Most of us have experienced the discomfort of a bloated belly. While foods like beans or onions may get the blame for excessive gas buildup. There is rarely one trigger or single food that causes bloating. However, most bloating can be managed through lifestyle and diet.
Most of us have experienced the discomfort of a bloated belly. While foods like beans or onions may get the blame for excessive gas buildup, there is rarely one trigger or single food that causes bloating. However, most bloating can be managed through lifestyle and diet.
Sanitarium dietitians share their dos and don’ts to help ease bloating or even avoid it altogether.
What causes bloating?
Bloating is when the organs in your digestive system are stretched, which can be caused by a buildup of gas or solids in your gut. Other causes include a slow digestive system, weak abdominal wall muscles, or when the diaphragm contracts instead of relaxes.
What are the symptoms?
As well as the uncomfortable feeling of a tight, stretched tummy, other symptoms include cramping, diarrhoea, constipation and gas.
Things to do to ease bloating
Get moving—Gentle exercise like walking and stretching, as well as breathing exercises, can help get your bowels moving and get rid
Enjoy a soak—As well as providing relief from stomach pains, a relaxing, warm bath may help to get your digestive tract working and ease stress that can make bloating worse.
Check it out—Recurring bloating can be a sign of food intolerances or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have a persistent problem, it’s always best to see your doctor
or a dietitian.
Things to avoid to ease bloating
Swallowing air bubbles—Swallowing too much air can cause bloating, so take time to chew your food well, avoid carbonated drinks and skip the chewing gum.
Limit salt—A diet that’s high in salt can cause your body to retain water, making you feel bloated, so skip the salt where possible.
If these strategies don’t work for you, or if your bloating doesn’t ease within a day or two, see your doctor.
Eating tips to ease bloating
Love your gut. Eating extra fibre can help get your bowels moving and ease bloating if constipation is the cause. Just be careful to increase your fibre intake gradually, as starting to eat more high-fibre meals may cause some bloating at first. This is natural and a good sign your gut bacteria are well-fed and working.
Eat small and often. If eating a larger-than-usual meal causes you problems, try to eat smaller meals more often to keep your digestive system moving and comfortable.
Drinking smoothies. Try keeping your fruit intake to the recommended 2-3 serves a day. Avoid fruit juices or smoothies as these are concentrated sources of fruit sugar and some fruits may trigger bloating in a sensitive gut.