I know I’m talking to a lot of women when I say “there is nothing worse than feeling bloated”. Not only is bloating physically extremely uncomfortable, but it interferes with our ability to be productive and present (especially when it is painful) and can make us feel insecure in our bodies. The good news is there are ways to prevent bloating AND soothe the inflammation as soon as a bout of bloating ensues.
Bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal tract is filled with air (or gas) and usually feels like your abdomen is tight, protruding, and extremely extended. For many of my clients, bloating is often accompanied by painful cramps, excessive gas, burping, and / or abdominal rumbling. All very uncomfortable symptoms!
Next time you find yourself sitting in the discomfort of a bloated belly, try one of these ten easy ways to curb bloating and gas:
- Adding Ginger / Turmeric to your meals, salad dressings, teas, soups, or smoothies. Both ginger and turmeric contain powerful anti inflammatory compounds that help to relieve inflammation and protect the stomach lining. Ginger naturally stimulates the body’s digestive enzymes which is why it’s such a potent digestive aid that has been used to alleviate gas, bloating and stomach pains for centuries.
- Drink Herbal Tea – several herbal teas have been shown to relax the muscles in the abdomen and thus, decrease the effects of bloating. Some of the most potent teas in relieving bloating are fennel, peppermint, and chamomile. Definitely give these a try next time you’re feeling bloated.
- Take a walk after meals – walking helps speed up the time it takes food to move from the stomach into the small intestines. So, walking after meals helps aid in the digestion process and [usually] greatly helps decrease the severity of bloating
- Avoid drinking during meals – drinking alcohol or acidic beverages decreases the amount of saliva you are able to produce, and thus, decrease the amount of enzymes in your mouth to begin breaking down food. Around the holidays, when alcohol is flowing, try to limit the amount of alcohol consumed during your meal.
- Eat slowly and chew at least 30 times before swallowing: Digestion begins in our mouths. Chewing sends the signal to our brain to produce saliva which contains enzymes that begin to break down the food we are eating. So, if we are not chewing enough, we are basically skipping the first step of digestion!
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bed : aim for at least a 12 hour fast (ie: 7 pm dinner and 7 am brekky). Waiting at least 2 hours after a meal to go to bed ensures the meal in your stomach is able to move into the small intestine. Plus, this allows your body to heal and recover throughout the night, as opposed to focusing on digestion!
- Add in fermented foods : Fermented foods like sauerkraut, olives, and kombucha are also known as probiotics. Probiotics enhance the gut microbiome which, in turn, helps regulate inflammation and digestion. To learn more about the benefits and different strains of probiotics, check out my previous post here.
- Remove possible food sensitivities and /or allergens: Certain foods including dairy and gluten tend to be the most aggravating to the most people. However, every individual’s different and if you are experiencing chronic gas / bloating, there may be an underlying food sensitivity to blame. To learn more about how to test for potential sensitivities, see the functional tests I offer here.
- Try Diaphragmatic breathing aka ‘belly breaths’: Diaphragmatic breathing is when you breath deeply in through your nose, inflate the belly, and exhale completely through your nose. This type of breathing increases our digestive fire (think when you blow on a fire to increase the flame), and aids in digestion by gently massaging our intestines from the inside. Check out this post for some simple breathing exercises.
- Do 5 – 10 mins of Yoga Poses – poses like simple Cat + Cow or a Torso twist will also provide a gentle internal massage to improve motility. Try pairing diaphragmatic breathing with 5 – 10 mins of yoga to enhance the effects.
Most of the time these will reduce the bloating and gas, but if its chronic and constant then there may be some underlying concerns that need to be addressed. These can include SIBO, leaky gut, dysbiosis, malabsorption, food sensitivities, and more.
I know first hand how overwhelming it can be to try to self diagnose. That is why I am here to help you get to the root cause of your digestive issues. Click here to book your free discovery call and start taking your health into your own hands.
If you are looking to learn more about how to start to improve your gut health, sign up for my FREE Webinar all about gut health on Thursday, Nov 4th at 7.30 pm! In this masterclass, I’ll be covering an overview of the Digestive System, Common Symptoms, Gut Supports (Herbs & Foods), Probiotics & Prebiotics, The 5 Rs to Gut Healing, and Lifestyle Factors & STRESS. Register here to save your spot and receive your FREE gut – friendly recipe book.