Bloating is when your abdomen has a build-up of excess air or gas and feels like there is a tightness in your lower gut. Sometimes it can feel like you’ve eaten too much when you haven’t had any more food than you usually do, and it can even sometimes be painful to relieve yourself. There are some common reasons why this can happen, and for the most part, it can come down to eating too much of a certain food or eating unhealthily.
So you may be thinking “that’s odd I don’t swallow air,” but you may be. There are a few reasons why you may be swallowing too much air, but it usually comes down to what you eat and consume.
Chewing gum is a major culprit, because as we chew gum, we talk, and go about our daily activities without realising it. Pockets of air get swallowed as we do our normal activity while chewing and need to be released in your system, so you may begin to feel bloated and gassy. If you need an alternative to gum, try liquorice root, a tasty and healthy alternative that isn’t just good for bad breath, but good for your gut health with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Another culprit is eating too fast. By eating too fast, you’re not giving your mouth the time to chew your food properly. The chunks of food will be too large to swallow and you end up swallowing an excess of air while doing this. To slow down your eating, set a timer for 20 minutes and try to not finish your food before it goes off. Whilst you’re eating, double the amount of chewing you do, go to the point where you think you’re taking too long to chew. Another thing to do is to set your utensils down after each bite, so you don’t feel compelled to get another piece. By slowing your eating, not only will you reduce air build-up, you will also see some benefits when it comes to weight loss. You give your body the right amount of time to process the food your ingesting and will decrease calorie counts.
Consuming too Many Calories
Speaking of calories, you may be eating too many calories while you snack and eat unhealthy foods. High-calorie foods such as cakes, bread and cookies are major contenders when it comes to feeling bloated.
Try to limit your diet for a while to low-calorie foods. Some great low-calorie foods include spinach, Greek yoghurt, apples, broccoli, cucumber, celery and carrots. These foods are all extremely healthy to eat with important vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory agents, which all promote a healthy gut to fight gut bloat.
Eating four or five smaller meals throughout the day rather than three big, main meals will give your gut the time to break down food and process it. Our digestive systems aren’t good at taking a lot of food at once, then having nothing to digest for hours between meals. So give your system a gentler amount of food, more regularly, so it can go through its natural process of breaking everything down it needs to.
Hormones are a normal part of human life, and it’s important everyone knows about how they may affect us, both physically and emotionally. Hormonal shifts and changes can cause our bodies to go into overdrive and cause bloating, anxiety and cause diarrhea. Avoiding alcohol and drinking water is a great way to fight swelling and diarrhea. Drink around 2 to 3 litres of water per day, to keep yourself hydrated and to flush your system out.
Keeping up a healthy exercise routine can help as well. Start small, by taking the dog for a walk or running each day for an hour, perhaps join some yoga classes or a gym. By building up a sweat you release toxins and help your mind and body to feel good.
When we ingest food, gas is a normal part of your digestive system breaking down food. But when we eat foods that contain a lot of fibre or fat, our gut can’t break it down and gasses such as methane and hydrogen reach our intestines causing bloating, pain and flatulence.
An increase in flatulence is a really good indicator you’re not eating the right foods. Pay attention to what you’re eating, carbohydrates dairy products, and high fibre foods can cause excess flatulence.
Body care and health is a great way to give your body the motivation to properly break down food inside you. If you’re a smoker, you might want to give it up. Not only is smoking extremely bad for you, the number one culprit for lung cancer, it also contains bad toxins that will cause gas build-ups and constipation.
Your stomach needs bacteria to help process and digest food, and sometimes our bodies don’t have the right levels of good bacteria. Taking probiotic supplements is a great way to introduce healthy bacteria into your gut, as they can break down methane and hydrogen gas build-ups in your stomach.
If you’re having gut issues, constipation can be the main culprit for it. If your stool is difficult to pass or feels and looks like small pebbles, your body is telling you something.
Promoting a healthy food diet and keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to avoid this. Foods such as yoghurt, kefir, pickles and sauerkraut are all great healthy and tasty foods you can introduce into your diet to loosen stool and still give your body the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs. Consider some gut health supplements, such as probiotics to introduce healthy bacteria into your system so you can break everything down.