Sometimes bloating can mean the difference between fitting in your jeans or not! Apart from the discomfort it brings, it can be really frustrating feeling bloated, especially when you have organised a fun night out. Unfortunately it is something we all experience at times, especially around that time of the month, however there are several nutritional ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to avoiding bloating.
What to avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sorbitol, are difficult to digest and trigger bloating. So avoid sugar free sweets, including gum and mints, if you are wanting to avoid bloating.
- Raw vegetables are a little more difficult to break down and digest, so if you have a sensitive digestive system and are prone to bloating, then avoiding raw veggies before you are going out can help.
- All vegetables from the cruciferous family, including kale, cabbage and broccoli, contain a type of sugar, called raffinose that is only digestible when it starts to ferment in the guts. This is why it is a common cause for gas and bloating.
- Beans (as the old song says) make you toot! But it isn’t just beans; it is also legumes, lentils and peas as well. They all provide great nutrients, however if you are prone to bloating then these are something you might want to avoid if you are planning on fitting into your tight dress!
- Salty foods are a real no-no if you are trying to avoid bloating because salt causes water retention which will leave you feeling puffy and bloated.
What can help:
- Eating slowly and making sure you properly chew your food, is a really important step in avoiding bloating. When you eat fast you gulp down air and often swallow food before it has been properly broken down. This can lead to food fermenting in your guts.
- Relax! Stress causes digestive issues, so incorporate some relaxing practices, such as yoga, dancing, or meditation into your day!
- Cucumbers contain a flavonoid antioxidant, called quercetin, that actually aids in the reduction of swelling. This is why it is so often used to reduce puffy eyes! But the good news is it also works on your tummy too!
- Potassium rich foods such as bananas, pistachio, kiwifruit and avocados, help to regulate your body’s sodium levels which in turn helps prevent water retention.
- Papaya is a great food choice as it is high in fibre, which supports a healthy digestive system, and it also contains an enzyme known as papain. Papain helps aid the digestive process by assisting in the breaking down of foods.
- Natural yogurt that is rich in probiotics is another great choice as these little bacteria assist in the digestive process and help prevent bloating.
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory spice that also aids in soothing the whole digestive system.