Is everyone ready to talk about the uncomfortable sensation that is bloating? You must be, or you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. Bloating is something that can happen in an instant. One moment you feel wonderful, and then you feel gassy, puffy, and uncomfortable the next. Belly bloat, although not life-threatening, can be cause for concern if you experience it after every meal.
What Is Bloating?
Abdominal tightness, fullness, or stomach discomfort characterize bloating. It occurs when the gastrointestinal tract fills with air or gas. The stomach feels full and tight and may look bigger than it actually is. You may even have to pull out the old stretchy pants to fight the feeling of tight-fitting clothes. While the foods you eat are often the culprit, it’s possible to experience bloating from stress, fluid retention, medications, hormonal imbalances, or inflammatory bowel diseases.
Many foods can ferment easily in the gut and cause gas build-up. The more gas that builds up, the easier it is to experience bloating. Refined carbohydrates, processed foods, high-fat foods, dairy products, certain legumes, and some cruciferous vegetables can cause bloating. Although legumes and cruciferous vegetables are healthy foods, they can be quite gassy for people with sensitive digestive systems. Legumes often cause bloating if you eat a lot at once, due to the drastic increase in fiber intake. Most cruciferous vegetables contain raffinose, which can cause gas, but these vegetables do contain essential nutrients that support overall health.
5 Foods That May Reduce Belly Bloat
If you feel like your gut is about to bust, there are foods that may help with the deflation process. The great thing is that there is very little harm in trying out natural remedies that help with bloating. Consider the following anti-bloating foods if you feel abdominal discomfort in the future.
Peppermint tea is made with dried leaves from the Mentha piperita plant, which grows in many temperate climates. Much like any peppermint preparation, peppermint tea contains menthol oil, which works to relieve spasms in muscle tissue. Peppermint tea helps the body relax muscles in order to release pent up gas. It can be more beneficial to steep actual mint leaves, as some of the anti-bloat oils can get lost during the tea manufacturing process.
Historically, people chewed on fennel seeds to combat bad breath, but they have a long tradition of relieving digestive woes in the Mediterranean. Fennel seeds contain compounds that work to calm gastrointestinal spasms. In fact, some Indian restaurants offer fennel seeds after a meal to help reduce the risk of bloating or abdominal discomfort. For this to work, you can either chew on the seeds, or brew fennel tea and drink it.
Pineapple contains bromelain, which is an enzyme that aids protein digestion. For hundreds of years, people in both Central and South America have eaten pineapple to soothe indigestion and inflammation. Snacking on a bowl of fresh pineapple when you feel bloated may be an excellent way to combat symptoms. Unfortunately, there is little research on bromelain’s effects on digestive disorders. Claims surrounding the effects on bloating are more anecdotal.
The veggie that makes your pee smell happens to assist the body in eliminating excess fluid. If you’ve ever eaten asparagus, you know that you pee more regularly after you eat it. Asparagus exhibits diuretic properties that help flush excess salt and water out of the body. According to Mayo Clinic, eliminating fluid can help decrease bloating.
Ginger may be one of the oldest home remedies for both abdominal discomfort and sore throat. Working to stimulate motility in the gastrointestinal tract, it may help relieve abdominal distention, according to a May 2018 study. There are compounds in ginger root that work to promote digestion, relieving indigestion and bloating in the process. It also has antiemetic properties, meaning it may prevent vomiting and nausea. Add a few slices of fresh ginger root to a cup, pour boiling water over it, add a little lemon juice and sweetener of choice, and then enjoy.