You’d love to have a flat belly for the party tonight, but thanks to one too many sodas or that basket of tortilla chips, zipping your pants is a real struggle. Abdominal bloating not only looks bad, but can cause physical discomfort. Most of us associate bloating with beer (hence the term “beer belly”), but any alcoholic drink can make your stomach puff up, for many reasons! Many suffer from bloating and it can be quite frustrating especially if you have an occasion that requires you to dress up. Bloating isn’t caused by just eating certain foods; stress can also cause indigestion and bloating.
AVOID SPORTS DRINKS
Sports drinks are marketed as an alternative to soda, but unless you’re a pro athlete or exercising like one, give them a pass. These beverages are full of artificial sweeteners, extra sodium, and other salts, all of which can cause bloating. Many also have a surprising amount of calories. Instead of sports drinks, you can have coconut water too!
You probably don’t need to be told that a high-fibre diet is good for you. But what you should know is that supersize servings of fibre can sometimes block your digestive system. This is more likely to occur if your stomach and intestines are unaccustomed to such a diet or if you’re not consuming enough water to flush out your GI tract. To avoid these effects, always drink plenty of water with your meals; try to ingest your fibre earlier in the day, when your stomach is most active.
Caraway has anti-spasmodic effects as well as antimicrobial and carminative properties. Two chemicals present in caraway seeds, carvol and carvene, help soothe the smooth muscle tissues of the digestive tract and promote expulsion of gas to give you instant relief from stomach bloating. If you suffer from frequent bloating, chew a pinch of caraway seeds several times throughout the day. If the taste of raw caraway seeds is too strong for you, try some caraway crackers. Alternatively, you can brew crushed caraway seeds to make a tea.
Highly processed foods tend to be high in sodium and low in fibre, both of which can contribute to that bloated feeling. Get in the habit of reading food labels. When buying processed, canned, or frozen foods, shoot for no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving in any product or a total of 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Look for labels that say “sodium free,” ” low sodium,” or “very low sodium.”
Smoking is guaranteed to add to your bloat in three important ways. You end up inhaling and swallowing a lot of air when you smoke; the toxins in cigarette smoke cause inflammation in the lining of your stomach and intestines, which makes you bloated and uncomfortable; and smoking kills of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, leading to overgrowth of bloat-causing bad bacteria.
- Many veggies are known to cause gas when eaten raw, especially cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, onions and Brussels sprouts. Simply cook your veggies instead – the nutritional value is equal to that of raw veggies.
- Despite the fact that bloating is often due to water retention, drinking more water helps to flush out the system and reduce bloating.
- Activated charcoal has porous properties, which means it has holes that allow the passing of air and water. These spaces can trap excess gas in the intestines caused by stomach bacteria. Activated charcoal is available in tablet, capsule and powder form. Seek medical advice to learn the exact dosage that is right for you.