No one likes feeling uncomfortable and there is nothing more annoying than a bloated tummy. What you are often feeling is air passing through your intestines. There are many reasons as to why bloating can occur; food intolerances; stress; illness… to name a few, but there are also a few simple things, and foods, that you can introduce to combat bloating, here are our top five.
1. Eat little and often
Leaving too much time between meals causes the body to produce higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which has been proven to slow down the digestive system and therefore cause bloating. By eating little and often you can help to regulate your blood sugar levels, which in turn will stop cortisol in its tracks.
2. Relax and eat bananas
Take a hot bath, read a book, watch your favourite TV show or have reflexology… Whatever it takes to relax you, try it – you may just find that your bloating is caused by external stress such as work or worries. Also, try adding more bananas into your diet – they are high in tryptophan and packed with vitamin B6 which help to manufacture the happy hormone, serotonin (which will combat the cortisol also brought on by stress).
3. Peppermint tea
Drinking a cup of peppermint tea is a great natural way to beat the bloat. As you may know, peppermint tea contains an oil called menthol, which has a very positive effect on bloating as it calms spasms in the smooth muscle tissue. This allows for the muscles around your stomach to calm and then helps you to release any gas that has built up and been causing you all that discomfort.
4. Cut out alcohol
We know you don’t want to hear it but alcohol can exasperate bloating. Beer, cider and fizzy mixers are the worst culprits. Alcohol can also create bloating because it eats away at the stomach lining, which then makes the stomach more vulnerable to digestive juices making it harder to digest food.
5. Eat more fibre
Fibre is what you need to help push all the food you have eaten through your system. A high-fibre diet includes bran based cereal, oats, strawberries and blueberries as well as lots of lovely leafy greens and vegetables. If you are getting enough of all of these then you should remain pretty regular and therefore maintain a healthy digestive system.