Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a modern-day battle of the bulge? According to a recent survey, uncomfortable bloating is a struggle that nearly 75% of Americans face on a daily basis.
In an effort to defeat the bloat, many individuals try to eat less, thinking the root of their problem lies in the amount of food they consume. But in fact, the main cause of bloating lies in the food itself, having nothing to do with quantity.
Some foods are simply hard for your stomach to break down. When such food passes into your colon largely undigested, bacteria feeds on it, releasing the toxins and gases that cause bloating.
While part of defeating a distended tummy is watching what you eat, there are many other natural ways to enjoy the food you love free from the bloat you hate. Here are 4 of the easiest and most natural ways to prevent bloating.
Perhaps the most obvious way to avoid a bubbly belly is to stay away from the foods that trigger it in the first place. Though some foods are (in)famous for inducing bloat, exact triggers will vary from person to person.
In general, high-gluten foods are hard to digest, so you may want to pay careful attention to how you feel after eating wheat, barley, oats and other high-gluten items.
Certain dietary sugars can also cause problems if they go too long without being broken down. These sugars can actually ferment in your stomach, drawing water to the gut and feeding bacteria.
Though healthy, fruits like apples, pears and mangoes and vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower can cause problems in the bloating department for some people.
You may have heard (probably from your mother) that you should always chew your food slowly and completely before swallowing. As it turns out, there's actually science to back that up...right again, Mom.
The act of chewing triggers the production and release of certain digestive enzymes. So when you chew each bite carefully, you're not only jump-starting your digestive system, but you're also making sure the pieces are small and ready to be broken down.
Our bodies naturally produce enzymes, saliva, acid and bile to aid in digestion. If there's ever a shortage of them, food lies dormant for too long, leading to gas and bloating. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to promote healthy levels of these digestive helpers.
One such way is to squeeze a lemon over your food or in your water. You can also try mixing a teaspoon of baobab powder into a glass of water about half an hour before eating. Possessing prebiotic properties, this powder can boost the good bacteria in your gut and improve digestion.
Bile plays an important role in breaking down fats, and according to top health officials, the best way to encourage a healthy flow of bile is to eat bitter foods. While bitter foods may not taste the best, their benefits can make even the pickiest eater practice mind over matter.
Some not-so-hard ways to consume bitter foods is to snack on a few olives or enjoy a kale and dandelion salad before dinner. You can also try an herbal digestive supplement that contains bitter herbs used to boost your bile and enzyme levels. Such supplements typically contain herbs such as gentian root, ginger, black walnut hull and more.
Equipped with these simple tips, you'll be able to bust through bloat with ease and enjoy the life you love...without the bulge.