Are you sick of feeling uncomfortably full and bloated? Being bloated is one of the most annoying digestive issues that can leave you feeling self-conscious and physically ill. This can be extremely disheartening, especially when you have absolutely no idea what’s causing it or how to make it go away. You might be eating healthy, exercising and striving towards your dream summer bod, but the one thing stopping you from showing off your hard work is your constant bloating. Don’t worry! Bloating is common and there are many things you can do to help prevent and ease it. Here are the top 5 things you can do to help stop bloating.
Rule Out Allergies and Avoid Inflammatory Foods
You’d be surprised how many people have allergies to commonly eaten foods. Things like dairy, eggs, wheat and gluten are the main culprits when it comes to food allergies. It’s important to start ruling these things out, as this could be the main reason why you’re experiencing frequent bloating. You can experiment with your diet by not eating a particular food for a week and taking note of how you feel and the symptoms you experience.
Since these foods are so common, it’s easy to let them fly under your radar. However, many people experience stomach irritability and inflammation after sugary foods and meals that incorporate lots of dairy. Make a list of the foods you eat most often and take note of how you feel after you eat it and how you feel without it. If you suspect a food allergy, consult with your doctor, and they can explore this further.
Avoid Swallowing Air
You’re probably thinking, “well, of course! Why would I swallow air?” Although this might sound silly, it’s far more common than you think. Swallowing air can occur when you’re drinking carbonated drinks, like soda and sparkling water. These drinks contain bubbles that are loaded with carbon dioxide and, when consumed, can release into your stomach.
If you find yourself being extra bloated after drinking your favourite soda, maybe consider opting for some flavoured cordial and some good ol’ water. If you really want to make sure you’re avoiding swallowed air, try cutting down on chewing gum and drinking through straws. You never know, this might make a huge difference!
Avoid Farty Foods
Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all had some post-bean nachos gas. Foods that are high in fibre can contribute to gas being produced in the gut. Although these foods might be delicious, you can enjoy them in moderation. This can be particularly difficult for those of you living a plant-based lifestyle, as high-fibre foods are typically a common staple. These foods are generally nutritiously valuable, but if bloating is causing you significant pain, consider switching up your diet.
High-fibre foods are super important to a healthy diet, but if your stomach is not accustomed to digesting these foods, you may have some difficulty. Try incorporating them slowly and increasing your fibre intake over time.
In our guts, we have good bacteria and bad bacteria. When eating, the goal is to nourish the good bacteria, so you have a balanced gut microbiome. Probiotics are a part of the good bacteria that helps regulate the bacteria that can cause gas and bloating. When your stomachs are unbalanced, you can product more gas than usual. Incorporating probiotic supplements into your diet can be an easy way to help nourish your gut and prevent bloating long term. Not only can this help prevent bloating, but this is a simple way to nourish your gut as a whole.
Exercise is beneficial for almost all areas of your health but is particularly helpful when it comes to regulating your bowel movements. Getting your body moving can help move your stool through the colon and make your trips to the toilet a whole lot smoother. During exercise, make sure you’re staying hydrated! When the body doesn’t have enough water, constipation can worsen, which is not what we want!
If bloating is stopping you from getting out and about, it's totally normal to seek additional support. You don't have to live with the discomfort!