Prevention & Recovery

Feeling bloated? Discover 6 tips to heal a bloated belly

By: Dr. Joey Shulman DC, RNCP

©iStockphoto.com/tbradford Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/tbradford

Prevention & Recovery

Feeling bloated? Discover 6 tips to heal a bloated belly

By: Dr. Joey Shulman DC, RNCP
If you are struggling to button up your jeans due to a bloated belly you are not alone. In fact, a feeling of distention and tightening in the stomach region is quite a common complaint. The good news is that there are several natural approaches that can help reduce dietary bloating and have you to feel better fast.

Bloating is typically caused by a buildup of gas in the intestinal tract. There are several causes that can lead to bloating, including eating too much fatty food, poor digestion and food allergies or sensitivities. Bloating can also be linked to your menstrual cycle. To reduce the symptoms of bloating, try the following steps.



6 tips to easy a bloated stomach

1. Eat 25 to 35 grams of fibre per day
Constipation often leaves us feeling bloated and "stuffed." To reduce bloating and promote bowel health, aim to eat a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre sources each day. Soluble fibre options include flaxseeds, carrots, oranges and barley, while insoluble fibre options can be found in dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, spinach and collard greens, as well as nuts and seeds.

2. Watch the gum chewing!
Chewing gum causes you to swallow air bubbles, which may lead to that bloated feeling many of us experience. Instead of chewing gum, try chewable digestive enzymes, which help break down your food and aid in digestion. Chewable digestive enzymes can be found in most health food stores.

3. Reduce your sodium intake
Try decreasing your salt intake wherever possible to help reduce your bloated belly. Salt causes your cells to retain water, which can contribute to bloating and abdominal distention. Try substituting the salt in your diet with garlic powder, oregano or black pepper. This will help lower your sodium intake and reduce your bloat.

4. Drink 2 liters of water per day
Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your body hydrated. Drinking 1 to 2 liters of water per day will help flush out anything in your system that may be causing bloating. 5. Consider food sensitivity testing
If you are struggling to determine what foods are the irritant in your diet, consider food sensitivity testing. A single finger prick of blood can tell you about 250 to 300 foods that you may or may not be reacting to, including wheat, dairy and gluten. Talk to a natural health care practitioner or visit any Rexall pharmacy to get information on the Hemocode test.

6. Eat smaller meals
Opt for small meals throughout the day, rather than eating three large meals. This will help to ensure that your body is properly breaking down food and utilizing all the nutrients properly.
Other quick-fix foods that can help eliminate bloat include:

•peppermint or peppermint tea;
•lemon (in water);
•pineapple;
•papaya;
•aloe vera juice;
•celery;
•whole grains;
•unsalted nuts; and
yogurt.
 

Foods that can contribute to bloating may include:
 
•Raw vegetables: Although raw vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they are also known to cause bloating when eaten in excess. Try lightly steaming some of your vegetables to help reduce that bloated feeling.
 
•Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beans, onions and cabbage: These delicious and nutritious foods are some of the major culprits of bloating. They expand in your stomach and gastrointestinal tract, and cause upset. Try avoiding these foods on days where you are already feeling bloated.
 
•Alcohol: The carbonated component of beer causes a bloated and irritated feeling, while the acidity of alcohol causes swelling in your body.
 
•Coffee: As with alcohol, the acidity of coffee can cause irritation and stomach upset, which appears as bloating in your belly. Try reducing your coffee intake to help with the bloated feeling.
 
Exercise is also a great way to reduce bloating. Try going for a walk on a fall day or attending a yoga class with a friend to help reduce the symptoms of bloat, and to help you feel your best.
 
Dr. Joey Shulman is a national bestselling author and the founder of the Shulman Weight Loss Clinics. For more information, please visit
drjoey.com
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Prevention & Recovery

Feeling bloated? Discover 6 tips to heal a bloated belly

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