Hello Joyous Readers,
Bloating is as common as being constipated and suffering from heartburn. In fact, digestive issues top the charts in terms of number of doctors visits per year and pharmaceuticals sales. Popping a pill to suppress a digestive system isn't going to address the root issue of what is really going on. I encourage you to look at your health symptoms as a sign that something is off and let this information inspire you to take responsibility for your health.
Bloating is not only annoying, but it can be very uncomfortable... especially if you wear control top nyons -- ick! If you wake up in the morning with a relatively flat tummy and then it gets progressively bloated as the day goes on and by 4pm you have to undo the top button of your jeans, then you may have something going on with your digestive system.
Here are 5 natural ways to prevent bloating:
1. Take a digestive bitter.
Prior to each meal on an empty stomach, (following the dosage instruction on the bottle) take bitters with water. You may need to plug your nose! Bitters helps to stimulate secretions of the liver, pancreas, stomach and small intestine. This means food moves more quickly through the digestive system instead of hanging around too long in one area making friends with bad bacteria which can cause gas and bloating. Further, when you stimulate secretions of these very important organs essentials for digestion, you enhance digestion and prevent bloating. Look for bitters that contain: dandelion, rhubarb etc. Each brand will have their own unique formulation.
2. Avoid liquids with food.
This is a classic food combining rule. If you are taking gulps of water between bites you are diluting your digestive "fire", essentially you weaken the strength of your body's ability to digest food. This can cause bloating and burping. Even worse are carbonated beverages! That carbon dioxide when combined with your stomach acid creates a chemical reaction which can make you bloated and burpy! I know many people just love sparking/bubbly/"with gas" water, but it is a one-way-ticket to bloating.
3. Ensure adequate stomach acid.
When you digestive fire is low (as in the case of the large majority of people who suffer from heartburn contrary to popular belief), food will take much longer to move through the digestive system. Ever notice when you eat something with a heavy protein content ie. steak or fish it seems like it sits like a brick in your gut? This could be due to low stomach acid. There are various supplements you can take from bitters to betaine HCL and digestive enzymes to beef up your stomach acid but you may want to consider addressing what is lowering it in the first place. Here's a some reasons for low stomach acid: stress, food sensitivities, overly acidic diet, lack of salt and lack of water. My favourite health habit of all for increasing digestive "fire" is to drink freshly squeezed lemon in a large glass of water upon waking up.
4. Steep raw ginger in hot water.
Ginger is a wonderful anti-inflammatory food for both prevention of bloating and to take when you are actually bloated. Take a chunk of raw ginger and steep it in hot water for at least 5 minutes. Add some freshly squeezed lemon and drink up. This is my favourite anti-bloat tea. I talk about this in my book!
5. Eat when hungry, not by the clock.
It's very common how many people think they need to eat 6 or 7 times a day. This is actually not necessary unless you are body builder. If you are eating well balanced meals, you will be A-okay to eat breakfast and then maybe a small snack in between meals if you are actually hungry. Eating when you are not hungry can deplete digestive enzymes necessary to move food through. This can lead to bloating and slow digestion such as constipation. You will see a HUGE improvement in your digestive health if you simply eat when you feel that warm sensation in your tummy. I know this can be an adjustment but if you find you are bloated more days than not, you may be eating too frequently.
If you find you've tried all these tips and nothing is helping your bloating then book a session with me. You may need a more custom-approach and you may also need to eliminate some common food sensitivities. Alternatively, we've had hundreds of people do our Joyous 10-day Detox and one of the most common benefits people tell us is that their bloated belly is GONE! Woohoo to healthy, delicious eating! Curious what others had to say about it -- check it out here.
Have a joyous, bloat-free day!