Foods that prevent Gas and Bloating from a Nutritionist
You can be as skinny as you like, but if you are bloated, you won't feel it. Digestive problems such as bloating, cramping, indigestion, gas and anything else on the IBS spectrum are incredibly common, yet this is an astonishingly misunderstood area. Like a car, many things have to work together in the digestive system in order for it to run properly. It is incredibly sensitive to its environment and so if you are stressed, putting in the wrong type of foods, taking medication, drinking alcohol or being exposed to foreign bugs when traveling, it is common for things to stop working seamlessly. Try these four tips to get it working properly again:
What You'll Need
- Anti-microbial foods
- Ginger and Cayenne Pepper
What You'll Do
- Make sure you have enough stomach acid: Most people think they have too much owing to symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux and a feeling of ‘fullness’. In fact it is quite rare to have too much stomach acid and very common not to have enough. If digestion isn’t kicked off in the stomach then expect problems further down. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water at the onset of each meal can help though I wont lie, it doesn’t taste amazing and isn’t always possible with on the go lifestyles. Hot water with lemon, ginger, a pinch of cayenne pepper is also a winner and should light your ‘digestive fire’ (that’s a good thing).
- Look after your gut’s ecosystem: If your gut flora is out of whack then you can expect more than bloating. Antibiotics also imbalance this further, and if your issues started after having taken a course/courses then consider taking some good bacteria in the form of a good quality probiotic (Udo’s Super 8, or Optibac Extra Strength are both a good choice). Food with added sugar or refined carbs can also cause the wrong types of bacteria and yeasts to flourish and cause bloating and flatulence so reduce these foods and watch out for hidden sugars in foods like cereals, cereal bars, yoghurts, sauces, ready meals, snacks and practically everything else that comes packaged.
- Eat Anti-microbial foods: We are exposed to different bugs all the time be it in food, water, or from other people, and risks increase if you travel abroad to hotter climates. Our digestive system should protect us from most of these, but again, this can become compromised if your gut isn’t functioning properly. Foods such as garlic, turmeric, papaya, ginger, coconut, Pau D’arco tea, oregano, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pomegranate, cardamom, chilli, horseradish, and cayenne can all help so include these with regularity. If you find some of these make you more bloated, it may be because you need to work on getting rid of bugs that already exist in the gut. Parasites and pathogenic (harmful) bacteria can be one of the major reasons for problems such as IBS. Getting rid of these will require a specific programme and is something I help people with on a day-to-day basis - Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Chill out: The gut really doesn’t like stress. Unfortunately, the brain and the gut are inextricably linked and so the minute things weigh on your mind, so do they on your gut. Not only can stress stop you secreting stomach acid and digestive enzymes, it will also impact on your balance of gut bacteria. Even more important than this though are the fluctuations in serotonin (the brains ‘happy hormone’) that occur when our mood changes. Given that 80% of the serotonin in the body is located in the gut, mess with this, and you can expect immediate changes. If it makes you feel good and relaxes you, make time for it and your gut will love you more!
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