Do you ever feel a bit “overextended” in the belly after a meal? Perhaps “gassy?” Have you ever carried a “food baby?”
Bloating is 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 it’s because of a serious condition (disease) or a food allergy or intolerance (what you eat). 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. The same holds true 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.
1 – Don’t overeat
If you overeat at a meal, then you’ll feel bigger around the midsection. You’ll feel more pressure in your abdomen. Plus, you’re giving your digestive system a hard time. It’s better to eat until you feel almost full and not overindulge. Grab an extra snack or small meal throughout the day if you have to. Just don’t overstuff yourself in one sitting.
2 – Avoid sugar alcohols
Sugar alcohols are low-calorie sweeteners made from sugars. In an ingredients list, they end in “-ol,” and include things such as sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol. They’re found in some chewing gums and sugar-free foods. Some people experience bloating after eating foods with these ingredients. Try avoiding them, and see if that helps you.
3 – Avoid swallowing air
Sometimes the gas that causes pressure in your digestive system results 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…
4 – Eat slower, more mindfully and less stressed
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).
5 – Try peppermint
Peppermint oil has been shown to improve bloating. It’s thought to increase transit time by relaxing the stomach muscles and increasing the flow of bile. Try steeping fresh peppermint leaves or using a peppermint tea bag, and drinking your tea 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. (Check out my blog post: Do You Have Food Intolerance Symptoms?)
If you have a major concern, then please see your doctor. Your doctor can help to rule out a serious and/or chronic condition.
Please let us know if you have any natural solutions for bloating. You can comment below. We’d love to hear from you.