The stomach can be an incredibly emotive part of the body and feeling bloated can lower our mood and our confidence and leave us just wanting to hide away in big baggy jumpers. Bloating can occur for a variety of reasons including food intolerances, our menstrual cycle, a lack of movement, not getting enough sleep or increased levels of stress or anxiety. There are many more factors to consider when it comes to bloating than simply eating too much.
Certain foods can help some women see a significant reduction in the frequency and discomfort of bloating and other foods should be avoided to help ‘beat the bloat’.
- Feast on veg
Eating more vegetable can be a great way to get your bowels moving and support your gut function. When your stomach is bloated, this could be a sign that you need some additional nutritional support from certain foods. Vegetable are full of enzymes, vitamins and minerals, which are quickly and easily absorbed by the digestive system. Try adding some veg into your next smoothie or juice as it’s increases your intake in a quick and easy way!
- Avoid too much salt
Salt is the most common cause of fluid retention, so try to avoid processed foods which are often high in salt without us even realising. Many of us have been doing much more home cooking than ever before and when you make your food from scratch, you’re totally in control and aware of how much salt is going into your food, which makes it easier to monitor.
- Manage your portion sizes
It sounds pretty obvious, but eating overly large portions of certain foods or drinking lots of alcohol, especially late at night, is a very common common cause of bloating. Simply put, if there’s too much food in your system, your body can’t efficiently digest it all and this can leave you feeling bloated.
- Stay hydrated
When you’re feeling really bloated, make sure you drink plenty of water as this helps to neutralise any sodium in your body, which helps move things along in your digestive system. Peppermint tea is also a great herbal drink to help a bloated tummy!
Another great way to help with bloating is to get the body moving!
- Movement is key
It’s pretty simple, but moving your body can help your digestive system to move things along too. If you’ve just eaten and your feeling bloated, we’re not suggesting that you do a HIIT workout, but some gentle movement or stretches can help move food and gases along your intestines and encourage a return to your natural digestive pattern. Going for a brisk walk can be a great way to help blood flow and bowel movement.
- Give yourself a tummy massage
Performing self-massage on your stomach is one of the quickest and easiest way to ease bloating and constipation. Gently massage from the top of your hips, up and across the tummy, down to your other hip and across to your starting hip. Carry on with this circular motion for a few minutes to get food moving through your system.
- Knees up
This may seem like a random thing to place here, but when we go to the loo sometimes we don’t empty our bowels fully. Your bowels go up before they go down and when our knees are lower than our hips (which is the case for most of us when we sit on the toilet), this can stop you from emptying your bowels fully. Try putting a small step under your feet to raise your knees up and it will help put your body into a position that will facilitate the movement up to go down!