Who reading has ever wanted to enjoy a fun summer day at the beach, but neglected to do so because you felt and looked BLOATED? Being bloated can really mess with our day and our minds, making us a little crazy and leaving us feeling pretty bad about ourselves and our bodies. Well, I’m sure you can guess that certain foods promote the bloat, while others work to deflate stomach gas, which causes bloating. Here are some tips to help keep your tummy flat and bathing suit worthy, so you can confidently head to the beach and work on that tan. Just don’t forget your sunscreen! 😉
TOP 6 FOODS THAT CAUSE BLOATING
1. Carbonated Beverages: Sodas and other carbonated drinks release carbon dioxide gas into the gut. Pretty self explanatory, don’t you think? Avoid something that produces gas, if you do not want to have gas. 🙂 Instead, stick with flat water or cold herbal teas on these hot summer days.
2. Refined Carbohydrates: A refined carbohydrate is one where all the nutritious enzymes have been stripped away. These are “empty” carbs. Think white rice, white pasta, white flour (in white breads, cakes, pastries, etc.) vs. an unrefined carb, or a whole grain. Replacing your refined carbs with whole grain alternatives such as brown rice or quinoa, can help keep that tummy in tact. Another alternative is to avoid products that contain gluten, since gluten tends to make us look and feel really bloated. Going gluten free has gained in popularity, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding delicious gluten free items, but keep in mind that most delicious whole foods are naturally gluten free. Don’t go crazy buying gluten free products in packages just because they ARE gluten free. Choose fresh fruits and veggies, always in place of things in packages!
3. Salt: Salt retains water in the body, so the more high sodium foods you consume, the more bloated you will feel. The RDA of salt for the average adult is about 2,300 mg or 1 tsp per day. Replace high sodium foods with foods that are higher in potassium since potassium is naturally able to flush out sodium from the body. Coconut water, avocados, banana, mangoes, or cantaloupe are some delicious potassium-rich foods.
4. Dairy: The enzyme in dairy called lactase is extremely hard for most people to break down and digest properly, and this can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. Luckily, there are plenty of dairy-free alternatives on the market!
5. Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners may seem like a healthy choice, but not only are they full of chemicals that your body doesn’t recognize, so they contribute to inflammation, but they also contain sugar alcohol, which can cause gas and bloating. Choose foods naturally sweetened with honey, coconut sugar or 100% grade B maple syrup. Ditch diet sodas (see #1 on the list) and all things containing artificial sweeteners (a.k.a. processed foods). Stick with whole fruits that are sweetened by nature! Also, note that most chewing gum contains sugar alcohols as well, plus a stick of gum contains roughly 5 calories, so choose alternative methods to freshen your breath.
6. Being dehydrated: Okay, so this is not technically a “food”, but when you are dehydrated, you retain water. You may think the opposite; that when you drink more, you become bloated, but it works in the complete opposite way. If you want to reduce bloating, you gotta drink up; especially on these hot summer days!
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR GAS AND BLOATING
If you do your best to avoid the foods above and follow my tips, but still suffer with gas and bloating, there are a few things you can include in your diet to help remedy your situation.
Pineapple – contains the enzyme bromelain, which is helpful for digestion
Herbs and Spices – mint, ginger, rosemary and cinnamon are known to help smooth the GI tract and eliminate gas and bloating
Fennel Seeds – have been shown to relax the muscles in the GI tract and allow trapped gas to pass
Keep liquids separate from meals – drink 30 min after you’ve had a meal. Drinking with food can upset the stomach and the foods will not be properly digested.
Use a digestive enzyme – keep digestive enzymes on you at all times, so if you happen to go out for a meal, you’ll be prepared
Listen to your gut – literally, LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. Pay attention to how certain foods make you feel. If you notice something doesn’t feel right every time you consume it, eliminate it from your diet for a while to see how that feels.
No one likes to feel bloated, but hopefully you’ve just learned how to combat gas and bloating naturally! Surfs up and hope you’re having a fantastic summer, everyone!
If you deal with digestive issues regularly, I can help! HTF can offer you expert advice on how to heal yourself fully with foods. If you would like more information about how to have Dori create an in depth, personalized nutrition plan just for you, contact her today for a free consultation!