Do you often get a nagging pain, discomfort, and a “stuffed” feeling after eating?. Do you feel your stomach looks bigger after lunch or dinner and feel like unbuttoning your jeans?
Bloating is when your belly feels swollen after eating and usually caused by excess gas production or digestive disturbances.
It has been reported that some experience bloating on a regular basis. While there may be an underlying precondition as to why some people suffer from serious bloating, it is most often caused by your diet and certain foods that you may be intolerant to.
MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO ELIMINATE BLOATING
EAT SMALL PORTIONS
Is it possible that you go hungry for hours and then just sniff down your lunch or dinner?
Or you skipped a meal and gorged down your next available one? Or you simply think gluttony is a virtue.
If you feel uncomfortable after eating a big meal, may be not according to you, but trust us if you are uncomfortable then you have over eaten, then try smaller portions next time or just eat a little frequently after a gap of 2-3 hours.
AVOID FIZZY DRINKS
Drinking carbonated beverages like cokes , diet cokes, or soda pops is a sure shot to cause bloating. Go for still drinks than sparkling.
Even drinking through a straw leads to increased amount of swallowed air that causes bloating.
Ever heard of the terms, lactose intolerant or Gluten free, or Lactose free on supermarket milk packs or pasta packs ? That’s because they are known allergens that can cause digestive issues and bloating.
Sugar or fructose is also one of the main culprit to cause bloating and abdominal discomfort.
If you get bloated by common food products like pasta, milk, yogurt, juices,eggs etc check with your local health care worker for allergies and food intolerances.
Lentils, beans, legumes and whole grains are a good source of protein and nutrition but for some people may produce large amounts of gas or may cause constipation as it slows down the digestion process.
Eating fatty foods also slows down digestion and may have a tendency to bloat.
PROBIOTICS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus strains may help to ward off bothersome bloating by helping to aid normal digestive function as well as regular bowel movements.
Clinical studies have shown that certain probiotic supplements can help reduce gas production and bloating in people with digestive problems.
Natural oils like peppermint oil capsules or fenugreek seeds are well known in helping to aid digestion, reduce bloating and fight digestive issues. It helps prevent constipation.
A very common problem that can often escalate bloating. Consuming fibrous foods can help eliminate this but to be done with caution as its seen that in some people fibrous foods makes things worse.
Try drinking more fluids without sugar or any processed foods.
TRY A LOW FODMAP DIET
Researchers discovered that the small intestine does not absorb FODMAPs very well. They increase the amount of fluid in the bowel and also create more gas. That’s because bacteria in the colon they are easily fermented by colonic bacteria. The increased fluid and gas in the bowel leads to bloating and changes in the speed with which food is digested. This results in gas, pain, and diarrhea. Eating less of these types of carbohydrates should decrease these symptoms.
Research shows that a low FODMAP diet has the potential for helping irritable bowel syndrome with symptoms of gas, bloating, stomach cramps.
Try eating less of these :
Cow’s milk, yogurt, pudding, custard, ice cream, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and mascarpone
Fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, cherries, mangoes, pears and watermelon
Sweeteners, such as honey and agave nectar
Products with high fructose corn syrup
Vegetables, such as artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beetroot, garlic and onions
Grains such as wheat and rye
Added fiber, such as inulin
Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and soy products
Vegetables, such as broccoli
Fruits, such as apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums and watermelon
Vegetables, such as cauliflower, mushrooms and snow peas
Sweeteners, such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol and isomalt found in sugar-free gum and mints, and cough medicines and drops.(health.harvard.edu)
Eat more of these foods:
Lactose-free milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, lactose-free yogurt; hard cheeses such as feta and brie
Bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lime, oranges and strawberries
Bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bok choy, carrots, chives, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger, lettuce, olives, parsnips, potatoes, spring onions and turnips
Beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs and tofu
Nuts/seeds (limit to 10-15 each)-
Almonds, macadamia, peanuts, pine nuts and walnuts
Oat, oat bran, rice bran, gluten-free pasta, such as rice, corn, quinoa, white rice, cornflour and quinoa.
Bottom line: Eat smaller meals, reduce salt intake as it helps reducing water intake as well, look out for food allergies, cut carbonated drinks, try a probiotic supplement, and exercise for half an hour to an hour even if its just walking.