Eliminate Bloating for Good With These Helpful Tips
No one wants their stomach to feel larger than normal come midday, so we could all use a few more tips on how to get rid of bloating. Maybe you’re eating the wrong foods or not taking care of yourself. If, on the other hand, nothing seems to work, you might need to make some less expected changes. Here are a few things you should be doing to help banish that uninvited bloat.
1. Start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon
Our morning habits have a lot to do with how our bodies function throughout the day. When we get our metabolism going properly as soon as we wake up, it sets the foundation for healthy digestion for the next few hours. Fitness explains, drinking warm water with lemon helps to decrease the amount of salt that’s stored in the body. That’s because lemons are considered a natural diuretic. This helps rid the body of extra salt and water, which overall contributes to a healthy digestive system and aids in decreasing belly bloat.
2. Take some time to practice meditation
Although we often believe the foods we eat are the only things that cause bloating, there’s more to it than what we put in our mouths. One major thing to keep in mind when it comes to having a bloat-free belly is understanding the relationship between our minds and our bodies. According to PopSugar, it’s important to allow ourselves at least a few minutes a day to detach from whatever is on our minds. Mediation is the best way to do it. With that in mind, you may want to practice deep breathing exercises to be in tune with your mind and body for a few minutes each day.
3. Cut down on wheat and dairy
Eliminating wheat and dairy products may seem like a common health trend, but it’s not all hype. Many people are intolerant to these types of foods because their bodies lack the enzymes needed to properly break down the gluten or the lactose found in products that contain wheat or dairy ingredients, according to The Huffington Post. When the body can’t break down those ingredients going through the digestive system, it causes gas and increases bloating. So even if you don’t think you’re intolerant but can’t seem to figure out why you’re always bloated, try eliminating wheat and dairy for a few days. If you notice a decrease in puffiness, perhaps consider cutting back.
4. Say bye to sodium
Sodium is one of those ingredients that always manages to make it into your meal, even if you don’t know it. Popular Science mentions having too much salt in the body causes it to retain water, which means bloating. The American Heart Association says this excess water can also contribute to cardiovascular disease. In order to make sure you aren’t getting too much, steer clear of packaged foods as much as possible. The UCSF Medical Center also mentions seemingly healthy options, such as salted nuts and cottage cheese, are high on the salt scale as well. Read labels carefully and avoid the salt shaker when you can.
5. Take the time to chew mindfully
WebMD explains intestinal gas is actually the main source of stomach bloating rather than the water weight everyone believes is the culprit. The best way to reduce it? Eat more slowly. When you focus your attention on other things while you’re eating, it’s most likely that you’re unaware of all of the air that you’re swallowing. Without chewing enough before the food goes into your digestive system, you’re setting yourself up for bloating. The next time you’re snacking or having a meal, take the time to really enjoy it. The more you chew, the less you bloat.
6. Ditch the sugar alcohols
Similar to sodium, sugar alcohols have a sneaky way of showing up in packaged products without being obviously noted on the ingredient list as “sugar alcohol.” Food Insight shares some common ones are erythritol, xylitol, and maltitol. Mayo Clinic reports eating as little as 10 grams of sugar alcohol can have a laxative effect, which can contribute to gas and bloating. Sugar alcohols often show up in gum, frozen desserts like ice cream, baked goods, multivitamins, and even throat lozenges. Be aware of the ingredient list the next time you’re opting for sugar-free products, and make sure to avoid sugar alcohols if you’re trying to beat the bloat.
7. Bring on the potassium
While added ingredients like sodium and sugar alcohols can cause bloating, there are also foods that do the opposite. According to the Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center, bloating may be a result of a potassium deficiency. Without enough of this mineral, your body can’t properly regulate fluids or digestion. Self notes eating foods rich in potassium can combat the effects of eating too much sodium, meaning the mineral works double duty. If your stomach is feeling a little puffy, reach for some bananas, baked potatoes, or Swiss chard.