Five easy ways to beat the bloat
Don’t you hate those days when the skinny jeans that you slipped into yesterday won’t even do up today? Or the dress you’ve been hanging to wear on a hot date exposes that dreaded stomach bulge, which you’re sure wasn’t there a few hours ago? Yep, that’s bloating alright, and unfortunately it’s something that most of us experience – often without any known cause. Luckily though, we have a few simple belly-rescuing tips up our sleeves to help you beat the bloat this summer…
Slash the salt: salt is a major cause of bloating as it causes your body to retain water and feel extra puffy. Foods to steer clear of include bottled salad dressings, sauces (such as soy sauce), packet soups, chips/pretzels and various other pre-packaged foods that are high in sodium. A good trick is to ask for salad dressing on the side when you’re eating out (or simply opt for a splash of olive oil with lemon or balsamic vinegar), and to look for the low-sodium or low-salt versions of sauces next time you’re at the supermarket.
Eat slowly: I may sound like your mother right now, but making a conscious effort to slowly chew and swallow your food will do more than stop you looking like Miss Piggy on a hot night out. Not only will eating slowly help avoid common stomach problems such as indigestion and heartburn, but it will also reduce the amount of air you swallow, which is known to trigger bloating. Drinking from a straw is another way you subconsciously swallow air, so try avoiding this, too.
Avoid gaseous food and drinks: certain foods such as beans, lentils and cabbage contain sugars that some people’s bodies find difficult to break down, and as a result, create gas in the stomach. Instead of giving up these foods altogether, try starting with small portions and increasing your servings over time, monitoring how your stomach reacts. Similarly, carbonated drinks are a no-no if you’re prone to bloating, as they are renowned for causing intestinal gas and bloating.
Stomach-soothing teas: herbal teas are the natural way to get relief from bloating. Certain herbal teas, such as peppermint and ginger tea can alleviate gas by relaxing the digestive tract, which allows air bubbles to pass through the system faster and therefore ease stomach discomfort. Ginger tea also has calming properties and is known to help with nausea, while peppermint tea soothes the stomach and aids the digestion process.
Get movin’!: even brief physical activity, such as a light, 10-minute walk in your lunch break, can help to beat the bloat. Exercise stimulates bowel movement, which assists the digestive process and reduces constipation; often a large contributor to stomach discomfort. If you’ve overeaten and want to doge the bloat, try going for a short stroll – any movement is better than slouching in front of your computer or the TV for the rest of the day/night!
Question: Do you suffer from bloating? What stomach secrets have you discovered that have helped beat the bloat?
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