How to Relieve Bloating Naturally
Man with fat belly
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.
Causes of stomach bloating
- 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.
- 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.
- Smoking. nuff said.
- 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.
Foods that ease bloating
Just as there are foods that exacerbate bloating, there are some that will relieve it:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Basil and thyme added as herbs to food will reduce the amount of bacteria in the stomach that can cause bloating.
- Chamomile, taken as a tea, sooths the stomach, relaxes muscles and helps digestion. Best taken morning and night.
How to prevent bloating
- Eat slowly. Take small mouthfuls.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have real problems then avoid those foods that affect you most. Some people tolerate foods more than others.
- Drink plain tap water with your meal.
- Add spices like ginger and herbs like mint, basil and thyme to your recipes.
- Take a gentle walk after a meal.
- Drink ginger or peppermint tea after your meal.
- 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
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.
• Sesame seeds
Yoga for a happy belly
Use fennel tea to relieve bloating
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
Take a minute to take the poll
Do you suffer from bloating?
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