April 19, 2024

When our stomach bloats, the first thing we almost always think about is what we ate. But food may not be the only cause, especially if the bloating is not related to what and how much you “put” in your stomach.

So, the first is the most common, but also the most frequent cause of belly bloating is overeating. Honestly, people have a hard time controlling their portions and telling themselves, “I'm going to eat less because I don't want to bloat.”  However, if you want to try eating less, start by using smaller plates.

Secondly, all the packaged junk you snack on the run or unable to eat something healthy – all those chips, croutons, protein bars, all the instant soups, sauces and dressings – contains not only salt (where there's salt, there's more fluid and belly bloating) but also monosodium glutamate, a common ingredient used to keep foods fresh but for some makes digestion difficult and causes belly bloating.

Eating late at night, too close to bedtime, is another cause of bloating and this is because the digestive system does not work at night as it does during the day, nor in the lying down position as it does in the upright position. That's why instead of waking up in the morning feeling light as air, you feel rather tired and bloated. 

Also, eating too fast or talking while eating, drinking water through a straw or chewing bubblegum – all of these lead to bloating, because these are ways air doesn't get into the respiratory system, but into the digestive tract.

Carbonated mineral water, soda, fizzy juices, all bloat your stomach, and make you feel like…a balloon.

Certain medications such as antacids, painkillers, anti-diarrhea drugs, aspirin and iron or fiber supplements can also cause bloating and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Don't eat a lot, don't eat fast and don't eat wrong? But you may not know that you actually suffer from a food intolerance and that this is the culprit for bloating, gas, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Keep a food diary, find the ‘imposter' and eliminate it from your diet. It could be lactose or fructose.

If you don't fall under any of the above causes, you may be suffering from an undiagnosed condition? Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, celiac disease, abdominal hernias or adrenitis – all lead to bloating.

Also bloating, but slightly different, because it is not with the accumulation of gas in the abdomen, but due to excess fluid, can cause heart disease, liver disease and venous insufficiency.

Let's focus for a moment on a few of the ideal foods for bloating sufferers.

  • Kimchi: a specialty of Korean cuisine, it includes fermented vegetables such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, with a rich selection of spices.

The probiotics in kimchi not only help build a diverse and balanced gut flora, but also help reduce bloating and gas. 

  • Kefir: this fermented milk product is high in probiotics that aid in digestion. And, by the way, it contains much more probiotics than traditional yogurt. A glass of kefir in the morning and evening and you won't have to worry about bloating or constipation.
  • Ginger: Tea made from fresh ginger root is a great thing, but people suffering from digestive problems will especially appreciate it. It is a great helper in the prevention of flatulence, nausea and other gastrointestinal disorders! It is enough to brew a teaspoon of fresh chopped (or grated) root, and good health is guaranteed.
  • Bananas: are high in protein, as are avocados, kiwis, oranges and pistachios. They prevent fluid retention in the body by regulating sodium levels. Bananas also have soluble fiber, which can relieve or prevent constipation.
  • Asparagus: praised for its fiber and inulin content, for ensuring gut health, for keeping constipation at bay, for taking care not to bloat…
  • Celery: the natural enemy of flatulence. Celery contains high amounts of water, which helps flush out toxins from the body. In addition, celery is known to help normalize digestion by reducing the retention of water and intestinal gasses in this process. A daily portion of celery will allow you to forget about belly bloating! By the way, cooked celery is digested better than raw celery.
  • Oats: also rich in fiber, effectively combats bloating. 
  • Spinach: the antioxidants in this plant boost immunity and fight inflammation, and the fiber it contains promotes cleansing without letting bloating affect you, but it's best to eat it raw.
  • Sweet potatoes: their strength is potassium, which opposes sodium-induced water retention. So eat sweet potatoes to avoid bloating and an unattractive tummy.
  • Oranges: the 3 good things in them that help you against bloating are fiber, potassium and water.

Along with proper nutrition, one of the most effective ways to get rid of abdominal bloating is exercise. But not all exercises are suitable for this. 

Stretching will help to relax and calm the rebellious intestines. To do this, lie on a mat and gently pull your knees to your chest. Lie like this for a few minutes. Breathe deeply.

Another exercise: gently lower yourself to your knees. Press your body against the mat. Spread your arms to the sides and slowly turn first to the left and then to the right. Repeat the exercise several times. 

From yoga, one of the most effective exercises is the “cow-cat” pose. To perform it, stand on all fours. As you inhale, lower your abdomen to the floor and arch your back. Look up. As you exhale, pull your abdomen up to the spine, arching your back. The head is lowered. Repeat the exercise several times.

These movements help stimulate the kidneys and adrenal glands, as well as stretch and contract the intestines.

Swimming, jogging, and cycling can also help you get rid of abdominal bloating. But the easiest way you can try at home is walking up and down the stairs.

All of the above methods help gas pass through the digestive system faster. Just 25 minutes of exercise can help reduce the pain of abdominal bloating. Relief comes in as little as 10 minutes.

Watch what you eat, move more and you'll forget about bloating and discomfort!

All the best!