Bloating can be caused by a few things. Common culprits include overeating, stress, water retention, hormonal changes or digestive health issues such as food intolerances.
So what is actually happening to our bodies when we bloat? In terms of digestive health, when we eat foods that may irritate our gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) that food often isn’t digested properly, which can cause the belly to bloat. This can also be in conjunction with other symptoms such as cramping, gas, constipation and burping.
When we eat something that potentially inflames our gut we also don’t fully absorb the essential nutrients from our food. If bloating is a regular thing for you, it’s usually an indication that your digestive health isn’t up to scratch. Or that there could be an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut.
How can we prevent bloating? Here, are five simple steps!
- Firstly slow down! Chew your food properly to aid in the digestive process.
- Eat in a quiet, relaxed manner away from distractions – avoid watching the TV, looking at your phone or answering emails.
- Try and identify foods that potentially irritate your GIT or you may be intolerant to.
- Embark on a cleanse to weed out the bad bugs in your GIT.
- Avoid or minimise your intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These are all known irritants that often cause excessive bloating
What are the best foods to help beat bloating?
A low-sugar, high-fibre diet with good fats and clean protein diet is best. Grains are best in the morning or lunch time. Increase your intake of dark green veggies to keep your gut clean. It’s also important to enjoy lots of probiotic rich foods such as yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and other fermented foods. A daily supplement is also a good idea to ensure you have lots of friendly bacteria doing their magic!
Bloat-busting yoga moves!
A few gentle yoga poses can help relieve bloating. Ease the tension out of your belly with spinal twists and belly stretches. Try this little sequence:
- Laying on your back, draw your knees right up into your chest and hold for 5 to 10 breaths. You can then alternate your legs, bringing one knee up and then other.
- From here, keep your knees to your chest and gently float your knees over to the left side, close to your armpit, as you exhale. Continue on, taking your knees to your right.
- Finally, place your feet flat on the floor and your hands by your body, flat on the floor, and then lift your hips and lower back off the floor into a gentle bridge.