We’ve all had those days where it feels like our stomach has blown up like a balloon and that dreaded sluggish feeling rears it’s head again. Nutritionist Kim Pearson and personal trainer Dan Wheeler reveal how to burst the bloat in no time thanks to these quick-fix flatter tummy tricks.
“Help prevent bloating before your food even reaches your stomach by simply chewing your mouthful thoroughly,” advises Kim. This helps reduce the chances of bloating as you’re less likely to swallow excess air. As well as this, chewing properly gives the enzymes in your saliva a chance to start breaking down your food which is an essential first stage of digestion.
Write it Out
“A simple way to determine if a specific food is triggering your bloating is to keep a food diary,” says Kim. “Note down what you ate and the time, as well as when you felt bloated – this will help you to identify if there is a particular food triggering your symptoms. Once these foods have been identified you can work on eliminating them from your diet to see if your bloating improves. Common foods that can trigger bloating include wheat, dairy, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners.” Why not try a food diary app such as Nutracheck?
Kim encourages a regular exercise routine to reduce bloating as studies show that moderate exercise improves intestinal gas clearance and reduces the symptoms of the problem. The great news is that working out can prevent bloating as well as reducing it once it’s occurred so try a post-dinner walk to help you feel less uncomfortable.
Spice Up Your Life
Kim advises experimenting with turmeric. “It’s a bright orange spice with countless health benefits but is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helping to support a healthy digestive function,” she says. Curcumin, the potent substance within the root helps stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile which is essential for digestion. Research found that turmeric aids symptoms of bloating, gas and even IBS. For an easy way to get some of this spice into your diet, try BetterYou’s Turmeric Oral Spray (RRP £17.95) which has been specifically developed to guarantee optimal absorption and deliver maximum benefits faster than tablets and capsules.
Regularity Is Key
Whilst it can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, when we fail to go to the toilet regularly it can lead to the build-up of waste and trapped gas in the bowel and in turn, this can promote bloating. “Fibre is essential for healthy digestive transit – we should be aiming for around 30g per day but many of us do not achieve that. Up your intake by including fibre rich vegetables in each of your meals such as, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados and kale,” says Kim. Again, turmeric may also come in handy for helping to keep you regular.
Watch Your Hydration Levels
“Water retention is another common cause for feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Symptoms occur due to a variety of reasons including high-stress levels, hormonal fluctuations associated with your menstrual cycle, the body’s reaction to hot weather, getting a bad night’s sleep and certain medications,” says Dan. Although it may seem like contradictory advice to drink more water, when you're not taking on enough fluids the body will retain onto them to prevent dehydration so the best solution is to aim to have two to three litres per day. Also try sprinkling a pinch of pink Himalayan salt on your meals which helps detoxify the body.
Try A Low FODMAP Diet
“If you find that you are consistently experiencing bloating and discomfort it is worth experimenting with a low FODMAP diet,” Dan recommends. FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat and refer to the abbreviation of Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are complex names for a collection of molecules that some people can find difficult to absorb and digest, leading to bloating. Foods that are low in FODMAPs and would be ideal to eat to remedy bloating include meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.