Feeling the effects of a fun, yet over indulgent summer season? Avoiding anything in your wardrobe that’s tight-fitting? It could be bloating. Bloating is an uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing and sometimes painful condition caused by water retention or build-up of gas in the stomach.
Most of us would prefer to live with the feeling of being bloated rather than discussing its side effects. This doesn’t have to be the case as there are several ways this type of discomfort can be prevented. Check out the following pointers for a flatter and healthier tummy!
1.Reduce salt intake
Did you know that salt can create water retention in the body?
If you’re feeling bloated, try cutting out salty food victims such as: deli and processed meats (e.g. bacon & salami), sauces, dressings and condiments (e.g. soy sauce, tomato sauce and bottled salad dressing) and lastly, it’s a no brainer, but lay of the chippies! If you’re still unsure, read food labels and search for hidden sodium – it’s a lot more common in packaged foods than you think!
2.Snack on protein and fibre
Including snacks that are full of protein will help keep hunger pangs at bay and reduce your chances of overindulging at meal-time.
Fibre is essential in regulating your digestive system and keeping your bowels healthy. Having enough fibre in your diet helps foods move through your digestive system easily which may assist in reducing bloating and constipation.
For a perfect balance of protein and fibre we would recommend snacking on a Go Natural Nut Delight bar. Not only are they absolutely delicious, these bars will keep your stomach feeling healthy and happy!
3. Chew your food!
This one should be easy! Eat slowly and chew your food carefully. Gulping food down can cause gas and bloating.
4.Limit chewing gum
Whilst we’re all about chewing your food properly, this shouldn’t include chewing gum, which can also lead to swallowing air, causing bloating. If you've got a gum habit, alternate chewing gum with a healthy, high-fibre snack like fruit, vegetables, or a Go Natural snack bar.
5.Eat diuretic vegetables
There’s a reason you pop a couple of cucumber slices on puffy eyes. The antioxidants in this refreshing green vegetable help lower inflammatory responses in the body. Did you know that eating them can have similar effects!? Yes, you heard right! Cucumbers are about 95% water and cased in a fibrous outer skin, just the combination you require to get things moving! Better yet, there are other vegetables that may have the same affect. Why not mix things up by adding foods such as watercress, asparagus, cucumber and celery to your shopping list.
6.Avoid carbonated drinks
The fizz factor in carbonated drinks aka drinks with delicious little bubbles (even diet ones) can cause gas to get trapped in your belly, making you feel uncomfortable and you guessed it, bloated!
Instead, drink water flavoured with fresh lemon, lime, or cucumber. Or just reduce the number of fizzy drinks you consume each day. Try some peppermint or chamomile tea for a soothing beverage that may help reduce the gas and bloating.
Having said all of this, if you suspect a certain food causes an unwanted reaction, make sure you check in with your GP or local Naturopath to see if there is an underlying issue that may be causing discomfort.