10 tips to beat bloating
Stomach bloating, the condition of feeling like having a swollen stomach after eating, is a very common undesired health condition. Leave for the case when bloating is caused by some chronic or serious medical condition, the problem can be easily resolved with several simple precautions and changes in food.
Though it can be a harbinger of some chronic disease, most of the times bloating is caused due to simpler reasons, ranging from food intolerances to overeating. It is caused by disturbances in the movement of muscles in the digestive system and by an excess level of gas production. Untreated bloating might lead to increased pressure in the abdomen area and a bigger stomach. Here are some tips to minimize and even eliminate stomach bloating:
Avoid food causing allergies and intolerances
One of the prominent reasons that cause bloated stomachs is an intolerance to specific foods. Different people have different food allergies and intolerances. Common types of food intolerances and allergies include lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, eggs allergy, and wheat allergy. Avoiding all foods that cause allergies and intolerances is a great way to treat the undesired problem of a bloated stomach. You need to consult a doctor ASAP if you don’t know what kind of food allergies and intolerances you’re suffering from.
Add low-FODMAP diet to your food plan
In case of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the bloated stomach is an important symptom, along with abdominal pain and constipation. It is estimated that about 14% of the entire world population suffers from IBS. Several studies suggest that indigestible carbohydrates, known as FODMAPS, can help in alleviating symptoms of IBS, including stomach bloating. Some food items high in FODMAPS are:
Avoid eating gas-producing food items
Beans, lentils, whole grains, fatty foods, and some other foods high on fiber are responsible for producing a huge amount of gas in the stomach. Moreover, fatty foods can lead to slowed down digestion. While it is desirable for those aiming for weight loss, it must be avoided by people suffering from stomach bloating.
The biggest reason for bloated stomach, unless caused by some serious health condition, is overeating. Eating more than what you need can simply make you feel like swollen in the stomach. The simple solution is to eat less and change your diet plan accordingly. Moreover, chewing food better can double bloating recovery.
Persons with a tendency to experience stomach bloating feel uneasiness even after eating a smaller amount of food. Therefore, it’s good to eat small meals multiple times a day than have bigger meals for a few times in the day.
Cut down consumption of carbonated drinks
Two sources add to the gas level in the digestive system. One is produced by bacteria present in the gut, and the other is what you swallow while eating or drinking. Though several food and drinks can contribute to flatulence, the biggest culprit is carbonated drinks, most notably soda and fizzy drinks. Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide. The gas is released after the liquid containing it, such as soda or fizzy drinks, reaches the stomach. Primary reasons for air addition in the stomach are drinking using a straw, eating and talking, eating hurriedly, and frequently munching a chewing gum.
Caution with sugar alcohols
Commonly found in chewing gums and sugar-free foods, sugar alcohols are sweeteners considered an ideal alternative to sugar. Unfortunately, they lead to digestive problems because of their tendency to reach bacteria in the large intestine. The bacteria in the large intestine digest them but result in the production of gas. There are many types of sugar alcohols. While erythritol might be given some liberty, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol should be avoided to treat bloated stomach.
Use digestive enzyme supplements
In addition to eliminating or minimizing bloating-prone foods, you can add certain digestive enzyme supplements to your diet plan. Two good options are:
- Beano – Contains an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase
- Lactase – Ideal for people with lactose intolerance, as lactase helps in effectively breaking down lactose
Such enzymes help in breaking down indigestible carbohydrates and hence, alleviate stomach bloating.
Constipation can lead to elevated stomach bloating. Fiber is great for avoiding constipation. However, it needs proper regulation, as higher content might lead to stomach bloating itself. Taking magnesium supplements and increasing physical activity are also effective for reducing and eliminating constipation.
Use peppermint oil
Antispasmodics help in reducing muscle spasm in the digestive tract. Peppermint oil is a natural alternative to antispasmodics. The supplemental form of peppermint oil can help in treating stomach bloating and other digestion issues.
Certain probiotic supplements and probiotics can help in reducing stomach bloating, even in people suffering from digestive problems.