Can’t wear that dress tonight because your stomach’s suddenly ballooned? Our Super Foodist blogger Rick Hay provides 12 essential tips to beat the bloat
1. Take Probiotics
These aid digestion, mood and boost immunity too – but most importantly they reduce gas producing bacterial imbalances thereby helping to keep the tummy flat.
Stress causes a build up of cortisol and adrenaline which can over stimulate your digestive system leading to flatulence and bloating – think yoga or even a candle lit bath with some magnesium rich Epsom salts or relaxing essential oils. Read our Calmista blogger on how to stay calm this Christmas
3. Do core exercises
Strong Abs inhibit gas from pushing outwards resulting in less tummy distension
4. Decrease your dairy intake
As one of the main symptoms of lactose intolerance is bloating, decreasing your intake of diary products is a good first step. There’s lots of dairy alternatives like gut soothing rice milk or coconut yogurt that can be included into your bloat busting diet. You could decrease wheat too as wheat products can be quite challenging to the digestive system for many individuals.<
5. Stop talking when eating
Tough we know, swallowing air causes bloating.
6. Eat bananas, kiwis and strawberries
These are high in potassium which acts as a diuretic and increases the amount of salt in your urine – that’s good news as excess salt can cause water retention in the small intestine.
7. Skip the gum
Chewing gum that contains xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol can increase the production of gas in the digestive tract
It can help decrease hormonal bloating. It’s best taken as a tincture or tea with meals. This herb has been used traditionally to treat irregular menstruation.
9. Eat fewer bloating foods
Cut down on consumption of beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower as these are known gas producing foods. Instead apples, pears and melon which are pectin rich – this is a calming substitute that will keep your fibre levels up. Take probiotics and vegetable digestive enzymes to help balance the gut whilst you reduce these foods then you can increase them slowly.
10. Take vegetable digestive enzymes
These help balance the stomach and to relieve any symptoms including heartburn and indigestion.
11. Try Aloe Vera Juice
This is my top gut soother – it detoxifies the it’s anti microbial, anti bacterial and anti viral too. This plant reduces internal inflammation and as a bonus can help improve skin conditions like eczema and rosacea too.
12. Get checked for Coeliac disease
See your GP for a blood test if you suspect gluten may be behind your discomfort. If this proves negative, it may be worth having a food intolerance test. The York Test is a test you can do by mail that identifies foods you could be intolerant to, which may be causing your bloating, wind and cramping. A FirstStep test £9.99 can identify whether you might have an intolerance and if you do, a total Food and Drink Scan £299 will test you for possible intolerances to 158 foods.
Rick Hay is an Anti Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. He specializes in obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a regular Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista. Find out more at rickhay.co.uk. Follow Rick @nutritionalphys