Contributed by: Healthians Team
Have you been overeating lately or just lazying around after meals without even mild exercise? Well, you might’ve given an unintentional invitation to a bloating stomach.
Bloating is a condition that gives rise to air or gas in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), making the stomach hard and swollen. It is a common condition that causes symptoms such as:
- Stomach pain
- Frequent burping or belching
- Stomach growling
Severe symptoms of bloating include:
- Blood in faeces
- Unintentional weight loss
- Vaginal bleeding (not related to periods and postmenopausal)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acid reflux (heartburn)
The best way to tackle bloating is by determining its causes. If you are experiencing the aforesaid symptoms, here are some reasons that might be behind them:
- Gas and air: Eating at a fast pace, chewing gum, and smoking
- Weight gain: Due to excessive intake of fatty, processed, and fried foods
- Constipation: Mainly occurs due to dehydration and changes in routine (in case of travelling)
Now that you are aware of a few symptoms and causes of bloating, continue reading to learn about the five best ways to reduce the symptoms and live a healthy life.
Determining the food triggers
Bloating is a common condition that almost everyone has to deal with. In most cases, there might not be a necessity to seek medical attention as the symptoms disappear on their own, but there are no certainties to this.
Thus, it is important to know about a few possible dietary triggers of bloating, which include:
- Cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage
- Dairy products
- Peaches and pears
Although these foods are some of the common triggers of bloating, yet, choosing not to consume them won’t be the right decision as they are loaded with several vitamins and minerals which benefit the overall well-being. Instead, don’t overeat these foods, but have them in moderation.
Keep an eye on your fibre intake
Fibrous foods play an important role in maintaining your overall well-being. They provide benefits such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Increasing good bacteria in the gut
Most people tend to eat more than the required amount of fibrous foods, thinking that it might help them in improving their health.
But as we all know that excess of anything can be dangerous and might lead to various health complications. Too much intake of fibrous foods can do the same by giving rise to bloating.
Whole-grain foods, beans, and legumes are some of the most common foods that can cause bloating if taken in excess.
Don’t rush into gaining the health benefits of fibrous foods, gradually increase the intake.
Reduce salt intake
Every meal you eat has one thing in common. Yes! You guessed it right, it’s salt. This common ingredient provides several benefits such as aiding the proper functioning of the thyroid and preventing low blood pressure.
But at the same time, overconsumption of salt for a prolonged period can lead to chronic ailments like high blood pressure and having extra salty meals can give rise to bloating by accumulating excess fluid in the body tissues.
Swap salt with healthy and flavourful herbs & spices such as garlic, black pepper, onion powder, ginger, coriander, chilli flakes, and cinnamon.
Minimize carbonated drinks
Carbonated drinks are another leading causes of bloating. These beverages are made by mixing carbon dioxide with water, which often leads to stomach discomfort.
Think of it this way- carbon dioxide is the gas that is continuously exhaled from the body. How can a beverage loaded with this gas not harm the body? Consumption of carbonated beverages can also give rise to complications such as:
- Risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Deteriorating oral health
- Risk of kidney ailments, heart diseases, and diabetes
- Poor bone health
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Drink plain water instead. Worried about the flavour? Well, you can always add healthy ingredients like lemon, ginger, and honey to make it more desirable.
Eat slowly and go for a walk
Fast eating can lead to gas buildup in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). If you’re on a time crunch, have a small amount of your meal and pack the rest to eat later.
This way, you can avoid bloating and remain full for a prolonged time.
Staying physically active is always beneficial for the health. Apart from providing a host of health benefits, exercising can also minimize the chances of bloating.
Try to have a short duration walk after every meal for healthy and speedy digestion.
Stay at the top of your health and minimize the chances of getting affected by bloating with the help of the above-mentioned tips.
If the symptoms of bloating do not go away after a few days, it’s best to seek medical intervention at the earliest.
As an add-on, make a habit of taking preventive health checkups as they can help you in getting a complete insight into your health. This will also help you with taking measures to promote your overall well-being.