Do you regularly suffer from bloating? If so, do not worry, you are most definitely not alone. Studies have shown that over 70% of the population suffer from bloating but less than a third of people know how to prevent it. It can cause a lot of physical discomfort and, although it definitely shouldn’t, can sometimes leave us feeling embarrassed, especially in the summer when most girls are displaying their washboard abs in crop tops. There are many different things that cause bloating and, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear, there are many easy ways to prevent bloating on the regular and help you beat the bloat once and for all!
Eat Regular Small Portions.
Funnily enough, a lot of people who think that they are experiencing bloating have actually just had one too many servings of mashed potato at dinner time. In other words, they’ve simply eaten too much. Yep, it happens to the best of us! Many people regularly mistake the discomfort that they experience after overeating for bloating, when in fact there is no increased pressure in their abdomen, but in fact, too much food. To avoid this uncomfortable feeling, try to eat smaller portions more frequently rather than fewer bigger meals a day. If the problem persists and you are still getting bloated from a small amount of food, have a look at the following tips to prevent that unwanted bloat.
Cut The Carbonation!
Carbonated drinks are the real culprit for ways to prevent bloating. As fizzy drinks contain bubbles, you are essentially swallowing air bubbles that contain carbon dioxide gas which is released from the liquid after it is digested in the stomach. The gases become trapped and can cause your stomach to inflate, hence the boat that you notice after downing 5 vodka lemonades in the local Spoons. Avoid this altogether uncomfortable experience (the Spoons included) and avoid fizzy drinks to beat the bloat this summer!
Keep A Food Diary.
One of the most common causes of bloating is digesting food groups that you might not realise you are allergic or intolerant to. Most people don’t realise that you don’t have to come out in a red, itchy rash all over your body or have your tongue swell to the size of Big Ben to be allergic or intolerant to a food group. Intolerances and allergies to foods such as wheat, gluten and dairy can all cause uncomfortable bloating. If you are in a situation where you think that an allergy or intolerance to a food group is causing you to bloat, it is best to do a trial and keeping a diary of your day-to-day bloating situation, for example how your stomach feels after eating a cheese on toast compared to a bowl of raw carrots and hummus. If you notice any patterns, such as if the bloating is worst when you eat wheat, it’s best to visit your doctor and show them your notes. If they feel it necessary, they can send you for an allergy test but it is crucial not to cut out a food group if you have not received these strict instructions by your doctor.
Natural, Stomach-Friendly Supplements.
If you have taken measures to prevent or reduce bloating and nothing is helping, you can try natural stomach supplements. Don’t worry, these ones are completely safe and natural. One option is to take ‘good’ bacteria supplements which can help digestion and counteract the effects of the bad bacteria in your gut. Alternatively, ways to prevent bloating, you can take capsules of peppermint oil to help reduce your bloating by relaxing the muscles of your intestines. However, make sure that you purchase these supplements from trusted realtors such as Holland and Barrett.
Hydration Is Key!
This may sound like an obvious one, but dehydration is a huge cause of bloating. This is because dehydration can cause constipation, which can make your stool hard to pass and cause a build-up, which can cause bloating. Delightful, am I right?! You should aim to drink almost 2 litres of water a day to prevent the dreaded bloat.
Cut Down On Fibrous Foods.
Although fibre is an essential part of our diet, large amounts of fibre in the diet can cause bloating. This is because in the process of digesting fibrous foods such as bread, rice, beans and whole grains, gas is produced which can become trapped around the abdomen area and cause bloating. One of the ways to prevent bloating is to try to cut down on fibrous foods and see if this helps to reduce the bloating.
Visit A Doctor.
However, while most of the time bloating is a result of the food and drink we have ingested and nothing to worry about, sometimes severe bloating can be the result of a chronic illness or underlying digestive problem. If you have tried all of the above and the bloating still persists it is best to make a trip to your doctor. It is especially important to visit your doctor if you experience bloating along with vomiting, diarrhoea, severe stomach pains and unintentional weight loss.