Do you ever feel a bit …over- extended in the belly after a meal? A little gassy?
Have you ever patted your stomach and rubbed your “food baby?”
It can be uncomfortable but bloating is pretty common. Up to 25-30% of people experience it regularly. It happens when you have trouble digesting. The symptoms come from excess gas, reactions to foods, or food not moving through you as well as it could.
There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. Maybe because of a serious condition, or a food allergy or intolerance. It can also result from how you eat.
If you have a serious digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then make sure you eat accordingly. Same goes if you know certain foods give you gas. Simply avoid them.
If you’re already doing those things, and still experience bloating, here are some great tips for dealing with it naturally.
Don’t overeat – If you overeat at a meal, then you’ll definitely feel it around the mid-section. There will be a lot of pressure in your gut. Plus, you’re giving your digestive system a hard time. It’s better to eat until satisfaction. Which means you feel like you’re getting full but not to the point you’re stuffed. If you start feeling like you need to take deep breaths while you eat, you’ve gone too far. This often happens when we wait too long to eat and we sit down starving. Make sure to grab an extra snack or a mini-meal throughout the day if you find you’re showing up at mealtime famished.
Avoid sugar alcohols – Sugar alcohols are low-calorie sweeteners made from sugars. In an ingredients list, they end in “-ol,” and have names like sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol. They’re found in some chewing gums and sugar-free foods. Some people experience bloating after eating foods with these so, try avoiding them and see if that helps you.
Avoid swallowing air – Sometimes the gas that causes pressure in your digestive system is from swallowing air. Things like carbonated drinks are the biggest culprit here. You can also swallow air when you chew gum or drink through a straw, so try ditching these. You can also swallow air when eating too quickly or while talking. Which leads me to…
Eat slower, more mindfully – Eating too fast isn’t doing your digestive system any favors. You can help the food move along by chewing it thoroughly and slowing down your eating habits. Be mindful and enjoy the time you are spending eating your meals. Savor them. The feeling of stress can also cause increased bloating. Stress-reducing techniques can help improve your digestion. Try meditating or deep breathing (but not while you’re eating).
Related – Need help de-stressing? Click here.
Try peppermint – Peppermint oil has been shown to improve bloating. It’s thought to increase food transit time by relaxing the stomach muscles and increasing the flow of bile. Try steeping fresh peppermint leaves, or a peppermint teabag, and drinking it slowly. See if that helps reduce your symptoms.
There are a bunch of natural ways to deal with bloating. First, avoid it by not eating things that give you gas or aggravate a digestive issue. Try not to overeat, consume sugar alcohols, or swallow air. Also, eating more mindfully and reducing stress can help too.Finally, if you are experiencing bloating, enjoy a cup of peppermint tea.
If you do all of these, and still experience bloating, then you may have a food intolerance; this could be from an allergy or intolerance. Want to learn more about food intolerance? Click here.
**If you have a major concern, then please see your doctor. Your doctor can help to rule out a serious and/or chronic condition.**
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.