Bloating is uncomfortable. Bloating is a nuisance. Bloating is disheartening. And, bloating can be avoided.
We have all at one time or another been faced with a bloated tummy. Hormones, certain foods, even a certain mood we find ourselves experiencing can all cause bloating to raise its ugly head and upend our day with an uncomfortable fullness. This fullness is not limited to feeling alone, with bloating oftentimes making us look fuller too.
If we break down what bloating is to its simplest condition, primarily an influx of gas production in the abdomen, it can become easier to treat and lessen the effect of bloating. If you find yourself bloating very easily, it may be a good idea to take a look at the foods you are eating. Lactose heavy foods like milk, cream and cheese are all sure to spike your gas production the tummy while being digested, so it may be best to leave these on the shelf except for special occasions.
Little things like drinking from a straw, carbonated beverages and chewing gum have all also been linked to bloating.
If you do experience bloating regularly, there are certain foods you can include in your diet to counteract the effects and ease the symptoms to a manageable level. While not an immediate cure, the foods listed below will all help mitigate bloating’s effects for a quicker return to comfort.
Ginger has been used in tradition eastern medicine for centuries for good reason. Acting as a digestive enzyme, ginger can help along your body’s digestion process naturally, reducing inflammation in the process.
If you have ever been to a Brazilian BBQ, you will know that they offer pineapple after a big meal. Why eat more if you’ve already finished? This is because pineapple contains natural digestive enzymes that help dispel gas, ease bloating and assist in digestion.
Fennel is a natural diuretic, meaning it helps our bodies excrete water and reduce sodium retention. After a salty meal, fennel can help take the edge off and allow our bodies to normalise.
Fennel is also great for relaxing our intestinal muscle, allowing gas to pass more freely, as it’s an antispasmodic.
As avocados are rich in potassium, they are the perfect food to include in a meal to help reduce the effects of bloating. This is because potassium acts as a foil for salt which is responsible for water retention and of course bloating.
Avocados are also a great addition to a meal as they help keep you feeling satisfied for longer and contain only 100 calories per serve (on average).
Sauerkraut is just cabbage which has undergone fermentation, meaning it’s packed full of probiotics which promote a healthy gut. Probiotics are essential for optimal digestion conditions and can also eliminate some bacteria which cause excessive gas in the tummy.
Papaya may not be everyone’s first choice when it comes to the fruit platter, but you may want to reconsider if this isn’t among your staple. Packed with an enzyme called papain which acts as a mild laxative (not enough to be concerned about!) eating papaya can help our bodies get rid of excess waste more efficiently. Papaya is also a wonderful source of fibre, which is essential for proper waste management and regulation.
Bloating can happen for a multitude of reasons; stress, overeating, eating the wrong foods, hormonal imbalances! But there are some very simple things we can do to lessen its impact and eating some foods can actually help prevent a potential bloating catastrophe. The next time you feel bloated, try adding some of these foods to your plate to get you feeling back to normal in no time.
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