pinpoint common foods that cause you to get bloated afterwards. Other healthcare professionals like naturopaths and dieticians can also be very helpful in discovering what foods are causing a bloated reaction.
2. Eating too quickly
We are all guilty of eating a little too quickly at times. Especially if you get home from the gym after a massive workout and you are super hungry. However, this can cause air to get trapped and then your digestive system to bloat. So I know it sounds silly but seriously take the time to sit down and really concentrate on chewing your food properly and that will help the body digest food better.
3. Imbalance of bacteria in the gut
Sometimes bloating can come from an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, especially if you have been on things like antibiotics, that kill both the good and bad bacteria. When your gut bacteria is imbalanced, then this can lead to bloating and all sorts digestive problems. A good quality probiotic can help restore the balance and get rid of the bloat. Any health food store or pharmacy should stock a good probiotic tablet that you can take on a daily basis.
Believe it or not but stress can have a major impact on your bodies digestive system. When we get stressed our cortisol levels rise and I body goes into fight or flight mode, to help protect us again any threat. When your body goes into fight or flight all the blood rushes to your limbs, as your body thinks it may need to run away from harm. When all the blood rushes to your limbs it takes it away from the digestive system, slowing it down, or even bringing it to a grinding halt. So if you are someone who easily get's stressed, try out some yoga, meditation or deep belly breathing to help calm your nervous system down.
If you are dehydrated and drink water, then your body will want to hold onto that water leading to fluid retention and feeling bloated. It’s so important to stay hydrated throughout the day and drink regularly. As well, look at your salt intake, as this can be a leading cause of fluid retention in the diet. Swap salt out for other flavourings like herbamere or tamari to still get that salty flavour but without the effect. ALWAYS stay away from carbonated drinks, even the diet kind. In fact artificial sweetener is also a leading cause in bloating, so it's best to stay away.
Now I’m not a medical expert when it comes to this and can only talk from my own experience. These are just some of the common causes I found in my own body that caused bloating and bad digestion. If bloating and bad digestion is something that is causing grief in your life, I highly recommend seeking professional advice, so you can get to the bottom of what is going on in your own body.