Monday, March 4, 2013

10 Ways to Banish That Bloated Feeling

That heavy bloated feeling not only makes you uncomfortable, it can also make you feel nauseous.  It feels as if there is some kind of monster wreaking havoc on your digestive system, making noise and causing you to feel like you are about to burst. It can be so bad that bursting seems like it might be welcome relief! There are other side effects (like gas) that can be terribly embarrassing. 

There are a variety of reasons why people experience gas, bloating and indigestion. Sometimes it's the food we eat, how we eat it, or our digestive system is just not up to the task. Here are 10 things you can try to prevent bloating and not have to excuse yourself before the party is over.
1. Pop a Probiotic: Take a probiotic supplement about 30 minutes before each meal or get probiotic benefits from fermented foods like Apple Cider vinegar or sauerkraut. Probiotics help your digestive system receive the most out of the foods you eat plus they aid in the digestive process.
2. Tootles to Toast: Breads wreak all kinds of havoc on our digestive systems.  They literally clog every thing up and they swell in your stomach and intestines.  Consider going without bread or baked goods. I know, this sounds totally CRAZY! many people have found that by not eating breads it solves their digestive issues. The gluten in wheat might also be part of the problem.

3. Morning Lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic: Start your morning with a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon or some apple cider vinegar. Both of these help promote hydrochloric acid - the substance in your stomach that helps break down protein.  They are also very good at helping to alkalize your Ph. 

4. Chew, Chew, Chew: Try chewing each bite of your meal 10 times. When a meal is not well chewed large chunks of food end up in the stomach giving the digestive system a really hard time. Remember; your stomach doesn't have teeth! 

5. Eat and Move: Taking a five minute walk around the office after lunch or walk the dog after dinner. This can help give your digestive system a little jump start and you'll avoid the post-meal fatigue.

6. Rest and Relaxation: Take time to de-stress be it through meditation, regular cardio exercise or reading a good book before bed. When you're stressed your digestive system shuts down because you're body is busy running from the proverbial danger.

7. Ginger Recovery Tea: After a meal pour boiling water over slices of ginger or buy packaged ginger tea.  Ginger aids in digestion by increasing digestive juices in the stomach and  moving food down the digestive tract.

8. Soak Your Grains, Beans, Nuts & Seeds: If you know you're going to make rice for dinner , soak it in a bowl of water that morning. Beans should be soaked overnight. Nuts and seeds can be soaked for short periods or long periods depending on the recipe you are using.  Soaking causes the grains, beans, nuts and seeds to begin to sprout which breaks down break down the indigestible parts (particularly phytates and enzyme inhibitors) of these foods making it easier to assimilate in your system. 

9. Avoid Overeating: Eat Slowly, chew your food well and stop eating when you are about 3/4 full and give yourself some time before going back for seconds. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full and in that time we tend to keep eating and we become uncomfortable

10. Identify Food Intolerance's: It's a good idea to keep a food journal, jotting down when you have difficulty digesting allows you to develop a record of patterns and what foods or circumstances may be causing you to experience significant amounts of bloating or gas. Identifying foods that your body does not tolerate well and removing them, will help to reduce inflammation and uncomfortable swelling as we;ll as other unwelcome symptoms. 

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