5 Tips To Reduce Bloating
A common question we get here at The Angry Nutrition Guy is how do I reduce bloating? First of all, it’s important to distinguish between actual bloating (a digestive issue) and just normal food volume. No matter what, at the end of the day, your stomach will be fuller with food and water and you won’t look as “lean” by then. That is a normal response and looks much different than actual bloating. Assuming that you are experiencing actual bloating in the digestive tract, here are 5 of our go-to tips to help reduce it!
1. Pay attention to the response of your body after eating certain foods.
Some big culprits of bloating are cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc), beans, onion/garlic, and sugar alcohols. If you seem to get a response every single time you eat a certain food, then obviously you’ll want to decrease/avoid consumption of that food. Having them occasionally or in smaller portions (unless you still notice a response) is fine, but don’t eat them on a regular basis if you notice a consistent bloating response.
2. Eat more mindfully – chew your foods more thoroughly and sloooooow down.
Digestion starts in the mouth. Enzymes in your saliva actually start the digestion process. So if you’re not chewing your food thoroughly and keeping it in your mouth, the food particles aren’t mechanically broken down as much from chewing or broken down through the enzymes.. Thus the particles are larger going through your digestive system, making it harder to break down, and this can lead to bloating and gas. Slowing down your eating also gets you in better touch with your fullness and satiety cues. It takes a little bit of time for your brain to get the signal that you are actually full (Check out this article we wrote on how to get in touch with your hunger cues!). So if you are wolfing down your food, you don’t give yourself the chance to actually tell if you’re full or not.
3. Reduce swallowing air when you are eating/drinking
Eating fast not only causes you to be less mindful when you are eating, but it also causes you to swallow more air per bite, bringing more gas into the stomach and consequently bloating. There are other reasons why you may be swallowing excess air. Drinking carbonated drinks, chewing gum, and using a straw all cause you to swallow air. So decreasing these actions can help reduce your bloat as well.
4. Get more activity!
Even just walking can help to get the bowels moving more regularly. This, in turn, helps to release gas and bloating.
5. Try out natural remedies/supplements or OTC meds
If those behavioral changes don’t help, there are some supplements you can try to help reduce bloating as well. Peppermint oil has been found to help relieve gas and bloating. OTC simethicone pills (i.e. Gas-X) can be helpful as well to help move excess air out of the digestive tract.
Hopefully this list helps you address any bloating issues you may be experiencing. As always, if this continues to be a problem, please seek out medical attention from a physician to see if there’s something else going on.