Stomach bloating remedies
Stomach bloating sucks. A bloated stomach will spoil your figure when you are wearing your new killer outfit. On top of that stomach bloating can be very uncomfortable and even painful. Anyone can suffer from stomach bloating, and having a flat stomach and washboard abs will not make you immune. Stomach bloating can be caused by diet or stress. Before I tell you the best stomach bloating remedies, I want to talk about the most common causes of stomach bloating.
Gas producing foods
Some people find it difficult to digest certain foods. The undigested foods then become fermented by the bacteria in the stomach causing gas to be produced. The gas builds up in the stomach causing bloating. I have listed the most common types of food that can produce gas.
It will not be a big surprise to you if I tell you that beans can cause gas. Beans contain raffinose, a sugar which your stomach finds it hard to digest. The raffinose then becomes fermented by the bacteria in your stomach, causing a build up of gas.
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Like beans these vegetables contain raffinose. If your stomach is unable to digest the raffinose, it becomes fermented by bacteria causing gas.
Sweet fruits like apples, pears, peaches apricots and cherries can also cause gas if eaten in excess. Fruit contains a fruit sugar known as fructose. If you eat more fructose that you stomach can digest, the remaining fructose becomes fermented by the bacteria in your stomach causing gas.
‘Sugar-free’ or ‘diet’ foods and drinks invariably contain artificial sweeteners such aspartame, sucralose, xylitol and maltitol. As these are difficult to digest, they can cause bacterial fermentation with the ensuing gas.
Some people are intolerant to certain foods. It is not fully understood why this is the case, but doctors believe that the stomachs of some individuals are over-sensitive. Food intolerances can cause irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] which leads to a number of unpleasant digestive problems including stomach bloating.
The most common food intolerances are:
Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Common foods containing gluten are bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals. Gluten is a protein that is difficult for your stomach to digest. It is believed that the inability to digest gluten can damage your stomach lining. Although the scientific research into gluten intolerance is not conclusive, many people have found that avoiding gluten has alleviated their digestive problems.
Lactose is a sugar found in diary products. Milk is high in lactose. However butter and cheese have low lactose and may be tolerated. Although yogurt has high lactose, yogurt with live probiotic cultures is easily digested because the probiotics are ‘friendly’ bacteria which help break down the lactose.
Soy is derived from soybeans and has been cultivated in east Asian countries for thousands of years. Soy is used in Asian dietary staples such as soy sauce, tofu, tempeh and miso soup. However food manufacturers in the west have been quick to incorporate soy into their products due to its low cost. Soy is often present in processed foods such as breakfast cereals, noodles, biscuits and soups.
Fizzy drinks like soda or beer contain lots of carbon dioxide and if you drink lots of them it can fill your stomach with air. Chewing gum, sucking sweets and smoking cigarettes can cause air swallowing. If you tend to gulp your food down or drink through a straw you can also end up swallowing air.
Stress and nervous tension can also cause involuntary air swallowing
Stomach bloating remedies
I have three stomach bloating remedies for you to try:
Firstly you should keep track of what you are eating every day. Try eliminating the problem foods mentioned above one at a time and see if you feel a difference. You should eliminate each food for one week to give your body time to adjust.
Secondly, make sure you take time to enjoy your meals and snacks. Eat and drink at an unhurried pace with a minimum of distractions. Take up a discipline designed to reduce stress and tension in your body. I recommend yoga, meditation, or the Alexander technique.
Thirdly, I recommend you introduce probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are ‘friendly’ bacteria which help digestion, absorption of nutrients and the elimination of toxins. Probiotics are sold as food supplements. However I feel the best and most natural way to introduce probiotics into your diet is to eat [low fat] organic yogurt containing live probiotic cultures.