Menopause App

Digital Packs Banner Digital Packs Banner

Ask An Expert

EXPERT: ‘I’ve suddenly developed bloating, what can I do?’

charlotte_watts_180Charlotte Watts, nutritional therapist and lecturer answers

‘Look at ways your body can balance its fluid levels naturally. Often an imbalance of the minerals sodium and potassium are part of the cause; both are essential but the modern diet can be higher in sodium from processed foods and added salt. That is not to say a little rock or sea salt for flavouring are bad but this needs to be balanced out with plenty of potassium rich vegetables, especially dark greens and celery – almonds are also very high so great for snacking between meals.

‘Bloating can also be a direct result of stress as the stress hormone aldosterone signals the kidneys to retain water in the body as a survival mechanism to keep hydration available as the body perceives danger and possible lack of resources on its way (the body can’t distguish between a natural stressor like  a dangerous animal and this afternoon’s deadline).  This means you need to hydrate cells through the natural, watery foods that you eat. Scientific thinking is now questioning the ‘two litres of water a day’ message is not in line with how we naturally hydrate, so plenty of water rich leaves, cucumber and daily fruit alongside easily digested soups and stews are the best delivery systems for water actually getting into cells. When cells know they have enough water, they don’t feel the need to retain. Coconut water is a also nature’s isotonic, naturally hydrating with a mineral balance similar to our own.

‘Also be mindful of thorough and calm chewing and consider taking a few digestive enzymes (from health food shops) with each meal if bloating feels like an abdominal traffic jam. Eating under stress and bolting food always mean compromised digestion which can cause gas and other bloating digestive and liver issues.

‘Simple things you can do also include drinking fresh juice made with celery, cucumber, apple and mint and drinking nettle or fennel teas – all great natural diuretics.’

Charlotte Watts is the co-author of The De-Stress Diet (Hay House £12.99) 

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Healthista Content