What are the causes of a bloated tummy ?
A bloated tummy can be uncomfortable! A feeling of being bloated normally occurs after meals and when you feel 'stuffed' . This can be caused by too much gas production or the muscles in the abdomen going into spasm. Here are some top tips to reduce the bloated feeling and to identify culprits that may be creeping into your daily food and drink intake.
- Eat smaller meals to avoid overeating and being too full. Use a smaller plate is my best advice from experience to help begin reducing your portion size.
- Chew your food! Chewing is one of the first stages of the digestive process. Salivary amylase is produced in the mouth and begins to break down food before it reaches the stomach where it is broken down further. Not chewing enough means the stomach must work harder to break down your food. IF you already have stomach issues this can exacerbate the problem.
- Put down your knife and fork between meals. Take a minute to allow food to settle and for the chemicals to transmit to your brain to signal whether you are full or not.
- Avoid salty foods and adding salt to your meals. Sodium (table salt) is diluted by the body by an available water present in the system. Salt (sodium) makes you thirsty, and your body will then hold on to this water - aka water retention.
- Avoid / reduce chewing gum. Chewing gum has added sweeteners which are chemical sugars that can cause disruption in the body. See below..
- Avoid artificial sweeteners / chemical sugars in general. (e.g. Sorbitol, Mannitol, and Xylitol ). These disrupters cause inflammation in the body which if unchecked can lead to an imbalance of 'good' gut bacteria. Sugars also stimulate the gut to put out water and electrolytes, which loosen bowel movements. Chemical sweeteners like Sorbitol cannot be digested and can lead to water retention.
- Fizzy drinks! Yes, we can all be tempted from time to time, but they do cause excess gas in the stomach and may have added chemical sugars – a double whammy for the body to deal with.
- Identify if you have any allergies or intolerances – part of my work with clients involves completing a food diary for one week at least – you may be shocked to discover where your culprits are lurking! Click here for my free downloadable food diary.
- Foods that will ease gas and stomach discomfort include mint tea, ginger tea, fennel tea, liquorice root tea. Again, this varies from individual to individual but overall a lot of positive research on their benefits. Introduce one cup per day and increase to two, also interchange between varieties.
A classic one I prepare often, and you can have in cold or boiling water is:
- Slice of lemon (great to kickstart a slow system)
- Mint leaves (great to sooth the stomach and to ease water retention)
- Cucumber (great for hydration, to assist in a weight management routine, flush out toxins)
Other benefits include glowing skin!
- Parsley, mint leaves, lemon, lime, ginger, turmeric, cucumber, celery have proven benefits when it comes to flushing out toxins, boosting digestion, cooling inflammation and for overall feeling of lightness.
- Take a course of probiotics (these are 'good' gut bacteria that will restore balance to your digestion. Different strains exist and can assist with digestion in all parts of the digestive tract as well as assisting the immune response, skin, oral health, stomach juices, brain health and function and many other benefits. Look for the following strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus salivarius.
Probiotics are measured in CFU (colony forming units) and should be live or freeze dried to ensure their activity and stability within the digestive system. 10-20 billion CFU per day are sufficient for maintaining immune and digestive health but research can vary.