It happens to all of us: you wake up feeling bloated, puffy and uncomfortable. Or you have a big event for work, with plans to wear a fancy dress and heels, and as the day rolls on, you find yourself feeling bloated and puffy in the stomach. Don’t let this get in the way of your plans!
Here are 10 quick ways to beat bloat:
- Drink ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar acts to neutralize acidity within the body, and is very good for working with an overactive stomach, or in decreasing issues of acid reflux. Consume 1 tablespoon of natural apple cider vinegar (with the mother), stirred into 1 cup of water first thing in the morning, or after a meal. The neutralizing and detoxifying effects of the vinegar will help reduce bloating and act to reduce the acid in your digestive system.
- DRINK more water – While many people think bloating is like water weight, it actually may be that your digestive system is not functioning properly because it doesn’t have enough water to carry out digestive processes. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to facilitate regular bowel movements and encourage healthy digestion, ensuring food moves through and doesn’t sit in your stomach and cause you to become bloated.
- Avoid water with your meals - Save your water for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after your meal. Drinking water with your meal dilutes the digestive enzymes, preventing them from being able to properly digest your food, leaving it there to sit in your stomach and end up leading to that heavy, bloated feeing often associated with poor digestion.
- Have lemon water – Similar to ACV (see above), lemon water has an alkaline affect on the body and is great for reducing acidity. Acidity within the digestive system degrades healthy bacteria and slows down proper digestion, meaning undigested food and off gases built up in the gut and lead to bloating and gas.
- Overnight fasting - The body functions best when it has a natural, overnight fasting period, which is typically 12-13 hours, from when you finish your dinner to when you eat your breakfast. This time is important for digestion, but also for removal of toxins within the digestive system, proper elimination and maintaining gut health. Eating late or having breakfast early may be disrupting this time and leading to poor digestion and bloating symptoms.
- Get your greens – Greens are not only packed with macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, but they are also very alkalizing to the body and promote a healthy gut flora. This means bloating is reduced because proper digestion is enhanced and food moves through efficiently.
- Cut out coffee – An acidic beverage, when the body becomes too acidic, it struggles to function optimally and several processes, such as healthy digestion and elimination, often suffer. The consequence of this is symptoms such as bloating, gas and stomach cramps. Remove coffee for a period to see if it helps alleviate your bloating.
- Chew slowly – Sometimes bloating comes from swallowing excess air while you eat, and eating too fast. This is easily remedied by simply chewing more slowly, sitting down to eat, and eating slower. Set your fork down between each bit and become conscious of your chewing. Together these things will ensure you are eating slow enough for proper initial digestion to occur in the mouth and prevent you from swallowing excess air, both of which can lead to bloating.
- Reduce your stress – When you are under stress, your body doesn’t digest food properly, as it essentially turns off your digestive system and sends the energy to other parts of your body that would normally be used for digestion. This means that food sits in your stomach, and causes bloating due to putrefaction and bacteria, which are feeding off of it and producing off gases. Check out these 12 tips on how to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
- Cut down on carbonated beverages – Consuming beverages with carbonation in them, such as sparkling water, soda drinks or lots of alcohol, does not bode well for bloating. This is more gas you are adding to an already gassy stomach and it simply exasperates the problem. Instead, opt for water or lemon water and lay off the alcohol as much as possible.