We never quite realise the huge effect that bloating can have on our daily lives until we find ourselves suffering. Bloating can cause underlying pain and discomfort that can be impossible to get rid of, even with so-called bloat-reducing medications.
Bloating happens when the gastrointestinal tract gets filled with air, and it often causes stomach pain, gas, and sometimes even vomiting. If you’re bloated, you may notice that your stomach is inflated in size, and you feel consistently full throughout the day. It’s common to feel the increased urge to burp or break wind when you’re bloated, as a result of the trapped gas trying to escape from your body.
The frustrating reality is, while bloating is really common, there is often no definite cause for the disorder, as it can stem from so many different issues (or a combination of a few). Namely, you might find yourself becoming bloated from eating too quickly, eating certain “trigger” foods, illness, or digestive disorders such as IBS, food intolerance, or even a bacterial imbalance. See why it’s so difficult to pinpoint the cause of bloating?
Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to know what’s caused your bloating to be able to get rid of it. And, in fact, there are much better solutions for warding off bloating in the long run if you’re not a fan of reaching for the medication whenever you get the feeling of trapped gas. Stay tuned to discover the simplest, most effective ways of naturally curing bloating.
15 Easy Ways To Reduce and Cure BLOATING
1. Don’t eat too quickly
The problem with eating too quickly is that it’s the easiest way to end up swallowing a whole lot of unwanted air alongside your food. This air goes straight to your GI tract, where it builds up over time, eventually leading to bloating.
Try getting into the habit of eating more slowly, or practice mindful eating, the act of reaching a state of full physical and mental awareness while eating.
2. Avoid foods that cause gas
Some people are more effected by certain gas-causing foods than others. These foods tend to contain alpha-galactosides, which belong to a group of carbs called FODMAPs.
When high FODMAP foods are fermented in the colon, gas is released as a by-product. That’s why it can be a good idea to avoid these foods altogether if you’re susceptible to bloating.
Examples of high FODMAP foods to avoid include beans and legumes, lentils, fizzy drinks, wheat, green vegetables, apples, and certain sugary alcohols.
3. Eat smaller meals, more often
Studies have found that eating larger meals all in one go is far more likely to cause bloating than if you stick to a diet of smaller meals eaten more often throughout the day. This helps to keep the digestive system moving, instead of allowing it to switch off and then bombarding it with a large meal to break down.
4. Sip your drinks carefully
It might sound a little strange, but the way you drink your daily beverages can really have an effect on the levels of bloating in your body. Sipping from a straw, for example, is an easy way to gulp air into your GI tract, which is a cause for immediate bloating. Try to drink slowly and carefully, and avoid swallowing air while you drink if you can.
5. Avoid constipation
Another of the most common causes of bloating in constipation, a digestive condition that can make it difficult to regularly go to the toilet. When you’re constipated, the bacteria can ferment foods in your colon for a longer period of time, which leads to a bigger by-production of gas.
Although it’s difficult to get rid of constipation, it’s important that you go to the effort to do so, especially if you’re regularly constipated. Visit your doctor or seek out natural constipation cures if you’re struggling.
6. Go for a walk
Sitting around all day is the harsh reality of many people’s day-to-day work life, and frustratingly, this lack of movement will cause your GI tract to work at an incredibly slow pace. Simply the act of moving your body is enough to get the important organs in your digestive system working, which helps foods to bypass the colon more quickly and prevent a build-up of gas.
7. Stay hydrated
If you’re not drinking enough water, it’s impossible for your body to function as it should do – and processes like digestion suddenly become a whole lot more difficult. Many of us don’t keep track of how much liquid we’re drinking every day, which is why it’s so easy to become dehydrated without even realising.
Get yourself a two-litre water bottle and make sure you’ve emptied it out by the end of the day. This should help to flush your system and keep things moving, as well as restoring the sodium balance so your body will give up the excess fluid that leads to bloating.
8. Drink peppermint tea
Herbal teas have a wealth of health benefits – and it turns out that these include naturally preventing bloating. We’ve been using the peppermint herb for years to relieve digestive issues, including IBS, a disorder of the large intestine.
Getting into the habit of drinking a morning cup of peppermint tea can help to soothe the intestines, reduce abdominal pain, and prevent an outbreak of bloating. If you’d rather make your own peppermint tea, simply add a drop of peppermint essential oil to hot water and add honey, milk, and other sweeteners as you please.
9. Stay away from chewing gum
Here’s one of the simplest tips for natural bloating prevention of them all: stay away from chewing gum. While you’re chewing gum, and gulping back the extra saliva it produces, you’re gulping in a whole lot of air alongside it, which ends up trapped in the GI tract.
Chewing gum also contains an ingredient called sugar alcohol, a type of carbohydrate that’s slowly and incompletely absorbed in the body. Try swapping chewing gum for a cup of tea – peppermint, of course! – or a healthy fruit snack instead.
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10. Start adding ginger to your diet
When it comes to digestive issues, ginger has been a firm favourite remedy for a long time. Remember your mum feeding you ginger biscuits when you didn’t feel very well? This is because ginger is a known cure for soothing an upset stomach. It’s thought to protect the gut, speed up the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, and, most importantly, reduce wind and bloating.
If you want to benefit from ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties, try adding it to your meals, or combine with water for a simple ginger tea.
11. Get flexible
Who would have thought that a few yoga moves might be all it takes to get rid of bloating? Think about babies, and how mothers will rock them and pat them on the back to release trapped wind.
You can look at yoga in a similar way – your digestive system may be tangled up, and various yoga positions can be exactly what you need to stimulate certain digestive organs and get things working properly again. The forward bend is one move that has proven particularly effective in reducing bloating and other digestive issues.
12. Stock up on bananas
Love them or hate them, bananas are incredibly useful when it comes to getting things moving if you’re suffering from painful bloating. Ripe bananas in particular are known for aiding digestion and promoting bowel movements, preventing food from building up and leading to an increased production of gas.
Bananas promote a healthy gut environment, and can help to manage the fluid levels in your body that can cause bloating.
13. Go lactose free
No, we’re not suggesting that you cut out milk, cheese, and all other dairy products for the rest of your life, but it’s worth going dairy-free just for a short amount of time to see if it improves your symptoms of bloating. If you don’t have enough of an enzyme called lactase in your body, you won’t be able to break down the sugars found in dairy products, which puts an extreme pressure on your digestive system.
While certain treatments can help, the best way to put a stop to bloating related to lactose intolerance is to cut out dairy products altogether.
14. Add turmeric to your meals
Turmeric, a popular Indian curry spice, is an incredible anti-inflammatory source that’s proven to be very effective at treating digestive disorders. It’s known as the “gut healer”, and has been found to relieve symptoms of bloating, excess gas, and abdominal pain that often occur after eating certain foods.
It’s also a great cure for acid reflux. If you want to include more turmeric in your diet, add it to your curries and soup dishes, or drink a turmeric tea.
15. Consider activated charcoal
If you don’t know much about activated charcoal, don’t worry: you’re not expected to. While it remains relatively unknown for now, activated charcoal is cropping up more and more often for its impressive range of health benefits, especially those related to the digestive tract.
Activated charcoal is created by heating common charcoal to make it more porous. The extra spaces in the charcoal trap gas molecules, which works to reduce the gas that causes bloating.
A number of studies have shown that activated charcoal is even more effective at reducing gas and bloating than some common medications.
If you’re struggling with bloating, try picking out a few of these cures at a time, and combining them to see which work the best for you. If nothing seems to be curing your bloating, it may be best to pay a visit to your doctor. They know you best and can help you to get to the root of the problem, so you can get on the right track to good health again.