How to Beat the Bloat

Bloating is an uncomfortable experience, that most, if not all of us will suffer with from time to time. The symptoms of bloating can sometimes be hard to pinpoint, but usually involve a feeling of tightness in the abdomen and a visibly swollen tummy. Problems associated with bloating are commonly caused by eating too fast, gas, water retention, constipation, coeliac disease, food intolerances or IBS.

Bloating is commonly felt after over indulging in food or drink, but for some people, it can be an uncomfortable and common occurrence, which can be indicative of a more long term problem.

If you are struggling to control symptoms of bloating and are experiencing discomfort as a result, then there are steps you can take to balance your digestive system and beat the bloat.

Firstly, you need to identify which foods or drinks are causing the problem. To do this, you will need to start a food diary to help you to pinpoint which foods you may be intolerant to. Keep a record of the foods you eat, as well as if and when any symptoms occur. If you are intolerant to any of the foods in your diet, then your body will respond by making antibodies, which can cause inflammation and other unwanted symptoms such as bloating and stomach cramps.

Your food diary will help you to identify which, if any foods, are triggering your bloating and what to avoid. Common common food intolerances found are alcohol, eggs, dairy, yeast, and wheat.

Secondly, eating a fibre rich diet can help to reduce problems with bloating, particularly if you suffer from cobsitipation. Eating fibre rich foods, such as nuts and wholewheat helps to encourage movement through the digestive tract, that removes toxins and hormones from the body, thus reducing the symptoms of bloating. Be sure to increase your water intake too, to reap maximum benefit.

Another way to help reduce problems associated with bloating is to eat fruit and vegetables in a variety of colours each day, often referred to as ‘eating the rainbow’. This is because the colour of your food can tell you al lot about it’s nutritional value, and eating as many different colours as possible ensures you consume a wide range of vitamins and minerals, which in turn helps to reduce inflammation, balance hormone levels and improve digestion. It is also a good idea to avoid eating too much processed foods, which encourage the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut, whilst also depleting good bacteria.

It is common sense, but you can also assist digestion and reduce bloating by keeping active. Engaging in regular exercise stimulates blood flow, to all parts of your body, including your digestive system. A healthy digestive system will be more effective at reducing the growth of problematic pathogenic bacteria and also stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria. Great workouts to try include those that encourage stretching, such as yoga or pilates, just avoid exercising immediately after eating.