Bloating occurs when excess gas collects in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, you may feel heavy and puffy. Your bloated belly can also turn out to be painful or tender. Several culprits stand behind bloating.
Of these, water retention is one of the common causes. However, you can quickly battle bloating. For instance, you can have an anti-gas medication or get an abdominal massage that targets the large intestine.
Similarly, take a warm, relaxing bath that unwinds your muscles and de-stresses you. Sometimes, stress can be the reason behind bloating so a warm bath can help relieve stress and bloating. You can also seek help from natural ingredients such as spinach, turmeric, and ginger among others.
While these are some practical tips to get rid of belly bloat, you can make some easy lifestyle changes that can keep bloating and gas at bay. These include:
1. Add fiber to your diet
Fiber is the champion behind good gut health. It encourages steady muscle movement of the walls of the digestive tract. This movement is known as peristalsis and is crucial for promoting the movement of food through the alimentary canal.
A golden tip over here is to introduce fiber slowly into your diet. If you decide on suddenly upping your intake of fiber, you’ll only end up encountering gas. This is because a major change in your diet such as an addition of fiber should be planned in a manner that the digestive system is given some time to get habitual of fiber.
In the case of a lot of fiber intake at once, the digestive tract can’t break it down which culminates in excessive gas. Therefore, slowly increase the intake of fiber.
2. Don’t eat too much at one time
Eating small portions of food is often a helpful tip to follow for shedding the extra weight as well as maintaining the lost weight. Moreover, this tip is also excellent for keeping bloating at arm’s length.
One sure sign that you need to follow through this measure is that you feel uncomfortable after eating big meals. This is a telltale sign that you need to divide your meal into small portions.
Feeling bloated does not necessarily relate to an increased pressure in the abdomen or an enlarged stomach. The issue can also be sensory, which is why smaller meals can help save the day.
Another excellent tip to follow here is to chew your food better as well. This has a two-fold effect. One, it slashes the amount of air that you swallow with the food. Two, it makes you eat slower, which is linked to reduced intake of food and smaller portions as well. So, that’s two goals with one stone.
3. Refrain from swallowing gases and air
There are chiefly two sources of gas in the digestive system. Firstly, gas is produced by the bacteria in your gut. Secondly, there is gas or air that you swallow when you eat or drink. One of the biggest sources of gas in this regard is carbonated beverages such as frizzy drinks or soda.
These drinks contain bubbles with carbon dioxide. Some ways to avoid this problem is to limit the amount of carbonated drinks that you take. At the same time, don’t chew gum or drink via a straw. Talking will eating or eating in a hurry can also result in increased amounts of swallowed air.
4. Increase your physical activity
Increase your physical activity too. Exercise aids in moving gas and stool out of the colon and make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also eliminates excess sodium from the body through sweating. This can help relieve water retention. Don’t forget to stay hydrated both before or after exercise. Dehydration can worsen constipation. Plus, hydrating yourself can also combat for fluid retention.
5. Survey the medications and supplements that you are eating
Some supplements such as iron can cause constipation and other signs of indigestion. This can amp up bloating. Similarly, potassium can reduce potassium by helping to balance the levels of sodium in the body.
Certain medicines can also culminate in side effects. These affect indigestion or GI function. If you notice this, ask your pharmacist or doctor to give you an alternate medication that is gentler on your digestive tract.
6. Limit the intake of foods that cause bloating
Several foods have a reputation for causing gas. Since each vegetable or fruit comes with its nutritional benefits, you cannot stop its consumption. However, you can cut back on their intake.
Some of the vegetables that can reach a finale of bloating include cabbage, artichokes, broccoli, beans, onions, and asparagus. Soft and fruit drinks can also cause gas. At the same time, whole grains like bran and wheat can culminate in bloating too.
Moreover, milk and milk products like ice cream and cheese alongside packages goods made with lactose also have the pose the same risk. This is particularly true if you are lactose intolerant. On top of this, foods that contain sorbitol like sugar-free candies, gums, and diet foods.
7. Take into account food allergies and intolerance
Food intolerance and allergies are relatively common. When you eat foods that you are intolerant or allergic to, then your risk of bloating increases. It can cause too much gas production and bloating among other symptoms.
Some foods that you need to consider include:
- Lactose: Lactose intolerance correlates with many digestive system issues including bloating
- Eggs: Egg allergy can also result in common symptoms such as bloating and gas
- Fructose: Fructose intolerance can also cause bloating
- Gluten and wheat: Intolerance to gluten and other grains can lead to numerous effects including bloating
Keep in mind that fructose and lactose are both a part of a larger group of indigestible fiber or carbs known as FODMAPs. FODMAP intolerance is a common cause of abdominal pain and bloating.
8. Try digestive enzyme supplements
Some over-the-counter products may help with bloating too. You can try supplemental enzymes too, which can help break down indigestible carbs. Two notable enzyme supplements include lactase and beano.
Beano consists of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase that can help digest carbs that are indigestible. On the other hand, lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose that is useful for people from lactose intolerance. Typically, such supplements can provide immediate relief from bloating and gas.
9. Walk after a meal
Taking a walk can also help lessen bloating. A short walk after a meal ensure that your rate of digestion improves and gas production is cut down. Therefore, helping to lower the odds of bloating.
10. Don’t lie down after eating
An easy-to-make lifestyle change includes not lying down after eating. Lying down makes it tough for your body to digest the food that you eat. When digestion becomes challenging or takes longer than the usual, then it can amp up intestinal gas production and bloating.
Instead, stand or sit upright for at least an hour after eating a meal before you lie down. Good news is that such a change in your posture will also chop the risk of acid reflux and heartburn, which common occur when you lie down after having your supper.