Studies show that 16-30% of general population experience the uncomfortable symptoms of bloating? In fact, some people suffer bloating so severe that it has a huge adverse impact on their day to day activities and quality of life. It is common amongst both adults and children.
So what are some of the symptoms of bloating?
Most people describe bloating as feeling full, tight or swollen in the abdomen. Your abdomen may also feel hard and painful. Bloating is often accompanied by excessive gas, frequent burping or stomach rumblings or ‘gurgling’ sounds.
How can we avoid that feeling of bloat?
Avoid high fat foods. This usually means processed, fast food. These types of foods usually contain higher amounts of sodium. Sodium (salt), may lead to water retention as the body is trying to re-balance the electrolytes. Extra fluid can cause bloating. Also, the higher fat content takes longer for your body to process. The fat moves slowly through the digestive tract and this may cause bloat.
Avoid carbonated drinks. The fizz in carbonated drinks (even diet ones) can cause gas to get trapped in your belly. Not only that, fizzy drinks are usually very high in sugar, and as we all know, too much sugar is extremely toxic to the body.
Don’t eat too fast. Eating quickly and not chewing your food well can cause air swallowing that leads to bloating. So slow down and enjoy your food. Your meals should last at least 30 minutes. Also, keep in mind that digestion begins in the mouth and you can decrease bloating just by chewing your food more.
Know common food triggers. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can all be triggers of bloating. However, certain foods may be worse than others, and digestive issues will vary from person to person. Common bloating triggers include apples, beans, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, dairy products, lettuce, onions peaches and pears.
Go for a walk. There is no denying the benefits of exercise for your overall health and well-being. As an added bonus, working out can also reduce the gas buildup that contributes to bloating. A short walk can alleviate bloating after a meal.
Look for leafy greens. Since leafy green vegetables, like kale and spinach, are a good source of insoluble fibre, they help your colon produce stool, thereby reducing gas and bloating.These veggies are also low in calories, so they’re pretty versatile.
Ditch the artificial sweeteners. FYI: Any ingredient that ends in the letters “-ol,”—erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol—is an artificial sweetener, and it is probably making you bloated.These chemicals are called sugar alcohols, and they’re found in tons of sugar-free snacks, like candies and gums, as well as in many of the dressings, beverages, and condiments you eat every day. They’re also hard for your stomach to properly digest, so they create gas and GI problems (like bloating!)
You don’t have to, nor should you put up with that bloated feeling. If you have been, including some of the methods above may help to ease that for you.