Do you experience discomfort and get a bloated stomach after eating? Are you fed up with feeling gassy? In this blog we’ll explore ten ways you can reduce or eliminate bloating and excess gas.
Bloating is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints by people of all ages. A lot of people experience bloating, and it can not only make us uncomfortable with our appearance but may cause physical discomfort too. It can be related to illness or disease, but is often caused by dietary and lifestyle choices and the buildup of air or gas in the digestive tract.
Let’s look at ten top tips to reduce or eliminate gas and bloating.
1. Avoid Foods That Cause Bloating
Some foods contain compounds that can cause bloating and gas in certain individuals. These foods include beans, lentils, dairy, certain whole grains, as well as cruciferous and allium vegetables, though they can be made more easily digestible through mindful preparation. For example, soaking beans and lentils before cooking and lightly steaming or cooking cruciferous vegetables can make them easier to digest.
Additionally, drinking fizzy and carbonated drinks means you’re swallowing air, which causes bloating and gas.
If you want to learn more about how you can reduce or eliminate flatulence from eating raw vegetables, you can read our blog “Why Some Raw Vegetables Cause Gas And How To Avoid It.” The link is in the description below.
2. Eat Enough Fiber
Getting enough fiber in your diet is important for many reasons. It aids digestive health, promotes gut motility, and helps reduce the occurrence of constipation. However, too much fiber in your diet can hinder the absorption of nutrients and also result in bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. So, it’s important to slowly add more fiber into your diet and stay hydrated. The recommended daily intake of fiber for adults under 50 is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, and for adults over 51 it is 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.
3. Reduce Sodium Intake
Excess salt can cause fluid retention in the body, including the abdomen, leading to bloating and discomfort. Limit sodium intake and stay hydrated as water can help flush out excess sodium from the body and reduce water retention.
4. Chew Your Food
Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing breaks down food so that it is easier to digest and absorb, making it less likely that food will ferment in your stomach leading to bloating and gas. Eating slowly can also reduce the chance of overeating, as it takes about twenty minutes for the brain to register that you feel full.
5. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is important for digestion and gut health. As mentioned earlier, staying properly hydrated can reduce water retention caused by excess sodium. Additionally, fiber attracts water so if you are eating a diet rich in fiber and aren’t drinking enough water your digestion will suffer. Some herbal teas can help reduce bloating and gas, including peppermint, chamomile, ginger, fennel, and decaf green tea.
6. Prebiotics & Probiotics
Prebiotic and probiotic foods help feed and seed beneficial gut bacteria, which help boost the immune system, promote healthy digestion, and reduce bloating and gas. Prebiotics are indigestible plant fibers that feed beneficial gut bacteria, and probiotic foods are fermented foods which seed the gut with beneficial bacteria. Adding prebiotic and probiotic foods to your diet may help your digestion.
7. Avoid Overeating
Overeating can cause bloating simply because of the large quantity of food your body has to try and digest, which may ferment in the stomach and slow digestion. You can avoid overeating by using a smaller plate for your meals, eating slower, and only eating until you feel 80% full.
8. Stomach Acid
Having low stomach acid means that the food you eat won’t be broken down or absorbed properly and will take longer to digest, leading to bloating. Acid reflux (GERD) is often associated with high stomach acid. However, it is usually caused by low stomach acid. If you suspect you have low stomach acid, consult a medical professional.
9. Get Enough Exercise
Exercise can encourage gastrointestinal motility, therefore aiding in the relief of constipation, gas, and bloating. Some exercises that can help include yoga and cardiovascular exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming.
10. Abdominal Massage
A simple way to reduce bloating and gas is giving yourself a stomach massage. It can help alleviate gas, constipation, and discomfort. Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and your feet flat on the floor. Starting by the right hip bone, gently massage your stomach in a clockwise motion moving slowly from the right hip up to the right ribs, across to the left ribs, down to the left hip bone, and back across to the right hip bone. Repeat this motion for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes. However, there are certain cases in which it would not be safe, so it is advisable to consult with your doctor first.
To recap, here are 10 ways you can reduce bloating and excess gas.
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RESOURCES & FURTHER INFO
- Info on the prevalence of abdominal bloating and distention – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27551250, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581929/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3816178/
- View our blog “Why Some Raw Vegetables Cause Gas And How To Avoid It” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/why-some-raw-vegetables-cause-gas-and-how-to-avoid-it/
- To learn more about fiber intake, visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
- Salt intake and bloating – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190627143931.htm
- To learn more about properly chewing food, view our blog “Top Tips For Mindful Eating” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/top-tips-for-mindful-eating/
- Read our blog “5 Teas That Can Aid Digestion” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/top-5-teas-healthy-digestion/
- Get further info on prebiotic foods at https://drjockers.com/top-33-prebiotic-foods/
- Learn more about eating until 80% full at https://health.clevelandclinic.org/dont-eat-until-youre-full-instead-mind-your-hara-hachi-bu-point/
- For more info on stomach acid levels and GERD, visit https://www.drcollins.ca/cause-heartburn-gerd-isnt-much-stomach-acid/
- View our blog “10 Tips To Get Motivated To Exercise” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/10-tips-to-get-motivated-to-exercise/
- For more info on abdominal massage visit https://www.perfectbalanceclinic.com/blog/nutrition-lifestyle/how-to-do-self-abdominal-massage/