Do you sometimes feel that your stomach has ballooned out. You suddenly get that bloated feeling and I don't mean when you are pregnant. You can be perfectly slim and trim one day and then overnight, your tummy feels and looks enormous.
The uncomfortable symptoms of bloating
This can cause flatulence, painful stomach ache and an uncomfortable feeling when wearing tight clothes Many women seem to suffer from this and it is often attributed to irritable bowel syndrome. There may be a particular food or set of circumstances that sets off the process. In my case, it is a combination of gluten, sugar and stress.
The excessive sugar and/or salt used in processed foods are a common cause for this condition
As well as certain food intolerance, bloating can also occur as a result of insufficient hydrochloric acid in your stomach, a lack of digestive enzymes in your stomach or too little good intestinal flora (that is the good bacteria normally present in the gut). Whatever the cause, digestion is hampered and undigested foods are reaching your gut where fermentation takes place causing the bloating. Apart from avoiding the triggers that affect you, there are also some foods that can help to reduce that bloated feeling.
Here are some suggestions
1. The bromelain in fresh pineapple is an enzyme which actually promotes digestion. For this to work best, eat pineapple and any other fruit suggested in this post either half an hour before other food or three hours after a meal. This is because fruit is digested very quickly and if you eat it straight after other food, it has to wait in the line for the food ahead that is digested more slowly. The fruit can actually start to ferment and cause problems in the gut.
2. Another fruit that contains a digestive enzyme is the pawpaw or papaya. In this case it is papain which is very efficient in both breaking down food and digesting proteins.
3. On to vegetables and the suggestion is celery which is a diuretic and therefore helps to relieve fluid retention. If you feel bloated, just munch on a bunch of celery sticks to help bring the problem under control.
4. Asparagus is an excellent choice for encouraging the growth of friendly gut bacteria which, apart from ensuring a healthy gut, will also help to reduce that irritating build up of stomach gas.
5. A daily helping of probiotics will also add helpful bacteria to your gut. If you use yogurt for this purpose, make sure it is an all natural, organic, and if possible raw, yogurt with no sugars, artificial sweeteners, colorings or flavorings.
6. Some people find that drinking a tea made of natural peppermint will help their food to pass through the stomach more quickly while reducing any flatulence or gas. You can choose from using your own fresh mint leaves which are very easy to grow in the garden or buy pre-packaged peppermint teabags from a health store. Another tea to try is chamomile tea which is a useful aid to digestion.
7. We usually think of black pepper as a spicy seasoning but it also assists in digestion. Another suggestion for black pepper is to purchase it in the form of an essential oil. If you massage this oil into the stomach region, it can help with digestion and may even eliminate bloating. Mix one drop of essential oil into a tablespoonful of virgin olive olive or other carrier oil for the perfect massage. Just remember that essential oils are not always suitable for pregnant and nursing mothers unless they have been specially formulated.
Not drinking enough water throughout the day can cause bloating
Of course water has so many health benefits. Not only does it help with both digestion and preventing bloating, but it supports so many of the body's daily functions.