7 Tricks to Get Rid of Belly Bloating
Summer; a season for swimsuits and bikinis, long walks outside, evening in a beer garden and the occasional belly bloat. Yep, you heard that right, belly bloat. Thanks to the sun, most of us become more naturally active in summertime which can in turn take an extra toll on our bloated bellies. And what can be worse than experiencing the uncomfortable feeling of bloat whilst by the pool or on a beach! There's no way around it: Feeling bloated stinks.
There are multiple reasons as to why we might feel bloated. Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, and the author of The Bloated Belly Whisperer, says “Bloating is not just one thing, it could be caused by things going on in the stomach or bowel, or it could be a physical distention.” This means your belly sticks out when you eat a big meal because of a malfunction in the nerves and muscles that control the abdominal wall.
Whether it was something you ate, or how you ate, or something else entirely — there are daily routine changes you can make to get rid of the bloat that’s bumming you out.
Try a supine spinal twist
Twisting your body is something we don’t do naturally, especially if your day involves sitting at a desk. But easing your body into a twist helps massage your internal organs and move around whatever is causing the blockage.
Start lying on your back with your legs in tabletop position, bent at a 90-degree angle. Straighten your right leg and allow the left leg to fall over to the right. Open your arms into a T position and keep the right leg as straight as you can while anchoring both shoulders down. Then bring your gaze over your left shoulder and breathe into your belly for five honest breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Cook foods over eating them raw
Cooking foods breaks down the fibre content in veggies making them easier for our systems to digest. In line with ancient philosophies like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, sticking to cooked meals instead of raw will ease bloating while still allowing you to eat healthy plants, fats, and proteins. With these tips, you should be feeling lighter and more comfortable in no time!
If your bloating is connected to constipation, Duker Freuman recommends taking magnesium supplements to help move things along in the bowel. She says you can do this everyday, if needed.
Ease up on Fibre
While fibrous plants are good for our guts, they can make you feel worse if you’re already distended and gassy. If you’re feeling bloated, a good rule of thumb is to eliminate processed foods like gluten, sugar, and dairy and avoid veggies like broccoli that are notorious for causing Buddha belly. Instead, go for foods with digestive enzymes, like papaya, or a hydrating natural diuretic like cucumber.
Drink a reasonable amount of water
Drinking lots of water could be helpful, especially if you are bloated because of a high sodium consumption. However, Duker Freuman cautions not to get too carried away, because you can gulp down air if you’re chugging it. Plus, if your stomach is always filled with water, it’s not going to help you with feeling full.
Sip diuretic herbal tea such as peppermint and senna
Peppermint is a gentle diuretic and will help with digestive issues. Senna is a natural, FDA-approved diuretic, so use it sparingly (we don’t like to use it more than once a month, max), but for those situations when nothing else seems to work, sipping on senna tea before bed helps the digestive system move things along in the morning.
Other herbal infusion teas such as Ginger and Chamomile can also be good for the gut. Ginger facilitates increased secretion of digestive juices while mint helps relax the muscles to allow foods to settle and pass through. Even a chamomile infusion can reduce the spasmodic activity that can contribute to gas.
Incorporate a probiotic into your daily routine
Fun fact: Good gut bacteria feed off the fibre you eat and take care of other food remnants that may otherwise cause indigestion. If your microbiome is out of balance, which can be caused by a number of things, including too little sleep, too much stress, or eating inflammatory foods, it may be hurting, not helping. Taking a probiotic will help you help your gut and ultimately your bloating. You may need to test different brands or formulations of probiotics to find the one that works for you. But you'll know when you've found the right one: You'll be regular, bloating will be noticeably reduced, and your digestive system will feel consistently effective.