Embarrassed by your persistent belly bloat? It might help to remember that you’re in good company. According to the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 16-30% of individuals suffer from bloating. That’s millions of people battling gas, swelling, and other conditions on a daily basis.
The good news is you don’t have to be a victim of the Big Bad Bloat. Here are some tips for improving your digestive processes in order to get rid of bloating and boost wellness and overall health.
While there are a number of factors that contribute to bloating, including IBS, constipation, and air swallowing, one of the most common causes is diet. From eating too much to consuming the wrong foods, dietary choices have a profound effect on your digestion. If you want to battle bloating, take time to assess what you’re eating and consider removing foods known for causing issues, such as milk, carbonated beverages, and high-fat and greasy foods. Other potentially problematic ingredients include fructose and gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains. If you’re allergic to gluten, or possess a sensitivity to the substance, you might want to avoid foods like bread and pasta to avoid unwanted bloating.
Improve Your Eating (and Drinking)
You can also give your digestive system a helping hand by consuming plenty of fruits and veggies, eating a serving of cultured yogurt every day, and drinking enough water. For best results, aim to drink an extra glass or two of H2O when consuming salty foods like chips. By increasing your water intake, you can flush excess salt from the body, thereby stopping bloating in its tracks.
If changing your diet isn’t improving bloating symptoms, you might want to consider switching up your eating schedule. For example, eating several smaller meals over the course of the day could yield better results than consuming two to three large meals. You should also aim to eat more slowly, as this reduces the amount of air you’re swallowing with every bite.
Consider Intermittent Fasting
If you want to win the bloating battle once and for all, intermittent fasting could be the solution you’re seeking. Because fasters avoid consuming food for a period of time each day (or every other day), the digestive system enjoys a much-needed break. And of course, people who are practicing intermittent fasting are unlikely to consume problematic foods on a daily basis. The result is less bloating and greater comfort overall.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that fasting can both reduce bloating and improve overall health. According to the research, fasting for Ramadan led to a reduction in bloating and had a positive effect on anthropometric indices, fasting glucose, plasma insulin, and inflammatory cytokines.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to live with painful and embarrassing bloating. By switching up your diet and considering intermittent fasting, you can regulate your digestive processes and boost your overall wellness for years to come.