Are you desperate to find a way to relieve bloating? That overinflated, tight as a drum feeling, that gets you when you least expect it. Seriously no fun! Bloating is unfortunately a very common problem.
People often complain that they get so bloated and full of gas that it really hurts. Up to 25-30% of people experience it regularly. It happens when you have trouble digesting. The symptoms can come from reactions to foods, excess gas, or food not moving through the digestive system as well as it could.
There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. It could be because of a serious condition, an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast, a food allergy or intolerance. It can also result from how you eat.
If you have a digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then make sure you eat only things that do not upset you but get to the bottom of why you react to these foods. It could be because you have dysbiosis (imbalance of bowel bacteria) and/or a leaky gut.
If you don’t know then you have to do some investigating. A high percentage of people with IBS are now thought to have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).
Same goes if you know certain foods give you gas. Simply avoid them. If you’re already doing those things, and still experience bloating, here are some great tips for dealing with it naturally.
7 Natural Ways to Relieve Bloating
1. Don’t Overeat
If you overeat at a meal, then you’ll feel bigger around the mid-section. You’ll feel more pressure in your abdomen. Plus, you’re giving your digestive system a hard time. It’s better to eat until you feel almost full and not overindulge. Just don’t over-stuff yourself in one sitting.
If that leaves you hungry later grab a healthy snack later although eating between meals is not a good idea of you have SIBO. You should allow at least 4 or 5 hours between meals so the waves of the MMC (migrating motor complex) can do their job moving the food out of the small intestine.
2. Avoid FODMAPs and especially sugar alcohols
Studies have shown that there are links between foods known as FODMAPs and digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain. FODMAPs are particular forms of carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.
As they are undigested your gut, bacteria use them for fuel which produces hydrogen gas causing people with sensitive guts to have digestive symptoms.
Sugar alcohols are often most problematic. In an ingredients list, they end in “-ol,” and include things like sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol. They’re found in some chewing gums and sugar-free foods. Some people experience bloating after eating foods with these. So, try avoiding them and see if that helps you.
If not then you may have to exclude all FODMAP food for 2 – 4 weeks to see if it makes any difference.
3. Avoid Fatty Fried Foods
Foods that are fried and fatty are often made with trans fat, enriched flour, salt and other unhealthy components. Your body recognizes these as things which it would rather not process, and so your digestion of fatty foods takes longer than healthy fruits and vegetables.
You never want to cut back on healthy fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids and essential fatty acids actually help you cut down on belly fat. When you eat too many fried foods, the longer processing time can give you a heavy, bloated feeling and appearance.
4. Avoid swallowing air
Sometimes the gas that causes pressure in your digestive system is from swallowing air. Things like carbonated drinks are the biggest culprit here. You can also swallow air when you chew gum or drink through a straw, so try ditching these.
You can also swallow air when eating too quickly or while talking.
5. Eat more slowly, more mindfully, and less stressed
Eating your food fast isn’t doing your digestive system any favors. You can help the food get digested and move through your digestive tract by eating when you are sitting down at a table and are relaxed.
Eating on the run and snatching meals here and there because you don’t have time to eat properly is bad news for your digestion.
Remember to chew your food thoroughly and slowly no matter how hungry you are. Be mindful and enjoy the time you are spending eating your meals. Savor them.
The feeling of stress can also cause increased bloating. Stress-reducing techniques can help improve your digestion. Try meditating or deep breathing (but not while you’re eating).
6. Try peppermint
Peppermint oil has been shown to improve bloating. It has relaxant and antispasmodic properties and is thought to increase transit time through the digestive system by relaxing the stomach and bowel muscles and increasing the flow of bile.
Try steeping fresh peppermint leaves in some hot water for 5 minutes, or use a peppermint tea bag, and sip it slowly. See if that helps reduce your symptoms. You’ll find that some say iced peppermint tea is good but I think warm is better. Cold and iced drinks can be a shock to the stomach.
Green tea with peppermint or lemongrass can help too if you want a change. The catechins in green tea have properties that help to soothe the digestive tract and reduce intestinal gas that causes bloating.
7. Try The Digestive System Cleanse
If all the above does not relieve bloating then you could try my Easy 4 Week Digestive System Cleanse. This plan will help to gently cleanse your digestive system and tremendously improve your health. It does involve a change of diet but you can take it slowly. You don’t have to rush into it all at once.
There are many natural ways that can help to relieve bloating. You can avoid it by not eating things that give you gas or aggravate a digestive problem. Try not to overeat, consume sugar alcohols, or swallow air. Also, eating more mindfully and reducing stress can help too. Finally, if you are experiencing bloating try sipping some peppermint tea.