Every person has his or her own eating habits or favorite foods. The underlying theme between people and food is that nobody wants to feel bloated. You don’t want to attempt to zip up those pants, you want to zip them up with ease. A flat belly may not always be in the cards because of the foods you eat, an allergic reaction, or before/during menstrual cycles (for women).
Bloating is different than extra fat around the midsection. This temporary abdominal distention affects almost everyone at some point in life. The most common cause of bloating is intestinal gas, not water weight, even though many people disagree. Fluid retention is typically seen in the feet or ankles, and the abdomen is not where fluids accumulate first. Gas isn’t the only cause of bloating, however.
Reasons For Bloating
Gluten Sensitivity: A lot of people are gluten intolerant and they don’t know it. Try eliminating it from your diet for total of three weeks and then eat something with gluten to see if it is the culprit of your symptoms.
Poor Food Combining: Some people have more sensitive digestive systems and must eat certain foods separately to avoid bloating. Fruits should be eaten alone, and you shouldn’t combine them with proteins or other foods. You also shouldn’t combine protein and carbohydrates, for example, steak and potatoes. Check out our food combining chart for help.
Irregular Meal Times: It is ideal to maintain a consistent eating schedule because eating sporadically can interfere with healthy digestion. You should also avoid eating after eight o’clock at night because this can impair digestion and sleep.
Dairy Products: Dairy is a common cause of bloating and poor digestion. As the body ages, it actually loses the necessary enzymes for breaking down and processing milk sugars, which results in bloating. Ditch dairy to see if it makes a difference.
Imbalanced Gut Flora: When healthy bacteria are more prevalent in the body, you tend to feel a lot better. Your metabolism functions smoothly, you have better energy, and you are less likely to experience bloating.
Parasites: If parasites are living in your gut, a common side effect is bloating. It is ideal to get tested for bacterial overgrowth and parasites if you believe that you have come in contact with them.
Foods That Decrease Bloating
Anise: Anise contains antispasmodic properties, which work to calm the digestive tract. It also has carminative properties that assist in the reduction of gases in the digestive tract. It also helps to reduce stomach swelling.
Peppermint: Containing menthol, which has an antispasmodic effect on the soft muscle of the digestive tract, peppermint is great for relaxing an upset stomach. It is beneficial to drink a cup of peppermint tea when you are feeling bloated to reduce the pain.
Fennel: Acting as a natural diuretic, fennel helps to flush out excess gas in the digestive system. Fennel seeds are actually more beneficial, containing antimicrobial properties that help to treat stomach pain, bloating, gas, or even lower back pain.
Ginger, Lemon, & Turmeric Tea: High stress levels have been associated with low stomach acid, which can cause indigestion, bloating, and gas. If stress is the culprit of bloating, drink a combo tea of lemon, ginger, and turmeric. Lemons help to increase the production of stomach acid; turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the digestive tract; and ginger helps the stomach move food down the digestive tract for healthy bowel movements.
Drink Up: We are, of course, referring to hydrating with water. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of bloating because the body is retaining excess water. Drinking more water helps you eliminate efficiently, remain hydrated, and decrease bloating.
Eat Fermented Foods: Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are naturally rich in probiotics, which help to maintain a healthy, balanced gut. Probiotics actually help repair the gut and prebiotics feed probiotics to enhance their inherent benefits.