Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Bloating is something that happens to me and every other woman on a regular basis, no matter your size, weight or fitness. A bloated tum can leave you feeling uncomfortable, lethargic and annoyed at the world, and possibly confused, too when you’re leading a healthy lifestyle.
Now this is not fat, this is a temporary abdominal distention that affects everyone from time to time. It’s not sexy to talk about but there are ways to help aid your discomfort (and try and stop it from happening in the first place). It’s all about listening to your body and learning what triggers you and how to overcome it. Guess what, even I have my bloated days. Sometimes it’s from eating the wrong thing, fluid retention, having too many vinos with dinner, or maybe it’s hormonal.
Try these things at home to see if you can settle your tum, but if you’re experiencing bloating frequently, it’s always best to get checked out by your local doctor as well.
1. Keep it #happyfit
Before we take a quick look into your pantry, it’s important you also make sure you keep moving. When you’re bloated, often the last thing you feel like doing is working out, but I promise it helps move those gasses through your system. If you’re not up for a sweat sesh, turn down the notch and try a Pilates workout, or even some self-guided stretches will help relieve discomfort. Working up a shine can also help release fluids, too. If you’re new to the exercise game or you’ve amped up your routine, you may find a lil’ temporary bloating, but don’t worry, it will soon disappear as your body adjusts to a new routine.
2. Prep for PMS
If you find you’re a victim of the bloat before or during your period, make sure you’re getting enough calcium and magnesium in your diet – both are known to have nutrients that help relieve PMS issues like bloating.
3. Water is the essence of wetness
Make sure you’re keeping up with the drinking plenty of water. When the body is dehydrated it begins to retain water, which can cause the stomach to swell and bloat. Drinking your two litres a day will help flush out toxins that could be contributing to the problem. Bit bored of plain ol’ water? Adding some lemon slices in there will help with the bloat, especially if you have it first thing in the morning and after your main meals. Bitter things like lemon help stimulate and aid the digestion process. Snack on water-loaded fruit and veggies too – I’m talking celery, cucumbers, watermelon, and eggplants.
4. Ginger Spice was always the best one
Consider ginger your new favourite miracle plant. Ginger helps prevent bloating, reduces gas, and stimulates your digestive juices to break down food. You can cook with ginger, take a daily ginger supplement, or add some ginger to a cup of hot water with honey and lemon and let it steep for 10 minutes. You can enjoy this tum relaxer up to three times a day.
5. This bloat is bananas. B.A.N.A.N.A.S.
Eating potassium-rich foods helps prevent water retention by regulating sodium levels in your body keeping bloat at bay. I’m talking mangoes, spinach, cantaloupe, nuts, asparagus and my fave, bananas. Bananas have an added bonus of being delicious and also have a soluble fibre which can help relieve or prevent constipation.
6. A.C. vinegar a day…
Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar is a great natural digestive remedy. It helps to neutralise stomach acids and gets it ready to digest your food properly. You can have it in the morning before breakfast by adding a tablespoon to a glass of hot water with a little bit of lemon and honey. Or you can just add it to your cooking or salads.
7. Slow it down Chachi
Eating too fast and not chewing your food properly can cause additional air swallowing, which, you guessed it, leads to bloating. Slow it down and mindfully enjoy your food. You can actually decrease your bloating just by chewing your food more.
8. Cut back on caffeine
You’ll be too busy brewing up all kinds of tea to be focussing on coffee anyways, right? I know coffee is a morning ritual for a lot of you, but having a few CFD (Coffee Free Days) can make a big difference. Caffeine is a big trigger for bloating, and same goes for alcohol, too.
9. Probiotic time
If your gut has an imbalance of good vs bad bacteria, your tummy can bloat – especially if you’ve just taken a course of antibiotics. A good quality probiotic can help restore the balance and get rid of any bloating issues. Greek yoghurt is a great source of natural probiotics and contains acidophilus bifidus live cultures. Add it a smoothie or eat it with fresh berries – both delish options.
10. Try to limit these culprits
Processed foods, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and carbonated drinks. Legumes are often a guilty party when it comes to bloating as they they contain indigestible sugars called oligosaccharides. And when your intestinal bacteria work to break them down, it can cause gas and bloating (and that’s not fun for anyone). Try to limit your legume intake if you’re finding you’re eating a lot and they’re not agreeing with your tum.
11. And breathe.
Never underestimate the power an unhappy mind can have on an unhappy tum. Stress and anxiety upset the balance of hormones that play important roles in digestion. So, when there is a whole bunch on your mind, your food isn’t being digested properly, leading to gas and bloating. When you’re anxious, you swallow more air than normal as your speed of breath has increased, often leading to a bloated tum. Make sure you are taking time out for you, practising self-care, eating whole fresh foods, and moving your body as part as your regular routine.
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