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  • Writer's pictureJo Leccacorvi

Five ways to reduce your bloating

Bloating can be a common symptom for mums. It can be a frustrating, especially when you are not sure what is causing your bloating. Many women feel they look pregnant and can only wear certain clothes to hide their tummy. This can be restrictive and may lead to poor body image which can affect your self-confidence as it my leave you feeling self-conscious.

Your tummy can feel rock hard, and the bloating can start at any time of the day. You wake up with a bloat free tummy and by the end of the day your stomach is bloated, and you may have a feeling of fullness. For some of you, the bloating may be accompanied by painful cramps.

There could be many reasons why you are feeling bloated. It could be down to:

💛 Stress

💛 Food intolerance

💛 Drinking alcohol

💛 The type of food you eat

💛 Excess gas

💛 Unbalanced gut bacteria

💛 Constipation

💛 Diarrhoea

💛 Sedentary lifestyle

💛 Dehydration

Whatever the cause is there are things you can put into place to help you. Here are my top five tips:

Are you eating little and often?

Consider leaving bigger gaps between your meals to allow your digestive system time to digest food properly. If you are constantly eating, you’re not giving your digestive system enough time to rest and digest. Eating little and often may put a strain on your digestive system and this may lead to bloating, painful gas and possibly some very unpleasant flatulence.

Try leaving a 4-hour gap between your meals as this will allow your digestive system to properly digest the food you have eaten. So, if you have your breakfast at 7:30am then your next meal would be at 11:30am. If you’re concerned about leaving a big gap between meals, make sure each meal contains protein, fats and fibre to help you feel fuller for longer and sustain your energy levels.

Are you constipated?

Being constipated can leave you feeling bloated, a feeling of fullness, nauseous and you may have cramping or spasms. There are a few different things you can do to ease constipation.

Make sure you’re eating enough fibre from fruit and vegetables to help support your digestive system. For example, including prebiotic foods into your everyday diet will be beneficial to your gut health. Prebiotics are a form of fibre contained in certain fruits and vegetables and research has shown they may help relieve constipation. They work by helping keep your gut bacteria balanced and allowing the beneficial bacteria to colonise. Prebiotics provide food for your gut bacteria and allows them to do their job and keep your digestive system healthy. Prebiotic foods include apples, artichokes, asparagus, flaxseeds, garlic, and legumes.

Increase your fibre intake slowly as it may lead to more digestive symptoms such as painful gas or flatulence and it may even make your bloating worse. If you’re unsure on how to do this, add one portion of fruit or veg per meal. Berries for breakfast, carrot sticks for lunch and broccoli for dinner. Build on this each day until you’re having at least 7 portions of veg per day and 2 portions of fruit per day.

Make sure you’re drinking enough water

It is important to ensure you are getting enough water to keep you hydrated, especially if you are increasing your fibre intake and dehydration may lead to constipation.

Water helps to soften the stool and may encourage a bowel movement. The best way to tell you are hydrated is to check the colour of your urine. If you are adequately hydrated the colour will be a pale yellow or clear. If you’re dehydrated the colour will be much darker and you may want to consider increasing your water intake.

Consider your gut bacteria

Bloating may be a sign of dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is where there is an imbalance of the bacteria in your gut, where there are less beneficial microbes and the bad bacteria increase which may lead to symptoms such as bloating.

The type of food you eat can influence your gut bacteria. Research shows that a diet high in refined sugar and highly processed food may lead to unbalanced gut bacteria. The best way you can support your microbiome is through your diet. When you eat a healthy diet with a wide variety of plant-based foods you will be encouraging a diverse range of bacteria in your digestive system and this helps to reduce your bloating.

Watch your sugar intake

If your diet is high in refined sugar, this can also have an impact on your gut bacteria. The sugar can lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria and it can increase the levels of bad bacteria. The bad bacteria feed on the sugar and it allows them to thrive and grow, thus reducing the number of beneficial bacteria. This can lead to a number of digestive symptoms including bloating. Incidentally, the bad bacteria can also cause you to have more sugar cravings and you end up in a cycle of craving sugar, being bloated and low on energy.

If you would like to reduce your sugar intake, I recommend that you don’t replace sugar with sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners can also cause bloating, diarrhoea and excessive gas. So if you are already bloated you really don’t want to make this worse by consuming artificial sweeteners.

Focus on filling your plate with protein, healthy fats and fibre that will balance your blood sugar levels, reduce cravings and bloating and increase your energy levels.

If you would like to discuss the cause of your bloating and how you can ease it, then why don’t you book in for a free chat with me? Click here to book in.

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