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How to Relieve Bloating Naturally

Updated on October 18, 2014

Man with fat belly

man with fat belly
man with fat belly | Source

What is bloating and how to deal with it naturally

Stomach bloating after you eat is an uncomfortable feeling. It is caused by pockets of gas that stretche the digestive tract walls giving a blown up feeling and an extension over the abdomen.

Some people can expand several inches over the day, making clothes tight and uncomfortable.

There are several causes that I will discuss here then move on to the solutions. Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure you listen to what your body is telling you. Investigate which food agrees with you and which doesn’t. Trial and error will soon tell how you can best avoid bloating or how best to cope with it.

Hope you find something useful here.

Mung Beans

mung beans
mung beans | Source

Causes of stomach bloating

  1. Probably the first thing is that we tend to eat too fast. We gobble food down and with it large amounts of air. We fill the mouth with too much food at once, and swallow without chewing properly. We don’t allow the body to properly digest food then wonder why we are bloated.
  2. We wear too tight clothes that don't allow for the natural expansion that occurs with eating. It may be a subtle increase but you will really feel it if you are wearing a tight belt etc.
  3. Smoking. nuff said.
  4. Certain foods make it worse. Beans, bananas, apples, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, prunes and tomatoes can all cause excess gas to accumulate. So too can foods that you have an intolerance to, in particular, dairy and wheat products. Artificial sweeteners are high on this list, as are fizzy drinks and chewing gum. A large intake of salt or sugar and low intake of water and a low consumption of protein have also been mooted to cause bloating.

So, in the first instance, monitor what you are eating. Keep a diary, and by systematically eliminating, then adding, find out which food makes you uncomfortable and avoid it. Similarly, learn to eat slowly, drink plenty of water, do not lie down after you eat and take some form of regular exercise. Give your body the very best chance to digest food properly. Try to regulate your meals, leaving no more than four hours between each meal and avoid junk food. Reduce your salt intake and increase your water intake as common sense measures. Drinking a glass of hot water first thing in the morning is good for stimulating healthy digestion.


Ginger Roots

Raw Ginger
Raw Ginger | Source

Foods that ease bloating

Just as there are foods that exacerbate bloating, there are some that will relieve it:

  1. Cucumber, for example, helps to balance the acid in your stomach because of its high water content. Add cucumber to water and leave in the fridge overnight for a healthy drink throughout the day. Or simply add cucumber to your salad or you can even chew it raw.
  2. Mint helps to sooth the digestive tract and promote easy digestion. The aroma itself has an impact by stimulating the salivary glands in the mouth where digestion starts. It then helps stimulate the production of digestive enzymes in the rest of the digestive tract. Mint teas are particularly useful but you can also make mint water by soaking in water overnight and leaving in the fridge.
  3. Both ginger and lemon are known to help reduce bloating, relieve heartburn and treat biliousness. Ginger in particular, helps to break down fatty foods and protein that causes the build up of gas. Try grating a tablespoon of ginger into a cup of boiling water, add some fresh mint leaves and wait for five minutes before drinking. Alternatively you can chew on a piece of ginger-root that has been dipped in lemon. Ginger in cooking is tasty as well as effective remedy for bloating.
  4. Chewing fennel seeds after a meal is often used in India to great effect. The juice or oil from the fennel is reputed to act as stimulants to digestive enzymes and will also reduce any inflammation in the stomach. It is a natural antacid.
  5. Basil and thyme added as herbs to food will reduce the amount of bacteria in the stomach that can cause bloating.
  6. Chamomile, taken as a tea, sooths the stomach, relaxes muscles and helps digestion. Best taken morning and night.


How to prevent bloating

  1. Eat slowly. Take small mouthfuls.
  2. Chew every mouthful thoroughly - at least 20 times when appropriate - I know you can't chew soup. The action of chewing releases enzymes to help with proper digestion.
  3. When you eat - just eat! Don't watch TV, don't read a book, don't browse the internet. Sit at a table and concentrate on eating, on enjoying every mouthful.
  4. Cook beans properly. I advise you to avoid canned beans and instead prepare your own. I've written about this before - Cooking with Beans - by soaking them overnight then cooking them with plenty of fresh water, you remove some of the sugars that cause bloating and gas.
  5. If you have real problems then avoid those foods that affect you most. Some people tolerate foods more than others.
  6. Drink plain tap water with your meal.
  7. Add spices like ginger and herbs like mint, basil and thyme to your recipes.
  8. Take a gentle walk after a meal.
  9. Drink ginger or peppermint tea after your meal.
  10. There are a couple of yoga poses that can help you digest properly. 1. kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels - your hands rest lightly on your thighs - back straight, shoulders relaxed and breath in and out gently for 5 minutes. - 2. Lie flat on your back, bend your knees up, like the guy in the video and take deep relaxing breaths for 5 minutes. It is not advisable to do strenuous exercises immediately after eating.

Yoga for Digestion

The Food Doctor

The Food Doctor
The Food Doctor | Source

Top 10 Food Intolerances

  • According to the Food Doctor - these are the top 10 things that people are intolerant of. Note this is food sensitivity if not outright allergies.

  • • Gluten
    • Wheat
    • Dairy
    • Yeast
    • Shellfish
    • Egg
    • Peanuts
    • Sesame seeds
    • Soya
    • Chocolate

Yoga for a happy belly

Infusions that will help bloating

Drinking any of these teas will help to relieve the discomfort caused by stomach bloating.

  • peppermint tea
  • chamomile tea
  • lemon balm tea
  • ginger tea
  • fennel tea
  • dandelion tea
  • cucumber and mint tea
  • lime tea
  • ginger and lemon tea
  • cucumber water - grate cucumber and add to a pint of water. Add mint leaves and a slice of lemon and place in the fridge overnight. Drink within the day as it won't keep.

How to make ginger tea

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If you suffer from stomach bloating

There are natural ways to prevent or failing that to deal with the discomfort of stomach bloating. I suggest you really get to know your own body and how it responds to certain foods. Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks noting down what you eat, how you feel immediately after and how you feel an hour later.

If you follow the guideline above uncomfortable stomach bloating will soon be a thing of the past.

© 2014 Ann

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    • profile image

      Anika Diaries 2 years ago

      It's true that in India people chew fennel seeds after a meal. Thought of adding this as a suggestion in the comments before i saw it was already there. Impreesed by the details you've added here.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Some interesting advice. Eating less helps as well.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Some very useful information in this article to help with a bloated stomach naturally without drugs. I will try ginger as it seems a very useful remedy for this problem. Thanks.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 2 years ago from Valencia, California

      Nice one Annie, thanks for sharing..Hugz

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 2 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent advice. Sadly a lot of the foods that I love, all the veggies that were listed, probably cause me to bloat. I do drink plenty of water as well as mint tea. Would have more ginger in my food if I could, but it doesn't go with everything!

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 2 years ago from Scotland

      I suffer terribly from IBS and the "swollen belly". I love cutting up the cucumber and popping into a jug of water in the fridge overnight and make sure I drink it throughout the day - It works!

    • annieangel1 profile image
      Author

      Ann 2 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I love ginger tea - just for the taste.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 2 years ago from Michigan

      Great information for stomach bloat. Some people are really sensitive to gluten and the other items you mentioned will help to identify the culprit.

      I like the 'helps' for bloat. Especially the ginger tea video. Have made ginger tea but not the way this lady demonstrates. Very helpful. Thanks!

      Mekenzie