There is nothing worse then feeling bloated. I suffered for years from undiagnosed food intolerances, which meant that often after I ate I would have an expanded belly and was in pain. Most people will suffer from bloating one way or another. Sometimes it’s a rare occurrence or for some it’s something they get daily. When you feel bloated the rest of your body feels horrible, your confidence goes down and it’s hard to stay motivated to exercise when you feel like that. So if you are someone who suffers from bloating here are some of my flat belly tips on how to beat the bloat.
Get checked for food intolerances
If you are someone that bloats regularly then it might be worth going to your doctor and getting tested for common food intolerances like gluten and dairy. For me personally I had a dramatic decrease in bloating once I cut both dairy and gluten out. However, just because that was the cause for me doesn’t mean it will be for you. 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.
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. Also 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 isn’t good on the body at all but is also a leading cause in bloating. If you feel like just plain water is boring, then infuse it with some fresh fruit and mint.
Drink apple cider vinegar before meals for digestion
So much of bloating comes about from poor digestion on the foods we eat. There are a few key ways to help improve digestion, one of which is have apple cider vinegar before each meal. This is a great way to kick start the digestion process. Have 1 tbls of apple cider vinegar in one cup of water and drink back before eating.
Chew your food
So many people eat in such a rush these days and don’t chew their food properly. 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 to help the body with the digestion process.
Sometimes bloating can come from an imbalance of good or bad bacteria in your gut, especially if you have been on antibiotics. When the gut bacteria is imbalanced then this can lead to all sorts digestive problems and bloating. 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.
Eat dark leafy greens
Some vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli, whilst providing good nutrients to the body can also cause bloating for some people. That doesn’t mean stay away from them, you might just want to reduce your portions if they have an effect on you. However dark leafy greens have the opposite effect. They are super low in calories, water dense, high in fibre and help reduce water retention. So fill your plate with them and eat up.
Check your protein powders
So many protein powders on the market can cause major tummy upset. This is because they are generally made from whey protein, which doesn’t agree with people who have a lactose intolerance. Other protein powders can be made from soy protein concentrate which can be gas inducing. There are also all sorts of other fillers and additives that can cause a reaction in people. My rule of thumb is stick to a nice clean organic protein that has no nasty additives.
Drink herbal teas
There are lots of different herbal teas that can help with digestion and bloating. Peppermint and chamomile are both great teas for reducing inflammation and helping your digestive system. Getting a ginger tea or even adding in the fresh root to your herbal tea can also help. Some health food stores even have specific naturopathic tummy teas that are specially designed for bloating problems.
So many people go for years suffering from bloating and think that it’s normal, because they are so used to it. You shouldn’t have to live every day with being bloated so if you do have a serious problem with it, go get it checked out.