After a long holiday weekend filled with outings at restaurants and plenty of barbeques with family and friends, my tummy is definitely not feeling too good. While the food was absolutely delicious, I’m now facing the consequences of my not-so-healthy choices on this lovely Monday morning. Plagued with a sensation of fullness, abdominal pressure, a little bit of nausea, pain and cramping – bloating is not what I wanted to wake up to nor is it how I wanted to start my day.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the discomfort that comes with bloating at one point or another in your life. I’ve struggled with bloating since I was in my early twenties and over the years I’ve discovered ways in which I can combat or at least minimize it. If you too struggle with the pains of bloating, here are some tips and tricks on how to prevent and banish that bloat.
- Don’t drink anything cold while you eat
Drinking cold drinks with your meal can be harmful because they damage your body’s ability to properly digest food by slowing down your body’s normal digestive actions. Also, by drinking cold beverages your body has to use energy in order to warm up the liquid inside your body. This also robs your body of the energy it needs to properly process the food you have eaten.
- Reduce your salt intake
Consuming too much salt can cause dehydration and will cause your body to retain water and make you feel bloated. Instead of using salt to add flavour to your food, use other seasonings such as paprika or black pepper. Also, avoid processed foods as often as you can, as these are often high in salt.
- Drink some peppermint tea
Peppermint has long been used to soothe an upset stomach so drinking a hot cup of peppermint tea will relax the smooth muscles of your intestines.
- Eat only when you’re truly hungry
Listen to your body. Often times we eat because we are bored or sad and not actually hungry – try to avoid emotional eating and overeating, and eat only when you are hungry.
- Be careful with your fiber
When you consume fiber, make sure you chew it properly as poorly chewed fiber can delay passage through your digestive system and slow the rate at which the food is digested and absorbed. Also, when consuming a lot of fiber at one time, try and drink a glass of room temperature water to ensure the fiber does not build up in your intestines.
- Allow your previous meal to digest before eating the next meal
Wait at least two to three hours between meals.
- Limit sugar substitutes
Some people may have difficulty digesting artificial sweeteners, especially those that contain sorbitol – a sugar alcohol that can’t be absorbed by your gastrointestinal tract. Artificial sweeteners can be found in a lot of food and drinks, such as diet soda and sugar-free gum.
- Increase your intake of potassium
Potassium rich foods combat puffiness by balancing excess sodium and reducing water retention. Look for foods that are high in potassium such as cantaloupe, oranges, carrots, and bananas.
- Pop a probiotic
A probiotic is “good bacteria” found in supplements and cultured milk products like yogurt. They are live microorganisms that help to break down food, extract nutrients and minerals essential to the body, and ultimately aid in digestion and help keep you regular.
Do you struggle with bloating? What are some of your go to tricks on how to combat bloating?
For more information on bloating visit Bloating Tips.