Belly bloat is a woman’s arch nemesis when she wants to feel her best, and there are many ways to battle a bloated belly you might not be aware of that can help you out. A girl doesn’t want to feel puffy on any day, but especially for social events! Bloat can be so painful and irritating, it can truly affect a woman’s self confidence, sense of well-being and energy levels. I bet you probably already know that though, and bloating isn’t just from having your menstrual cycle. There are many ways to battle a bloated belly that have nothing to do with your cycle, and can all be so helpful in a time of need. Check them out and I hope they work for you!
1. Get Rid of Gluten
Even if you’re not allergic to gluten, you should be aware that when learning ways to battle a bloated belly, the gluten has to to go! Gluten naturally causes bloat because it contains properties that absorb water and help foods to “fluff” up. It also contains natural carbohydrates that are known as fructans, and cause gastrointestinal disturbances in almost everyone, even those that don’t realize it. Many people are sensitive to gluten, and not only with bloat, but with minor pain, fatigue, joint pain and off digestion. Get rid of all sources of gluten in your foods, such as wheat, barley and rye, and switch to gluten-free oats. They’re one of the biggest non-gluten grains out there. Quinoa and brown rice, along with wild rice and amaranth, are also excellent.
2. Get Rid of the Gum
Are you a gum addict and always bloated? It’s no coincidence! Gum isn’t just a way to take in extra air through chewing and chomping, it also contains sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol or the the like. All sugar alcohols usually cause bloating for individuals, so if you suffer bloat, get rid of your gum and other sources. Plus, if you’re addicted like I used to be, chances are you’ll save a little cash too!
3. Dairy Dilemma
I bet like me, many of you love your Greek yogurt. Thankfully, I tolerate it well since it’s low in lactose and sugar overall. However, if you can’t tolerate dairy, bloat is one of the first symptoms you’ll notice. For one week, switch to a low sugar variety made from either soy, goat or coconut milk. Though goat yogurt is technically dairy, most people tolerate it perfectly without issues since it’s lactose free, or low in lactose. Another option is trying kefir, which is 99% lactose free and almost exactly like yogurt, but made differently and in a pourable form. I like Wallaby Farms Organic Plain Kefir and Yogurt. Redwood Farms makes a great goat milk yogurt as well.
4. Stay Away from Sparkling Soda
Zevia and other popular zero calorie sodas, along with sparkling water, are low in calories, but guess what? They can cause major bloating issues. I like carbonated flavored water, but don’t tolerate it at all. Carbonated drinks are nothing more than air bubbles through carbon dioxide that are added to water. It’s best to opt for the plain and add a few drops of flavored stevia instead! Nunaturals makes a fantastic alcohol-free orange and lemon flavored liquid stevia, along with a cherry flavor too!
5. Pop Peppermint
My number one way to beat bloating is peppermint tea, and using pure peppermint oil in just a tiny amount in hot tea. You can add lemon to enhance the bloating battle too. Peppermint contains volatile oils that help reduce bloat and aid digestion. Peppermint also helps calm spasms in the gastrointestinal tract that lead to bloating and gas. Lemon contains Vitamin C, which is a natural diuretic, and lemons help flush toxins from the body as a bonus. If tea isn’t your thing, try peppermint capsules, which are excellent and very effective as well.
No, I don’t mean you have to literally pack your bags and move, but it will help if you are more active. Moving around throughout the day, whether through exercise or day to day activity, is a great way to beat bloat. One of my favorite ways is walking. Plain walking as exercise stimulates the colon and helps relieve gas fast. Yoga is the next best option since twists, bends and the flowing movements help propel air out of the body quickly. You’ll be almost 100% less bloated after doing yoga. Don’t believe me? Try it!
7. Chew Fennel
Here’s a tip that sounds odd, but you just wait and see how amazing it works! Fennel seeds are a common herb used in cooking. You can find fennel seeds in a jar on the spice aisle with the other herbs and spices at your supermarket. Pick up a jar and keep them in your purse or cabinet at home. After you eat, chew around 5 seeds. Fennel is quite bitter, yet this is what makes it so powerful in aiding digestion and eliminating bloating. Bitter foods like fennel are amazing for digestion. Other seeds I like to chew after a meal are anise and caraway. Just keep a few in your purse in a vial or jar for on the go travel. Then after a meal, excuse yourself and chew a few. You’ll notice less bloat, better digestion and elimination and as a bonus, they freshen your breath! This is actually a common practice in Indian cultures, and is served after meals at many Indian restaurants.
8. Slow down
If you’re stressed, you’re probably eating faster than normal. Not only does this harm digestion, but when you are in a hurry, your body isn’t fully prepared to digest foods. Blood flow is diverted away from your stomach to deal with the excess stress in your body from being in a hurry. Wait until you can reach a calm state, and take a few breaths before you eat to slow down your body and bring blood back into your stomach so it can digest your food. Then, slow down and actually chew your food. You’ll take in less air, and you’ll also digest your food better. All of these tips will help contribute to less air in your stomach and reduced bloat.
9. Choose Water
Another simple tip people tend to ignore is to choose water for most of your liquid intake. Water flushes fluids from your body and will help reduce bloat by pushing gas and wastes through the body. Even better, add a squeeze of lemon. It really does work!
What’s your best tip for beating the bloat? These are only some of my tips, but I’d love to hear from you!