If your bloated stomach is making you miserable then you should probably try one of these gut friendly products that are proven to help bloating and other IBS symptoms
Gut symptoms like bloated stomach, flatulence, constipation and tummy cramps can literally make your life an uncomfortable living hell.
Bloated, gassy, stomach cramps – are some of the most Googled online health searches. Why? Because 70 per cent of people regularly experience belly troubles.
Whether you suffer from food intolerances or have a tendency to overindulge, bloating can affect us all.
Those who do suffer from bloating will know that a bloated stomach can prompt a whole host of issues ranging from discomfort to low self-esteem, and the triggers that cause bloating vary from person to person.
Gut health has always been a popular topic at Healthista and we have a whole heap of articles on the matter.
But we’re feeling helpful and although we would like to put a stop to all bloated stomachs if we could, we have put instead together our top gut friendly products that we really hope will do the trick.
Bloated stomach fix #1 Biomel – a new dairy-free probiotic drink
Our very own editor Anna Magee and most of the Healthista team are completely hooked on these bottles of gut friendly goodness.
Biomel promises to help improve gut health in 14 days. According to Biomel’s co-founders, Janett Lozano and Steven Hegarty, who manufacture the drinks in their state of the art production centre in West London, the 14-day test had worked on many of their test subjects who swore by the stuff.
So of course, Anna had to give this product a go, here’s what she had to say after trialing the product:
‘First of all, it’s totally dairy free and comes in flavours that are delectably tempting, such as Dark Chocolate, Natural Coconut, Pure Vanilla and Natural Almond.
‘Second, rather than having a base of milk, like virtually every other probiotic drink I had ever seen, its base is either coconut or almond milk, depending on the flavour you choose.
‘Third – and for me most important as so many probiotic drinks on the market are high in sugar – Biomel are all low in sugar.
‘In fact, even the sweetest flavour contained below the government guidelines for sugar, which is 5g per 100ml. Moreover, each bottle contains around 27-45 calories and 2g of fat.
‘Lastly, they tasted incredible. Like a milkshake; just sweet enough to feel like a treat in the middle of the afternoon without tasting sickly – and with nothing artificial.
‘Each 125ml bottle contains 1-2 billion live cultures – three different types, which experts tell me is essential.
‘Three weeks after starting my one-woman trial, and though it is still early days, I’ve been able to eat lentils, beans and yes, chickpeas and bread with abandon.
‘While I can’t say whether this is a permanent fix for my tummy or not, I can certainly report that I am sticking with my dairy-free 4pm sweet treat’.
Biomel is stocked everywhere – from national supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and more recently M&S, to health food shops such as Whole Foods and Planet Organic. You can also purchase bulk orders of the probiotic drinks on the brand’s website.
Bloated stomach fix #2 Alflorex – a probiotic strain for IBS
A new probiotic that launched last year called Alflorex is the result of more than 15 years of clinical research and 75 leading scientific publications. Alflorex contains a probiotic strain called B. infantis 35624 which specifically targets and alleviates the symptoms of irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
In the US, this strain is the number one probiotic recommended by gastroenterologists for the treatment of IBS. It also has clear evidence from trials with people, that it survives alive through the gut.
A bit like different drugs have different effects, different bacteria strains have different effects on your symptoms.
B. infantis 35624, the specific strain in Alflorex, is one of the few products that has been truly developed on a scientific basis and tested in high quality clinical studies to help specifically with all symptoms of IBS.
Alflorex can be bought online, on Amazon, in Boots and is is available at most pharmacies.
Bloated stomach fix #3 Nutri Advanced – a high strength probiotic capsule
Because of the wealth of evidence now emerging that specific strains may be useful for specific health issues, it’s important to use a well-researched strain for the health area you are looking to support.
For IBS symptoms, the strain to look for is Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM.
We have good and bad bacteria in our guts and probiotics help by topping up the levels of beneficial bacteria in the small intestine and bowel, helping to selectively “crowd out” the bad bacteria.
Lactobacillus acidophillus NCFM is backed by over 60 scientific publications, many of them relating to gut health.
In a 2016 randomised, triple blind trial published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology adult volunteers with IBS were given either probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus acidophillus NCFM or placebo daily for 12 weeks.
In those with severe to moderate abdominal pain, symptoms were reduced significantly compared to those who took a placebo.
Other studies have shown it can help improve the digestion of lactose for those who find they are intolerant to milk and reduce the associated symptoms especially in children.
Nutri Advanced Ultra Probioplex Plus (£13.50 for 30) contains 25 billion live bacteria Lactobacillus acidophillus NCFM and B. lactis bi-07.
Read more in: What are probiotics and how can you find one that works
Bloated stomach fix #4 Bimuno – a prebiotic that feeds your good gut bacteria
If you’re suffering from health issues like IBS, which have been linked to an imbalance in gut flora, it might be time rebalance your gut.
The first thing you can do, is to vary your diet, increasing fibrous foods like fruit, vegetables and pulses, also known as prebiotics. The most important prebiotic is the soluble fibre inulin that’s found in garlic, onions, asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes and leeks.
However, if you don’t relish the thought of eating two large raw onions a day – the amount you’d need to get a decent daily dose of prebiotics – you could take a daily prebiotic supplement like Bimuno.
It contains insoluble prebiotic fibre, which will help your friendly gut bacteria thrive. One single serving of Bimuno Daily is equivalent to 15 raw bananas, 2.2 onions, 25.7 cloves of raw garlic, 103 spears of raw asparagus, 9.3 tablespoons of raw chicory or a third of a bag of wholewheat flour.
Bimuno can be bought online, on Amazon, at Boots, Holland and Barrett and Tesco.
Read more in: 10 everyday lifestyle habits that ruin your gut health
Bloated stomach fix #5 Healthspan – an advanced probiotic with over 50 billion friendly bacteria
Ten million live cultures and above per serving is considered the minimum you should look for in a probiotic pill, says nutritionist Robert Hobson. But more is better.
Healthspan’s new Super-Pro 50 is an advanced probiotic with over 50 billion friendly bacteria from four well-researched strains as well as containing calcium, vitamin D3 and B6 all formulated to support digestive health, immunity and energy metabolism.
‘Diet alone cannot provide us with the right strains and levels of live bacteria we need to maintain a healthy microbiome,’ says Hobson.
‘Plus, we need more than one strain of bacteria for individual health needs. The new Healthspan SuperPro 50 has an advanced blend of lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus planetarium and two strains of Bifidobacterium lactis which is shown to decline as we age.’
Healthspan is available to buy online, and on Amazon.
Read more in: Probiotics – 13 things you REALLY need to know
Bloated stomach fix #6 BioCare – a clinically proven prebiotic that fuels probiotics
Probiotics are well known for the positive effect that they have on digestive health however, they also have a role to play in both strengthening the immune system and in helping with the immune response which is less well known.
The immune system is spread throughout the body but a significant portion of it is located in the digestive tract.
Supplementation with probiotics is recommended to help keep the digestive system healthy and to support healthy immune function.
This becomes more important if you have been on a course of antibiotics, are ageing, have a poor diet or are suffering from high levels of stress.
BioCare’s BioAcidophilus Forte, £34.25 with the clinically proven LAB 4 complex contains prebiotics derived from chicory which function as fuel for the probiotics and they help to support both digestive and immune function.
BioCare is available to buy online, at Planet Organic and Revital.
Read more in: How gut health can help immunity