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Tummy troubles: Ten incredible ways to reduce bloating, according to nutritional therapists

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Stomach troubles and bloating are very common complaints, leaving you uncomfortable, in griping pain, and dull.

Bloating impacts up to 15 to 30 percent of the general population. It’s normally a visible clue that our digestive system isn’t working properly as it should, as this could be due to a variety of reasons.

But there are a number of steps you can take to investigate possible causes and bring the digestive system back into balance.

Hannah Braye, a nutritional therapist for Bio-Kult and nutritional and fitness expert Tom Jenane, offer their advice.

Play detective

Hannah advised:

Play detective and keep a diary of what you eat and symptoms you experience to see if there are any patterns.

Alternatively, consider an elimination diet, (where commonly aggravating foods, such as gluten, wheat and dairy are removed for a short period of time, before being re-introduced one at a time) or food intolerance testing with a reputable laboratory.

Expel bad bacteria

According to Hannah:

Pathogenic (bad) bacteria in the gut produce more gas than the beneficial sort, which can increase symptoms of bloating.

Increasing your intake of naturally antimicrobial foods such as raw garlic, onions, oregano, clove, turmeric and coconut oil may help to reduce un-beneficial organisms in the gut.

Rebalance and restore

Provide your gut bacteria with additional support by taking a good quality live bacteria supplement and “eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, plain probiotic yoghurt, miso kefir and kombucha”, said Hannah.

Don’t downplay digestion

To properly digest our food we need to ensure that our digestive secretions are at optimum levels.

Hannah explained:

Low stomach acid, reduced digestive enzymes or insufficient bile production can lead to poor digestion of food and increased fermentation in the intestines, creating more gas. Taking a tablespoon of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a small glass of water before eating main meals and eating more bitter foods, such as rocket, chicory, watercress, artichokes and endives can help.

Pineapple and papaya also contain natural digestive enzymes that help to break down proteins, so try adding them into salads and smoothies or having as dessert.

Soak pulses and legumes

Foods such as beans, pulses and lentils are jam packed full of nutrients and fibre but can cause bloating in many people (even those who do not suffer with other digestive issues).

Hannah advised:

Rather than cut these healthy foods out of your diet, soak them in cold water overnight or for a few hours before cooking to make them easier to digest. This also deactivates compounds called phytates, meaning we absorb more nutrients.

Up your fiber

Constipation and the build-up of waste material in the colon can cause a bloated feeling, a sense of fullness and loss of appetite, said Hannah.

She continued:

Maintaining regular bowel movements through sufficient fiber intake is therefore important. Ideally, this should come from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Stop stress

Prolonged stress is bad for health in many ways, but our digestive system is particularly susceptible to its effects, being linked to the brain via the vagus nerve.

Hannah explained:

When we are stressed we produce less stomach acid and digestive enzymes, and our gut bacteria can be negatively affected, increasing the risk of bloating. Remember to take time out for yourself, for example by doing gentle exercises such as walking and yoga, breathing exercises or meditation, and getting a good night’s sleep.

Even ten minutes of calm a few times a day can help, says Tom.

Eat mindfully

It is also important to eat mindfully, said Hannah.

She added:

This helps to get our digestive juices going. Cooking from scratch and taking time to enjoy your meal, undistracted by computers or television will increase gastric juices and aid digestion. As will chewing your food well.

Go herbal

Many herbal teas such as peppermint and ginger have a carminative effect on the digestive tract, according to Hannah. And Fennel is particularly effective for bloating.

She advised:

Try soaking a teaspoon of fennel seeds in hot water and drinking it as a tea after eating, or chew on the fennel seeds themselves.

According to Tom, try a herbal tea straight after your big meals. Ginger, turmeric, peppermint and CBD tea are really effective at getting your digestive system moving.

Consult a nutritional therapist

If after implementing the above tips you are still experiencing bloating on a regular basis, consider consulting a nutritional therapist to investigate further.

Hannah explained:

They will take a full case history and can carry our functional testing to identify underlying causes if necessary.

Tom Jenane also advised sit up straight, slower eating, drink plenty of water, say no to carbs, sodas, sugar, chewing gum, sprouts, and stress.

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