Reduce Bloating by Improving Your Digestion
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than walking around with a 7 month old food baby. Bloating is a sign of a sluggish digestive system, and can arise from several combined factors that make it difficult to pinpoint the cause. You may already know that maintaining a healthy diet, sticking to an exercise routine and managing your stress levels are essentials for proper digestion- but what happens when you’re already doing all three? Although trial and error sounds tedious, we have good news when it comes to saying goodbye to the bloat. Because bloating is a symptom of digestive distress, we know where to begin making improvements.Here are 5 effective ways to reduce bloating by improving your digestion.
1. Eat More Friendly Bacteria
The functioning of your digestive system depends on a balance of good (friendly) bacteria, also known as probiotics. Friendly bacteria is naturally present in your gut. But an excess of processed foods, sugar, alcohol and antibiotics can kill the friendly bacteria and instead allow bad bacteria to thrive in your digestive system. This is a common culprit of bloating as the bad bacteria slows down the digestive process, creating fermentation and toxic “back-up” in the digestive tract. To increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, try incorporating foods in your diet that contain probiotics. Apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, miso, plain organic yogurt and kefir are all good dietary sources of friendly bacteria. It’s best to incorporate these foods with a probiotic supplement for maximum results. You can find probiotics in probiotic capsules
, which blend well in smoothies.
2. Avoid Drinking Cold Beverages With Meals
Supporting your digestive system as much as possible is important to begin reducing bloating. One way to do this is by avoiding cold drinks with meals. Your body naturally produces digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid (HCl) when you’re about to eat a meal to digest the food you eat. Drinking cold drinks before or during meal time can “paralyze” the enzymes and put out the digestive fire, so to speak. To avoid this, drink small sips of room temperature water during your meals as needed, preferably drinking the rest of your daily water intake in between.
3. Eat Fruit Alone
Fruit contains fructose, a fast digesting simple sugar. Fructose moves through your system much faster than complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. When fruit is combined with any of the above (take prosciutto and watermelon, or ham and pineapple pizza for example), there is potential to create a “traffic jam” in your digestive tract, as the sugar tries to digest much quicker than the protein. This is often a recipe for bloating and gas. If you experience bloating, try eating fruit alone on an empty stomach, approximately 20 minutes before your meals. This will also help improve the absorption of all the important nutrients fruit has to offer.
4. Take Digestive Enzymes Before Meals
If you’ve tried several ways to get rid of bloating with no luck, you may benefit from taking a digestive enzyme supplement
before meals. If your body is under-producing digestive enzymes, it takes your food much longer to move through your digestive tract and can leave you feeling heavy and tired. There are many different types of digestive enzymes available in capsules, usually extracted from pineapples, beats and papaya. Alternatively, you can try an enzyme-rich greens powder, such as Genuine Health’s Greens+, or snack on a handful of raw foods before your meals. Raw food naturally contains a plethora of digestive enzymes. (Hint: raw pineapples and papaya are two of the highest sources!)
5. Are You Drinking Enough Water Throughout The Day?
Water is an essential component to the digestive process, and is needed to allow food to move through the digestive tract. Without adequate water, you may have difficulty eliminating toxic waste and experience constipation, both of which contribute to bloating. Ideally, you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water throughout the day (plus extra when you’re active and/or drink dehydrating beverages such as coffee, alcohol or soda). For example, if you’re 130 pounds, you’ll drink at least 65 oz of water between meals each day.